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How I Keep My Sanity Being A Single Working Mom

How I Keep My Sanity Being A Single Working Mom

My life as a single working mom includes piled up laundry, dishes stacked in the sink, dog hair everywhere, no food in the fridge, a filthy car, dirty cat boxes, and frantically searching for my son’s missing matching sock on a daily basis.

“How do I do it all?” My readers ask.

The honest answer is, I don’t.

Of course, through social media…it can certainly be portrayed that way.

I have a full time job, a full time blog and unfortunately I’m just a part time Mom. Don’t get me wrong, Caleb is ALWAYS on my mind, but I only have him with me for 2 days out of 6. My work schedule doesn’t allow for me to pick him up and drop him off in the same day at daycare, and I don’t want to throw him around different households throughout the week, so the best plan for him…is to be with his loving Dad while I’m on my work cycle.

So if I have 4 days without my son, why in the world is my house a wreck most of the time?

How I Keep My Sanity Being A Single Working Mom

Priorities

Each day brings a different set of goals or obligations. Most of the time, I wake up…and spend the first 30-45 minutes lying in bed on my phone, checking all my notifications and messages from IG, FB, Pinterest and Email.

I have work at noon, so usually, by the time I check social media, make breakfast, maybe meal prep and run an errand…it’s time to get ready for work.

On my first day of work, I take Caleb to daycare, so I have to leave a little earlier.

At work, I hold a critical role as a dispatcher. I’m SWAMPED majority of the time. If it’s not dispatching to things on base, its training people, touching base with my troops to make sure all their needs are met, working on award packages or reports, etc.

Everything I do, I put 100% effort into. If I can’t, I won’t do it. It can be a blessing and a curse. So when I am doing something, I’m CONSUMED in it. My brain gets so saturated with the task, nothing else seems to matter.

Before I realize, it’s time to go home.

When I get home, it’s late…I grab some wine, usually check my messages on social media again…update some things, catch up with a friend and it’s time for bed.

On days of work when I don’t have Caleb, I can spend a little bit of time cleaning up or working out…but it’s usually either or.

On my two days off with Caleb, the first day is usually spent doing work related things (appointments/teaching). If that’s the case, he has to go to daycare for about half the day. So in reality, I have a 1 ½ days with him at a time. Every errand that had to wait until I had a day off, he has to accompany me. If I want to do a video or post for my blog, he’s there with me.

How do I tame the guilt having hardly any time with my son? How do I keep my sanity with a wrecked house? How do I not break down in tears and say it’s just too much, it’s too hard.

I don’t use ‘single working mom’ as an excuse

I definitely get stressed out at times. But I try to keep things in perspective. I ask, what is important to me?

Here’s a list of things I typically stress over:

  • Quality time with Caleb
  • A clean house
  • Food in the fridge
  • My blog
  • Completed laundry
  • Working out
  • A clean car
  • Paid bills
  • Exercise the dog
  • Staying in touch with family

So, I take this list…and I prioritize it from most important to least important for that day.

  1. Paid bills
  2. Quality time with Caleb
  3. My blog
  4. Food in the fridge
  5. Completed laundry
  6. A clean house
  7. Working out
  8. Exercise the dog
  9. Staying in touch with family
  10. A clean car

After my prioritized list is done, I do the top thing on my list, right then and there. I pay my bills, because if I don’t…Everything else will go down the drain.

Then I figure out something I can do that can incorporate as many of these things that are important to me all at once.

Go shopping for food, with Caleb, while snapping pics and videos for social media. While I’m shopping…I’ll let him ride in the big part of the cart, and pretend he’s a race car driver. Then, he ‘starts the cart’ using my car keys and he gets to drive. I run through isles, brake suddenly, whip around corners and try to make it as fun as possible using tons of sound effects! Then after helping put everything on the belt, he gets to pick out something in the check-out lane for being good.

Once home, we put the groceries away together and start cleaning. He puts his toys away and collects the dirty clothes, while I do the dishes, start the laundry and clean the litter boxes. Once the laundry’s running, we will take our doggie Ranger on a walk and call a family member.

So in just a few hours, I almost got my whole list done, besides cleaning the car.

Even though I only get a small amount of time with Caleb, I can incorporate him into every chore I have to do and make it fun! It keeps me from stressing about all the things I haven’t done while I’m with him, and he still gets quality time with his Momma.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have tons of stressors, but with the small things out of the way…I can clear my mind to start focusing on bigger things, long term things.

Every parent has it in them to ‘do it all.’ You just have to believe that you can and understand that at the end of the day, the things that should be most important are the time sensitive things, like precious moments with your babies.

Us single working moms (or dads) tend to put the pressure on ourselves to keep up with life and expectations of others. What you have to realize is that YOU create YOUR OWN life and the only expectations you need to live up to are your own.

Malissa

Welcome to my blog! I am a single working mom of an adorable preschooler named Caleb. I write about life after divorce and co-parenting. I gear my writing towards divorced parents and share my experiences and tips to let them know you aren't alone! You can get through anything, and you're stronger than you think.

2 thoughts on “How I Keep My Sanity Being A Single Working Mom

  1. I really appreciate this post! I am a married stay at home Mom, so I imagine that our lives and our struggles are much different, but I find that I could really relate to what you were saying! Just this morning I needed a series time-out where I literally wrote down my list of priorities. I didn’t have them right this morning and it was throwing off the whole family, so I am thankful that I sat down and re-evaluated and hit the reset button!

  2. I love your idea of making chores fun! I hate doing chores with the kids, because I feel guilty. But, you’re right it can totally be made fun!! Looking forward to doing this now.

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