How to Transition into Being a Single Mom

Mother and son looking out of window.

How to Transition into Being a Single Mom

Being a single mom is not something I ever expected to be. In 2010, I married a wonderful man and we began building a life together. We were an amazing team, Garry and I. Our life goals and dreams were right in line with one another. We were both young, healthy, educated, focused individuals and as a team we were unstoppable. A few years after our wedding, we started a family and a new chapter in our story as parents. We were happy and in love. But then, in October 2017, Garry suddenly and unexpectedly died before my eyes. A heart attack in the middle of the night. Out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, I was a widow. And a single mom to my then 2 and 4-year-old kids.

I can’t begin to describe how hard that initial transition into being a single mom was. After having lost everything, more than most people realize, I still had to get up every day and take care of my two grieving children. I had two choices (as we all do when we face tragedy): let it destroy what was left of my life, or rise and fight to thrive in a new life. Even though I have always been a fighter, that choice was still one of the hardest I’ve ever made. And it’s one I continue to make on a daily, weekly, yearly basis.

Tips for Transitioning into Being a Single Mom

Transitioning from wife or partner to single motherhood is not easy. Whether you are a single mom by widowhood, divorce, or separation, the pain of loss, and the loss of a teammate is life-altering. There will be days when you feel you can’t handle it alone. I want to tell you, first and foremost, YOU CAN DO THIS.

The first few months are the hardest, but soon you will find out what works for you and your family and you will find a rhythm. But you do have to be proactive in your transition. No one is going to do the hard work of transition for you, so put on your big girl panties, wipe your eyes, and take the next right step. Here are some ways that helped me in my transition into being a single mom:

1. Get support for yourself and your kids.

This is one of the most important things you can do in the first stages of your transition. Find a support group or grief counselor in your area and invest in some therapy. In my case, I joined a group called GriefShare and it was very helpful to be in a room of people who could understand my loss. For divorcees, many divorce support groups meet on a weekly or monthly basis. Children going through this transition with you will also need someone to help them sort out all of their confusing emotions. I know this is harsh, but that person may not be you. Be willing to get them the support they need with a qualified children’s therapist.

2. Out with the old.

After you’ve lost your person, you may feel sadness or anger when you still have to walk into your house full of things that remind you of them. Don’t be afraid to purge anything that doesn’t serve you in this time of grieving. If that old chair was your husband’s favorite and you’ve always hated it, toss it. If the way your bathroom cabinets are arranged fills you with dread because of the suddenly empty space, rearrange them and take up all of the space. Shortly after I lost my husband, I had to sell our house. I didn’t want to move all of his stuff so I had to go through the difficult process of getting rid of all of his things. As hard as it was at the time, it was a blessing in our new home because I was able to start fresh. Making your space new and catered to your new needs will give you a bit of a sense of control when everything else feels so chaotic.

3. Create a mood board.

Start envisioning how you want your future to look now that it’s different from what you had originally imagined. Start clipping images, quotes, recipes, anything that brings you hope for your future, and pin them to a bulletin board. Place that board in a prominent location in your home and meditate on it regularly. Encourage your kids to add to that mood board so that they, too, can see brighter days ahead.

4. Rearrange your priorities.

The logistics of becoming a successful single mom can be overwhelming. The schedule that you once had may not work now that you’re handling everything solo. Throw your expectations and schedules out the window and start fresh. Rearrange your priorities so that you are making sure you get the essentials done. Everything else can wait. So if you no longer have time for your weekly mom’s night out for a few months because you don’t have a trusted babysitter yet, tell the girls you need a hiatus. You can start adding obligations back into your routine once you get back on your feet.

5. Build your tribe.

Having a tribe of girlfriends is essential as a mom, but even more so as a single mom. The single best thing I ever did when I became a mother was start “collecting” girlfriends. Even as we moved from city to city, always starting over, I continued to grow my tribe of trusted mom friends. When my husband died, those same girlfriends were the women who came to my aid, surrounding me with love and support when I needed it most. I know it can be hard to meet girlfriends as a mama, but there are many groups you can join to help with that (one of my favorites is MOPS).

6. Keep communication open.

I know it can be hard to talk about things you may be feeling, but you need to keep lines of communication open right now. That includes talking civilly to your ex if the need arises. If he is the father of your children (or the only father they’ve known) this is especially important. Try to remember that how you talk to each other will be felt and most likely heard by your kids. They are going to learn from you how to be kind, mature, and graceful even in painful or uncomfortable situations. Similarly, keep the lines of communication open with your children. Allow them to cry, vent, yell, or mope about what they’re feeling. They need someone safe to go to when they need to release emotions. Let that person be you, mama. It’s hard, but they need you.

7. Take time for yourself.

This may seem impossible right now, but it’s very important to take some time for yourself. Regularly. Whether it’s just taking a bath after the kids go to bed or taking an entire weekend away with a girlfriend, do what you need to do to reconnect with yourself and your healing. Everyday life gets hectic and it’s easy to stuff your feelings or ignore how you need to heal. Make sure you are taking time to focus on yourself, your needs, and your health. It will make you a better mom if you intentionally invest in some self-care.

8. Don’t be afraid to love again.

The thought of falling in love again may be the farthest thing from your mind. That’s okay. Take your time. You may have issues trusting someone with your heart again. You may find that you’d just rather not risk being hurt again. Or you may still be in love with the person you lost. All this is normal. Just don’t let yourself get stuck there. Human beings were created to know and receive love. We were created to be in relationship with one another. It is a basic human need and one that I would rather not live without. So do the work you need to do to get healthy, emotionally, and mentally. Give yourself time to grieve the relationship you lost. But then, when you feel ready, permit yourself to seek love again. You deserve to be happy, mama, and if you find someone worthy of you and your kids, don’t deny yourself that chance. Just be sure you are careful and smart when you start dating again. It’s a brave new world out there!

I hope you find these tips helpful as you transition into being a single mom. Although you may feel like it at times, you are not alone. And you are very capable of rocking this new role! You are a strong, resilient, and amazing woman and you have a chance to show your kids how to take this adversity and rise above it, better than ever.

About the Author /

Cheyenne is an attorney, writer, speaker and blogger with a slight obsession for home decor, red wine, and good coffee. Cheyenne’s blog, Sense & Serendipity, focuses on inspiring others to create a home well loved and a life well lived. Cheyenne lives in San Marcos, Texas with her two children, Aislin and Hawkins.

#FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
They will find you. No matter where you go to get They will find you. No matter where you go to get some "me time" in the house. 🤦‍♀️⁠
📷: @momtransparenting
Even when you are quarantined! Because when you ha Even when you are quarantined! Because when you have to work full-time and take care of the kids and the house full-time, it's extra difficult to be on time . . . Thank goodness for naptime. Just wish I could take a nap too. 😴 When does school reopen again?⁠
(quote via @mom.wine.repeat)
20 Books to Read Aloud to Your Kids This Summer⁠ 20 Books to Read Aloud to Your Kids This Summer⁠ 📚☀️⁠
.⁠
It is a well-known fact that a child starts learning from the day it is born. 🧠 In fact, from the time they're born until age 5, a child learns at a speed that is unmatched for the rest of his life! What you, as a parent, do during that critical developmental time period to help your child learn will set him up for even more success later in life. And one of the most beneficial ways you can help your child learn is to read aloud to him or her every day. ⁠{Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading and see the list!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Cheyenne @senseandserendipitybog⁠
📷: @speechwithrach
Remember when you heard your baby’s first cry wh Remember when you heard your baby’s first cry when they were born? ❤️ It was the best sound you had ever heard. Overjoyed that your baby is finally here.⁠
But as the days progressed, so did the cries. And you had to learn what each cry meant. Were they hungry? Tired? In pain? Bored? Needed a new diaper? Too hot? Too cold? It was overwhelming as you went through the checklist to make sure your baby was okay and cared for. But with each day and each cry you got smarter. You learned what each whimper and cry meant. And your baby learned that he/she could always trust you.⁠
Whether you're dealing with newborn cries, toddler cries, or preteen cries, you're doing great, mama. Take three deep breaths. You can do this. And if you feel like you're about to break and need a second, leave them somewhere safe, step away for a couple of minutes, and gather yourself. Then try again. You are a great mother and in time you will know how to soothe their every cry. 💕
100 Coolest Baby Boy Names 👶💙⁠⠀ .⁠⠀ 100 Coolest Baby Boy Names 👶💙⁠⠀
.⁠⠀
We polled over 200 moms and here’s what they said the coolest baby boy names are. What would you add to the list? {Click 🔗 in bio to see the list!⁠}⁠⠀
.⁠⠀
Article by: Tasha Mayberry⁠⠀
⁠📷: unknown
Oh god, honey. No. It just gets different. Not eas Oh god, honey. No. It just gets different. Not easier.⁠
📷: @momlikethatpodcast
Puracy: Natural & Safe Household Products That Act Puracy: Natural & Safe Household Products That Actually Work⁠
.⁠
As the family member in our household who cleans the inside of our home, I'm the one who decides what cleaning products we use. And as a mom, I'm hyper-aware of what I'm surrounding myself with as I scrub the floors and toilets and what my toddler is also being exposed to with every spray and wipe. Thankfully, it's wider known now that many cleaning products contain harmful ingredients and release dangerous toxic chemicals. 😳 Even products that are labeled as "green" or "natural" may contain ingredients that can cause future health problems. So how do you know who you can trust? Other than reading every label and googling what each ingredient means? Find a company that believes in full transparency, who uses only plant-based ingredients, and who's products work. I've done this for our family and we're now using @Puracy, a company that creates natural and organic, non-toxic, plant-based, hypoallergenic, and effective home essentials that are safe for the entire family. Here's what I learned while testing Puracy and why we are using them in our home and with our family. ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to read my review!⁠}⁠ #ad #puracy⁠
📷: @allisonermon_photography
By throwing everything in the closet or under the By throwing everything in the closet or under the bed does not mean "cleaned" your room. 🤦‍♀️⁠
📷: @playdatesoffridays
#stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtog #stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtogotothepotty #NO⁠
⁠
What are yours??
Remember what it was like when you were home with Remember what it was like when you were home with a newborn? Remember how you felt? Tired. Sore. Swollen. Engorged. So happy to finally meet your baby but also completely exhausted. You wished you had more help. You wished you could take a break. You wished you could only focus on staring at your baby and snuggling them and not have to worry about preparing food, chores, etc.⁠
Even though things may be more difficult now to offer help, still try to be the friend you wished you had when your babies were newborns to your friends and loved ones. ❤️ Things you can do:⁠
- Drop off a meal at their door⁠
- Drop off some of your favorite postpartum recovery items or breastfeeding products you loved⁠
- Go grocery shopping for them and leave it at the door⁠
- Send them a meal delivery service gift card⁠
- Bake her some lactation cookies (if she is breastfeeding)⁠
- Drop off any hand-me-downs from your kids⁠
- Pay a housekeeping service to come over and clean her house⁠
- Set up a meal train with her friends⁠
- Drop off diapers and wipes⁠
- Self-quarantine for 2 weeks and come over to help with the house and baby so she can take a nap or a shower⁠
- Pay for a few hours for a postpartum doula or a night nanny to help her out⁠
There is so much you can do! And every little bit helps. What else would you add to the list? 💕
Any mamas feel me? Pass the coffee. 😑☕☕☕⁠
📷: @momandburied
This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywh This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywhere we go if we leave the house. 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
📷: unknown
Keeping Track of Baby Milestones: 0-3 Months Old⁠ 👶⁠
.⁠
Typically, the first three months of your child’s development will be marked by key developments including control and lifting of their head, a first smile and even a laugh, and making eye contact. 👀 It’s an exciting time when bonding is important and your baby is changing rapidly before your eyes. 😍 Pediatricians will go through developmental milestone checklists with patients, asking parents about their child’s sensory, communication, and movement changes, keeping an eye out for any red flags. 🚩 Generally, it’s not concerning if a baby isn’t hitting one or two milestones on time. Be sure to adjust for prematurity or stress factors. If your newborn is missing multiple abilities or you feel concerned, check in with your child’s pediatrician. 👩‍⚕️ Here are the different milestones to look out for each month from 0-3 months. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @ana_styles
😑😒⁠ 📷: @parentnormal 😑😒⁠
📷: @parentnormal
Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Ea Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Early bedtime tonight. Night night. 👋😘😂⁠
(quote via @mimosaswithmom)
Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠ .⁠ So you Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠
.⁠
So you’re about to have a baby girl and you’re looking for a cool name for her, right? You want a name that captures the essence of who she is and the girl and woman that you envision her becoming. A name that sets her apart and celebrates her unique gifts. A name you can imagine being written on her cubby at preschool, her college entrance essay, her first novel.⁠
⁠
You want your precious daughter to have a name that will convey all the qualities and values that you hope she will embody: you need a name fit for a queen, an astronaut, a good friend, a doctor, a professional athlete, a spiritual leader, a wonderful mother, a nurse, an activist, a scholar, a student, a leader, a follower, a good person—any of the things you imagine she can and will become in her lifetime.⁠
⁠
Finding a cool baby girl name may seem like a daunting task. There are so many options! Research shows that names for baby girls are currently trending towards representations of nature, gemstones, and food. Also growing in popularity for girls’ names are names that are not common girls names at all—such as names that have been traditionally used for boys, or last names. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @mochi.sucre
Major reasons why you can never spoil a newborn. ❤️⁠
📷: @renee.barendregt & @gentleparenting_memes
When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy? 🤰⁠
.⁠
Every woman is different when she begins showing in pregnancy. I remember clearly the day I finally saw my beloved baby bump. It was a Monday and I was at work. I saw myself in the bathroom mirror and smiled broadly at my suddenly noticeable bump. Glowing, I rubbed my little tummy as I checked out my new, different-looking profile in the mirror. My office friends had noticed that morning as well and had complimented me and my little bump. Naturally, I took a selfie. I was so excited to see that I was finally showing. I couldn’t stop smiling all day! 😊 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
⁠📷: @matfelipe
"It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddle "It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddler, or a teenager. These are the things our children need to feel from those around them. The same things that you and I even as adults want to feel from those around us. We want to feel seen. We want to be soothed when we are hurt. We want to feel safe when we are with people. We want to feel secure in our relationships with others. We don't outgrow the need to feel those things. In a crazy world, let your children feel those things. Let them know 'Hey, I see you. I see you're sad or mad. I am here with a hug when you're ready and if you need it. You are safe to feel how you feel and be who you are. You don't have to worry about my love for you. Be secure in that. Bad times or good times, I am here for you and I love you.' Because how good does it feel when we feel that way from those around us?"⁠
.⁠
Words & 📷: @thebuonamama
We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Ack We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge them, and once you know better, do better. ❤️⁠
(quote via Karen Kleiman from "This Isn't What I Expected")
What Color Eyes Will Your Baby Have? 👁️⁠
.⁠
Expecting parents often wonder what their baby will look like once he's born. 🤔 Will she have light or dark hair? Will she inherit your freckles? What color eyes will your baby have? When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I had fun wondering these same things. Would he have a round face? Would he have my nose? My husband’s cheeks? The only thing we knew for sure was that he would have deep brown eyes and dark brown hair, just like his mom and dad. Or so we thought.⁠ 😮 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Jennifer Hill Robenault⁠
⁠📷: @amymelissaphoto
My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠ .⁠ T My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠
.⁠
Think diaper changing is straight forward and simple? Not so fast for the cloth diapering mamas. While cloth diapers generally save us quite a bit of cash after that initial investment 💰, it does require a bit of a process, and a good cloth diapering system, to make it less time-consuming. The good news? Once you have it down and have the right tools on hand, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult at all. 🙌 Here are some favorite cloth diapering systems (and tips) that make diaper changes (and cleaning) way more manageable.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @thetuckertribe5⁠
Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️ Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️
Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath sa Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath salts, a face scrub, and some cucumber slices can make your day. 😍⁠
📷: @jhonnycurran
First of all, we think all moms are incredible. 💕 Today’s shoutout goes to the career moms. We know the struggles because we are you. May this weekend bring you all rest, peace, and joy. 🥰 Sending out all of the love and respect! 🙇‍♀️
(quote via @beyonce)
You Can't Spoil a Baby, Here's Why 👶💕⁠
.⁠
The battle of opinions regarding whether or not you can spoil a baby has been raging for decades, especially among grandparents and those born during the time of little affection. Our children's great-grandparents were most likely raised with the idea that love and affection and responding to a baby's cries will spoil them and make them even fussier. While that idea might seem ludicrous to us, there's a reason such an approach was widely believed. Here's what parenting has looked like over the decades and how present-day science says you cannot spoil a baby. ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @trinitysierra
They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for o They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for others and for yourself. ❤️⁠
📷: @fleurdelisspeaks⁠
Her stuff is great. Check out her page!
What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother? 🧠❤️⁠
.⁠
Most women who have had children are fully aware of the hormonal and emotional changes that they experience. However, science is only just starting to understand how these changes occur in human mothers’ brains. While mothers know what it feels like to experience these changes, most of us don't know exactly what happens to a woman's brain when she becomes a mother. Turns out, a lot is happening! 😲 {Click 🔗 in bio to read more about it!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @emfillerup
You may think that you are helping them by doing e You may think that you are helping them by doing everything for them. But there comes a time when they need to learn how to do things for themselves. ⁠
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." The same rule applies.⁠
We want our kids to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Teaching them kindness and a good work ethic from the beginning goes a long way. ❤️⁠ Put the hard work in now and watch them bloom into a strong and independent adult later. 💪
(Quote via @relaxingmommy)
However you choose to feed your baby, your baby an However you choose to feed your baby, your baby and your opinion are all that matter. If you choose and are able to breastfeed, feed your baby anywhere and everywhere HOWEVER you want to . . . with or without a cover. You have rights, mama. No need to explain or cover yourself for anybody if you don't want to. 💕⁠
📷: @phoenixandtheocean
5 Things I Wish I Had Known About Potty Training⁠ 🚽⁠
.⁠
Let’s talk about potty training! It’s one of those monumental milestones we mamas walk through with our toddlers that make them suddenly seem like they went from babies to tiny little humans overnight. And, while it can be an exciting time (and a time to save some serious cash by ditching diapers), it can also come with lots of stress. 🙃 From cleaning up potty accidents for what may seem like days (or even weeks) to wondering if you’ll ever be able to drive further than down the block without having to stop for a potty break 🤦‍♀️, potty training can be daunting.⁠
⁠
But, what many moms agree on is that once it’s done, you kinda forget about all the stress that came along with it. Kinda like pregnancy and giving birth —you just sort of forget about it all until you do it all over again.⁠ 🤪⁠
⁠
Here are five things I wish I had known about potty training before I jumped into it with my then two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Because, if I had known these things, I think I would have been a bit more laid back about the whole thing! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @reesetriplets
How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠ .⁠ In the Uni How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠
.⁠
In the United States, 16.2% of married women aged 15-49 struggle with infertility. It is no surprise, then, that fertility treatments are becoming more of a necessity for couples who are faced with infertility and wish to have children. While there are many types of fertility treatments, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the most commonly known options. However, the high cost of IVF is often cited as the primary obstacle to undergoing treatment. 💸 Let's take a look at what IVF entails, and how much IVF costs. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
.⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷: @lizbrownfitness