Single-Mom Expert Explains How To Look After The Kids And Yourself
By Tomika Anderson
Tomika is a certified life coach and professional single-mom expert. Tomika is the founder of Motivated Mamas, a mastermind and coaching business dedicated to the success of single parent families. Tomika is a graduate of The Coach Training Academy.
As a single-mom expert, sadly I can sum up most professional single moms' Mondays thru Friday without blinking.
We’re up before the sun, making sure everybody's dressed and off to school or daycare. Then we’re at work til’ quitting time. After that, we’re grabbing the kids and hustling them through the dinner/homework/bathtime/ bedtime shuffle. Then we mercifully pass out.
The weekends aren’t any less time-consuming. If the kids are old enough we're in the stands at their football games or soccer meets. Then there’s the grocery shopping, housecleaning, laundry folding, bill-paying, and meal-prepping. And honey, if there’s any energy left, I don’t know about you, but it’s usually reserved for (a bottle of) wine, some Netflix and legitimate, drool-inducing chill.
Given our ridiculously-tight schedules and superwomen-levels of responsibility, it's no wonder so many of us working, single moms laugh at the idea of work-life balance. Until we find ourselves crying. Too busy, too cash-stretched or babysitter-less to create, let alone maintain, a social life or keep up with self-care, it’s easy to feel—especially when our kids are really young—isolated, lonely and depressed.
But as a life coach, single-mom expert, and owner of Motivated Mamas, I know it doesn’t have to be this way. A little open-mindedness, extroversion, and stick-to-itness goes a long way. Below are five easy, free or low-cost ways the my clients have discovered that they can consistently care for themselves as they care for their children, while finding some much-needed support and fun.
- Join Meetup.com. Like Facebook meets the classified ads, Meetup allows like-minded people with similar interests to connect in real life.
- Want a standing dinner date the first Saturday of each month at a new restaurant with a group of local friends in their 30s? You got it.
- Looking to attend Toddler Time play dates at the local gym with other work-from-home moms every Thursday at lunchtime? They’re there for you.
- Want to create a niche Meet-up of your peers that meets when and where YOU want? You can do that too! I met one of my best friends on Meetup.com after she hosted a sip and chat at a nearby Starbucks for local moms with kids under the age of 2. We clicked and so did our kids. Best day ever!
- Spend time in single mom / single parent-focused groups on Facebook. I know, I know, social media can be a time suck—until it’s the answer to a prayer. Know how I know? In addition to Motivated Mamas, I started a Facebook group called Single Parents Who Travel just over four years ago, before I had my son. I did it because I wanted to surround myself with other single parents who were determined to give their kids the best possible lives—one full of travel, wonder and culture—and to have people to travel with. Since then, my group of five has turned into nearly 3,000 parents all around the world. We’ve conducted meet-ups up and down the east coast and are embarking on our first cruise—parents and kids—to the Caribbean this spring. If your community doesn’t exist, search for it or build it—it’s there!
- Get to know the other single mom or moms at your kids’ daycare or school. Or at soccer or basketball practice. Chances are you ladies are often (or always) the only parent dropping off or picking up their kids. Stop to chat. Learn her name. Find out if your kid and hers are compatible. If they are, invite them both to Chuck E. Cheese or some other activity center for coffee while you watch the kids play. Before you know it the occasional coffee and play date will become invitations to kids’ birthday parties—and adult happy hours. Cheers!
- Network your way to an A+ babysitter. A good, affordable, CPR-certified sitter is out there, and you may not even need to go through Care.com to find her or him. Know where I found my last three sitters? Through a fellow mom in my Facebook women’s running group. Her daughter, a kind, patient, CPR certified student with a bounty of references, sat for my son until she went off to college. Before she left she gave me the number of a younger classmate with the same or similar qualities. So, over the past three years I have contributed to the college funds of three generations of high school seniors who were reliable, fun and less expensive than the professional sitters (at $10 an hour or less!)—and my son has loved them all.
- Get out there and date if you want to! And speaking of childcare, here’s another single-mom expert tip that rocks: take advantage of Ikea’s free hour-long daycare and grab a cup of coffee with a date in its café! Don’t have a date? Make one! My personal favorite online dating sites?
- Plenty of Fish and
- OK Cupid.
This is because they’re all free with a bounty of selections you can swipe, screen and engage with at your own convenience. Perfect for the single mom budget and schedule. You’re welcome! xo
For more tips from a single-mom expert and to learn about Motivated Mamas, check out MotivatedMamas.org.
About Tomika Single-Mom Expert & Certified Coach:
An award-winning content creator and communications strategy consultant, Tomika has contributed to such U.S. and international outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Associated Press, Time Out New York, Essence, The Root.com, National Journal, Ebony, Black Enterprise, People, New York, MTV, BET, The CW Network, Fuse, FOX News and CNN.com, and worked with celebrities ranging from Beyonce to Michelle Obama to Serena Williams. Her passion as a single-mom expert and coach is to help other moms traverse through the challeges for a happy successful life.