Finding fun and fulfillment as a single mom can be tricky.
What does fulfillment mean? It can mean slightly different things to different people. Some people like to think of it as satisfaction in all areas of your life. But, some people say that it is more beneficial to pick the areas of your life that are most important to you and beef those areas up.
I don't think you'll be able to accomplish all of these all of the time. But, you can accomplish some of them at different times, maybe even at different life stages.
There have been some differing views about what makes up your life and how those areas are delineated. Here is an interesting article that organizes your life in a different way than I have and it could be useful.
Fun and Recreation
Everyone needs some fun in their life! Just pure, laugh out loud fun! But, fun may look different to different people. Some people like to have fun with others and that connects to their social area of their life. Some people like to have fun alone and that is more satisfying for them. It’s weird because, as single moms, we do so much for others and are usually doing what our kid thinks is fun. You may even have to think about what is fun for you. And then take some time to have fun for yourself, not your kids!
Finding Fulfillment as a Single Mom through your Career
Do you love your job? Do you tolerate your job? How much flexibility do you have?
Theses are all questions to ask yourself. Of course, being a single mom, you may want to work from home. Ask your boss if that's a possibility.
While some moms love working from home, be careful that you don’t assume it means that you can work the whole time your kid is home with you. If you have a kid with special needs, with most of you reading this do, you are going to find other options for childcare. Yes, you can read those blogs where those moms give their kids really interactive toys to use while they work from home but that doesn’t always work with special needs kids. They typically need more attention from an adult and have a short attention span for any activity you give them. I mean, it’s probably like 5-10 minutes that you will get from any activity. For some kids, that’s optimistic!
Now, this covers a lot of areas so I have divided it up for you!
Exercise as Part of Fulfillment as a Single Mom
First, part of your physical health is exercise! The most basic way to get your exercise as a single mom is go on a walk with your kids. If your kids have ADHD, they will most likely need lots of exercise anyway and will be open to a very brisk walk or run! You may struggle to keep up with your kids! This is a great way to finding fun and fulfillment as a single mom, because you might end up laughing the whole time that your kids outrun you
Or, you can join a gym! I talk about the benefits of a really nice gym here. Seriously, there are so many perks. In fact, I wrote part of this post while at my gym….for real! I’m sitting here taking a break from the machines to talk a little bit with you folks…then I will hit the hot tub!
Did you like that heading haha! I intend to do this several times throughout the day to combat sitting so much but guess what, I put it off a lot. You can set a reminder on your phone to stretch every couple of hours. Or, if you find yourself sitting a lot, get an additional piece for your desk, that turns it into a standing desk. Sometimes I don’t have to energy for a full high intensity workout but I need to move, so I’ll do yoga or informal stretching and it feels so good! Of course, if you are doing this in the morning, you will need to warm up your muscles beforehand. Move or walk around the house for a little bit to get your muscles used to moving.
Food and Nutrition
Another part of physical health is nutrition. We all know its crucial to eat well but how many of us actually do that? The best way to do that is increase your fruits and vegetables. That is a good start. And drink lots of water. Don’t worry about trendy diets; fruits, vegetables and water will always be part of good nutrition.
Yes Sleep is Part of the Key to Finding Fun and Fulfillment as a Single Mom
The most overlooked part of physical health is sleep! Single moms don’t get enough of it! But how much each person needs varies, depending on the person. If your child has a dad who sometimes has the kid, then you can experiment with how much sleep you need. Check on when you naturally go to bed and when you wake up. Then, you will start to have an idea of how much sleep you personally need.
Also, set up a bedtime routine. Yes, like you do for your kid! About an hour or two before bed, silence devices or turn off the TV! Read books, listen to guided meditation, drink tea, etc. You can't expect to love life and be finding fun and fulfillment as a single mom if you are a zombie!
If you have a medical condition, please go to your doctor on a regular basis. Take your medicine or follow the prescribed program for your condition. You cannot expect to feel better and love life if you ignore your condition and don’t take care of yourself in the right way for it! Also, here's a tip ladies, I did not know that many women have diastasis recti after childbirth so look into it! It will save you from pain and additional physical problems. If you have struggles with keeping pee in or keeping a tampon in, you might have it.
Emotional Health to Find Fulfillment as a Single Mom
Some people overlook emotional health but it’s super important! Emotional health means being able to identify your feelings and express your feelings in a healthy way. It is giving space to all your feelings, because they all serve a purpose. It is fully embracing them for a time, giving them space, and then releasing them. Psychologists have found out that focusing on the positive right away, instead of allowing yourself to feel your negative emotions, is actually detrimental. And usually those unwanted emotions will come back later, only stronger. It is best to embrace them fully so you can release them.
Also, as a mom, it is good that your kids see you experiencing all emotions and not trying to push it away or make it better right away. Then, they will learn better emotional skills from you!
Good Mental Health will Help in Fulfillment as a Single Mom
If you are just coming out of a divorce, I cannot stress enough that you must go to therapy! Divorce is a form of grief and must be handled with a professional therapist. Even if you did not go through a divorce, you are not with your child’s father any more and that is super stressful. You probably could use a therapist as well. Take your time to get to know a therapist and see if you click. If not that’s ok! You won’t like every therapist. But, try again to see if a different therapist is a good fit for you.
Yes, a social life is definitely part of finding fun and fulfillment as a single mom! I divided this one up too….
I try to schedule regular calls with girlfriends. It’s one of the simple things that bring me joy, which you can read about here. When I can, I try to get out with the ladies, at least once a month. Also, your friends who don't have kids can come over after your kids are in bed and have a movie night. I've been known to have Bachelor nights, where we just watch the show and joke around, eat snacks. Really, this is sometimes the highlight of my week! Hmm, maybe I could get out more…
Family for Finding Fun and Fulfillment as a Single Mom
Of course, quality time, where you put the phone away, and play with your kids is super important. But what about other family members? Do you try to nurture a relationship with your parents, siblings, cousins? Maybe not see them every week but periodically. Not just major holidays, weddings or funerals! Seriously, if you only see them at those times, you will realize that you are missing out on a lot. Last year, we did a big zoom call with my cousins, some of which live all over the world! I hadn't seen many of them in several years and it was cool to see their new families, kids, homes, etc.
And keep in contact with email! Ok, and some social media but don't get in online fights in the comments, alright?
Your Love Life
Your love life is part of finding fun and fulfillment as a single mom!
Be sure to cultivate your intimate relationship. This guy could be your long term partner, your shoulder you lean on. Tell him now how much you appreciate him! Men would rather be told how much they are appreciated, than that they are loved. For real, it’s a thing! Appreciation is more important than love to men.
Finances for Fulfillment as a Single Mom
This covers a lot, too, so for your viewing pleasure, I have divided it up into different sections.
Ok, I am the worst at keeping a budget but I’m pretty good at realizing when I don’t need something. If you want to work on a budget, check these out! Nowadays, there are apps for budgeting, no more worksheets to fill out with pencil!
Single moms also can utilize assistance from the government and other resources. There is no shame in this! You pay it forward because you may use it for a time and then when you get your feet under you, you have a well-paying job and your taxes go to help another single mom.
I get it, it’s very hard to save money when you are utilizing every cent you earn on your family’s needs. Luckily, these days there are apps that help you save little bits here and there. These apps will round up on every time you spend money and save that change until you have a nice stash. Then, you can use that stash to invest in stocks!
Some of the roundup apps, like Acorns, will invest the change you save. But there are other apps to invest your money! Some people swear by Stash, because it has a very small amount to start investing, just $5! Here are some other investing apps to check out.
Spiritual Ways to Fulfillment as a Single Mom
Spiritual doesn't have to mean church-y. Let's talk about it! How you feel about spirituality and religion is super personal, but it also can’t be overlooked. Most humans have a spiritual side to them and that may manifest in different ways, such as organized religion, yoga, meditation, etc.
If you are part of an organized religion, figure out how much you want to participate in that religion. Do you want to attend services weekly, monthly or a few times a year? It may also help to choose one with a good children’s program. Most churches offer singing time and story time, so that kids can learn the religion in an easier way and that adults have quiet time to worship.
There are various ways to embrace your spirituality in non-religious ways. Maybe you take a walk in nature and appreciate the beauty of creation. Maybe you meditate and connect to yourself or a divine power. Maybe you do yoga and embrace the culture/spirituality of the east. If you feel any of these resonate with you, then you are one of the humans who has a spiritual side. It’s good to not overlook it because if you do, you can feel empty or like you don’t have a soul.
Growth and Learning
Many people like to keep expanding their knowledge and feel that it gives them a sense of accomplishment. But, everyone may want to learn different things. Also, this can be formal learning, such as taking a college course, or more informal, such as researching on reputable websites. There are also tons of courses online for just about anything you would want to learn! Some people learn best by reading and some learn by watching a YouTube video. So, along with what you want to learn, it’s good to think about the way that you learn best. Personally, I need to at least read it and seeing it is usually good too.
Some people experience learning and growth by creating things. I truly believe that it is a human thing to yearn to create something, especially something lasting. Of course, this can be like a drawing but also can be culinary, music, an organizational system or whatever you can come up with! Your brain needs stimulation and creating something is often the best way to do that.
Your Physical Environment
Your home and how it looks, feels, smells, (yikes!) can affect people in different ways. Actually scents are very important to me and lighting a scented candle does much to enhance my mood and improve my wellbeing! To some people the physical environment is very important to their wellbeing, to others not so much. Maybe there is something you want to change about your home or dwelling. It could be aesthetically, like painting a room, or just organizing some clutter or getting rid of things. I admit, I put physical environment on the back burner often and have lowered my standards of cleanliness but then when I take the time to really clean up, I do feel better!
A Sense of Community
Remember, years ago, how people in real life and maybe tv would go to their neighbor’s door when they didn’t have enough sugar for a recipe? It seems like that practice may be gone but in truth, most of us still want a community of some kind. This connects you to a larger group of people. This can be your neighborhood, street, town, school mom group, church group, etc. Many people want to feel connected and like they belong. It’s a good time to assess how connected you are and how connected you want to be. It’s good to know some neighbors, if nothing else, during an emergency, you can ask for help. Or just to borrow sugar ?
Summary of How to Find Fun and Fulfillment as a Single Mom
- Fun and Recreation
- Social Life
- Growth and Learning
- Physical Environment
- Go grab this freebie below! That way you can be on your way to self-care and fulfilment as a single mom!