Single Moms: 6 Tips To Get Through 2013
So, how’s your New Year’s resolution doing now that February is creeping around the corner along with next month’s bills? For me, I’m feeling bad because maybe I should’ve made one for 2013, primarily because this year is different: I’m a 30-something who’s finally come to terms with being a single parent to a 1-year-old son. Life isn’t about me anymore nor is it about my son’s father, it’s about keeping both my son and I in a positive environment. If you’re like me, you know there’s absolutely no time for nonsense from anyone. Here’s six healthy ways to help you navigate single parenthood in 2013 because one New Year resolution just won’t do.
#1 Say Bye to Clutter
Look at your home surroundings: your closet, underneath the bed, the fridge, your dresser. Are you happy with it? Feeling cluttered? Feeling like you need to re-arrange, enhance, or throw out? Do it. I remember these words from a sermon “Your home is a reflection of you. If you’re house is a mess, you’re a mess too. So clean it up.” Find a babysitter and take a day out to clean out the clutter in your home. Start first in your bedroom and work space. Donate the unnecessary but usable to your local thrift store. You’ll feel so much better plus, you’ll probably find the lost $20, missing baby shoe, and sock hiding in your clutter.
# 2. Separate Your Needs vs. Your Wants
OK, it’s time for some real honesty. Don’t justify a $300 Steve Madden shoulder bag because it’s reduced at TJ Maxx for $99.99. It happened to me recently and I’m so glad I asked myself, “Do I need this or do I want this?” I was even justifying that it had better pockets than my current purse so that must mean I need it. LOL. It was hard to say buh-bye to the devilishly charming purse but, I succeeded in resisting temptation.
#3. Fall In Love with Breakfast Again
I maintain to this day my secret to staying thin is: Eat breakfast, everyday. Saying “I don’t do breakfast” is sabotage to your body. Eat breakfast. If you don’t, you’ll be pigging out like a savage vulture when it’s time for lunch because you’re so hungry. If you’re going to pig out, do it with a nice farmer’s breakfast along with some fruit. You’ll have energy for the day and you won’t be cranky to those around you. They’ll be like damn, you’re cool and you got your work done.
#4. Handle Your Finances
You’re a single mom and the father of your child isn’t helping you out? Don’t be a wimp; consider legal action. Not because you have drama or want revenge; but because you have to legally ensure that your child’s needs will be met by both of you. That’s being a responsible adult. Too many single moms that I know for some crazy reason haven’t done this because they’re afraid to rock the boat with baby daddy. Well, if the boat is sinking (financially), let the courts handle him so the child you both created doesn’t suffer. If he becomes hard to deal with via phone—communicate through email so you have a paper trail that can help support your case. Being a parent costs money, so treat him like you would in a business deal: with caution and purpose. You don’t have time for drama. And in the meantime suck it up and support your household financially as much as you can.
#5. Use People in 2013
Yeezy taught me something that helped me re-frame the idea of using people. The rapper said in his “Thank You, You’re Welcome” book, “To use is necessary. And if you can’t be used, then you’re useless.” So, ladies it’s OK to use people – it’s not a negative thing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We get too caught up with control and handling everything on our own out of pride. Trade services, get to know your neighbors so you can know who’s doing what. Let your network work for you.
#6. Use 15 Minutes More Wisely
Everyone has 15 minutes to waste. Here’s where I’m going with this … If you’re watching TV you’re probably going to sit through 15 minutes of nonsense commercials or you might surf YouTube aimlessly for 15 minutes;and let’s not talk about how much time Facebook takes. That’s 15 minutes of nada so, there’s really no reason those 15 minutes can’t be you doing some sort of exercise. I don’t care what kind of exercise: walking your dog; taking a stroll with baby, or maybe jumping jacks during commercial breaks. Get up and do something—unless you like a muffin top chilling over your pants waistline.
You’ll have your ups and downs, but this year, remain true to giving yourself a better life. Buena suerte in 2013!
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. She’s a survivor of domestic violence and a first-time single mom to a son. Dita has made it her calling to advocate for domestic violence victims and single mothers. In addition to VidaVibrante.com, she contributes to NBC’s “SoundDiego,” Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! and mommy blog Sex, Drugs, Lies, and Motherhood. Follow Dita on Twitter @SDLandM and @ghettonewsflash.