A blog by The Independent Single Mum
As a single mum, you can feel a little helpless. In fact, at times, I’ve felt A LOT helpless. Like, properly alone in the world, trying to figure everything out. Put simply though, I was wrong. I have received so much help and support, and when I start counting up the things that have happened, it really starts to flip that old story on its head. Did you know, for example, that if you do further education as a single mum, the financial support available will probably top up your childcare so its free? There are also hardship funds, and practical support, as well as heaps of information. If I hadn’t accessed the excellent advice of the student services at Abertay University, for example, I would have believed the Citizens Advice Bureau’s incorrect assertion that if I went self-employed, I’d be switched to Universal Credit. That wasn’t true, and staying on Working Tax Credits meant it was possible to launch my business. It changed the trajectory of my life, and nearly quadrupled my hourly income. So make sure the advice you’re getting is sound.
Other amazing things have been being accepted onto coaching programmes free, receiving huge amounts of help from friends and relatives, and having people reach out to offer their help when I wasn’t doing so well.
When our minds are left to their own devices, we can tend to focus on the negative. Its an evolutionary strategy, a protective mechanism. Great for surviving, not so great for thriving. Rubbish for getting the most out of life. Because when you’ve got a lot ON your mind, you can’t get a lot FROM your mind.
If there’s one other thing I know, having worked with a lot of single mums (and people more generally) is that you (yes, YOU!) are not counting the wins in your life. Give yourself a high five when something goes well. You’ll be wiring your brain for positivity and you’ll start to notice the good things more. And trust me, if you’re raising tiny humans, no matter how hard you’re being on yourself- there are wins you aren’t yet counting! Over time I've learnt the huge benefits of just... being kinder to myself. It's not always easy, especially if you're swimming against the tide of popular opinion. It IS however, always worthwhile. Haters gonna hate, might as well start loving yourself!