How to Cope With Being a Single Mom (And a Successful One)

Tips to help you not only cope with being a single mom but also a successful one

Like many single moms, one of the first things I had to figure out after I separated from my husband was how to cope with being a single mom.

Becoming a single mom can leave you in a tailspin, wondering how to survive or scared that you won’t make it. So many negative thoughts swirl through your head, and it’s a struggle to hang on.

However, life does get better with time, but it’s hard and you have to be fully committed to making your new life better. That’s the only way you can cope and succeed as a single mom.

I know there are quite a few moms in college going through a divorce or separation, wondering if they will have to give up their dream, after becoming a single mom.

This post is for you whether you have been a single mom for a long time, a newly single mom, or in the process of becoming a single mom.

It’s possible to get your life together, and in this post, I am going to show you how you can do it. The only thing I ask from you is to take action after reading this post.

Don’t just read this post without doing anything to change your life. Now, here’s how you can cope and be successful as a single mom.



While lots of women choose to become single moms, I wasn’t one of them. I never in my wildest dream thought I would one day become a single mom. I was going to get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, that’s not my reality or the reality for those of you reading this post.

I have been a single mom for over a decade and I can honestly say that I have accepted and embraced my reality. Yes, there are times when I wish things were different, but for the most part, I am happy with my life, and I focus on improving it every single day.

So, if you are still struggling to accept your situation, I want to encourage you to embrace it. You can’t live your best life if you refuse to accept this single mom life or spend all your energy railing at your circumstances.

It’s true, your life probably sucks in some ways, but believe me when I say that being a single mom has its benefits, and it’s possible to live a happy life despite some of the obvious challenges.

Instead of wishing your circumstances were different, focus on ways to live your dream life. Being a single mom shouldn’t deter you or prevent you from pursuing your dreams or living your best life. But first, you must come to terms with your current life, then start planning for a better life.


How do you stay positive when you have more bills than money even though you work two jobs? Is it possible to stay positive when you are dead tired, or you can’t find a way to spend more time with your kids?

Asking someone to stay positive when it feels like they are barely hanging on is a tough thing to do, but what’s the alternative?

In my experience, being negative doesn’t help anyone or help my situation. I am more motivated and productive when I stay positive. That doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to do, but I know it’s the best thing to do if I want to improve my life.

There are days when you can’t think of a single good thing. Days when you just want to give up. Those days are hard to deal with, but I have learned how to push through and keep it moving.

I avoid pity parties as much as possible because they serve no useful purpose, instead, just eat some ice cream and be merry. Yes, that doesn’t always work, but nothing beats ice cream when you are feeling down.

Okay, on a serious note, here are some benefits of staying positive as a single mom.

  • It gives you clarity. It’s hard to think or make good decisions when there’s so much negativity in your heart. A positive mind a big help when you need to make those important decisions.
  • Staying positive keeps you motivated, and inspires you to keep fighting for your dream.
  • Life is less stressful when you are positive.
  • Improved health.

Check out some other benefits of being positive. 30 Life-Changing Benefits of Positivity Everyone Must Know

Now, here are some easy ways to stay positive.

  • Spend less time worrying about your situation and more time looking for solutions.
  • Always look for the positive no matter how bad a situation is. Things aren’t always as bad as they first appear.
  • Create a positive environment. You can do this by getting rid of things that bring back bad memories, decorating your home with items that you love, playing uplifting music, and more importantly, staying away from negative people!
  • Live with purpose. You can stay positive by living your life with purpose. That means setting big goals and going after them.

There are lots of ways you can stay positive. but the ones I have listed here have worked very well for me. So, if you need some ideas or inspiration, you can try them out.


Becoming a master planner is one of the best and easiest ways to cope with being a single mom. Like I said at the beginning, I have been a single mom for a long time, and there’s absolutely no way I would have survived without learning how to plan.

Instead of wondering how to cope with being a single mom, start asking how you can become very good at planning, so you are always prepared no matter what life throws at you.

It’s possible to anticipate a lot of the problems we face. Unfortunately, many single moms are too busy trying to survive they ignore planning. If you are barely surviving as a single mom, the only way to improve your life is to start planning.

Whether it is planning how to spend more time with your kids, make more money, keep your home running smoothly, or staying healthy, it’s important to find the time to get it done.

Here’s are some ways to become a master planner.

  • Make it a part of your routine. That means, no matter how busy you are, always carve out time for thinking and planning.
  • Focus on your priorities, set goals, and use to-do lists and planners to map things out.
  • Don’t worry about perfection.
  • Start small and keep it simple.
  • Keep making tweaks to your plan as you get more information.

All that’s required to become a master planner is practice. The more you plan, the better you get. So, stop living your life on autopilot. Take control of it and steer your life where you want to go. Don’t go wherever the wind blows.


One thing that’s helped me survive and thrive as a single mom is to focus on personal growth and development. When I focus on growing and becoming a better version of myself, I find I don’t waste too much time thinking about how hard life is.

Now, I don’t want to downplay the challenges of being a single mom. It’s very hard being a single mom, especially if you have been doing it for a long time. However, you can still have a happy and successful life if you focus on the right things.

So, instead of dwelling on how hard life is, focus on growing, and learn to invest in yourself when it makes sense. Yes, money can be tight for a lot of moms, but there are lots of free resources that are very helpful.

Here are some areas you should focus on for personal development.

  • Work and career
  • Physical and mental
  • Financial
  • Spiritual and social

When you focus on these areas, you will see a marked improvement in your life. You will go from just coping to actually thriving. If you have been neglecting yourself, it is time to make a plan to invest in yourself.

Focus on improving one area of your life at a time. Start with the area you struggle with the most or the one you think will make the biggest difference to your life.

When you focus on personal growth and development, you can reach your highest potential not only as a mom but also in your career and other areas of your life.

Below are some steps that will help you achieve personal growth.

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses
  • Choose one area of your life you’d like to grow
  • Set realistic goals and create a personal growth plan
  • Execute your personal growth plan

Personal growth and development require an investment of time and possibly money, but it’s an investment that will pay off. So, embrace a growth mindset so you can become more proactive, productive, and successful.

Read the post below if you need some help coming up with personal development goals.

21 Examples of Personal Development Goals for a Better You


If there’s one thing I dislike, it’s appearing weak. I don’t want to appear weak or look like I don’t have my life together. Even when I am struggling and could do with some help, I try to appear strong.

I know some of you reading this post feels the same way.

The problem with trying to look strong all the time is that you deny yourself much-needed rest and some relief from stress.

It’s okay to accept help when it’s offered kindly and genuinely. Actually, it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Don’t ever feel some way because you need help or you have to ask for some assistance.

Asking for help beats struggling alone in silence. So, I encourage you to ask and accept help when it’s offered.

As a single mom, make it your responsibility to know what kind of help is available to you and how you can access them. Whether you need help feeding your family or paying for daycare so you can work or go to school, find out what help is available and apply for it.

Finally, if you have friends or family members that are in a position to help, please go ahead and accept whatever help they are willing to give. Just remember to pay it forward.


I struggled a little bit with superwoman syndrome. You know that feeling like you have to do everything yourself and do them perfectly.

Let me tell you that I had to let it go when things became too much for me to handle. There’s no way I can work, take care of my kids, and keep my home perfectly organized all the time.

Something had to give, and I wasn’t about to lose my mind or health because I was trying to do every little thing myself.

If you are having a hard time keeping up with the single mom life, it’s time to take an honest look at how you are going about things. Do you have superwoman syndrome?

Are there things you can delegate to others but you refused to for one reason or the other? For example, you can delegate some chores to your kids depending on their age and ability.

Yes, they won’t do it as well as you, but at least, it will get done. Let the kids vacuum the house or do the dishes if they can. Kids as little as two years old can be helpful if you give them a chance.

So, take a long hard look at your life. What can you delegate? Can you afford to pay for help? Are there tasks you can ask other people to do to free up some of your time?


Stress and anxiety can take a toll on a single mom’s mind and spirit.

I won’t lie. I worry about quite a few things like affording college for my kids, or saving enough money for retirement because I don’t want to burden anyone.

If you are being honest, I am sure you have some fears or things that make you feel anxious. It’s okay to have fears as long as they don’t control your life or stop you from enjoying life.

One way I deal with the stress of single parenting is to practice self-care consistently.

Yes, you probably won’t be able to go on a long vacation by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find little ways to take care of or pamper yourself.

You can read for pleasure, listen to music, exercise, eat well, have a hobby, journal, watch a movie, take care of your finances, or do the job you love. These are all forms of self-care and they don’t require a lot of time or money.

Self-care is a very important practice for any single mom who wants to remain sane and enjoy life with her kids. It’s not optional or something you do when you are on the verge of breaking down. If possible, incorporate it into your daily routine so you don’t have to think about it.

Final thoughts on how to cope with being a single mom (and a successful one)

As a single mom, you need a positive mindset and a can-do attitude if you want to thrive.

It’s easy to get depressed because of all the challenges you face as a single mom, but you can rise above these challenges if you really put your mind to it and take action.

So, set goals, become very good at planning, make time for personal growth and development, and make self-care a daily practice. That’s how you win as a single mom.

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How to Cope With Being a Single Mom (And a Successful One)

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