There were days when I could barely sit up at the table, I felt so defeated. I had made spaghetti and sauce for the 98th time, had been late picking up kids at school because I got distracted at work trying to finish something. I carried a dog-eared stack of bills in my purse until payday because I had no money in the checking account. “No thank you” I had to say to the cashier at Target when I paid with my last $20 bill, “I don’t need another credit card” (because I won’t qualify for it anyway). I had to remind myself how embarrassing it was when I couldn’t qualify for an Old Navy credit card, for Heaven’s sake. We don’t need to do that again! I felt like I would never get ahead, get a vacation, get a night off, have kids who were human…
Focus on the Process. This is one of Stephen Guise’s main tenets in his book How to be an Imperfectionist. He believes that we need to focus on what we are doing, not how we are doing. To stop obsessing over whether we are doing it correctly, or the best, we allow ourselves the space to do it at all. I read this book after reading Guise’s first book Mini-Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results. Both are excellent books, but Imprefectionist really hit the nail on the head. I highly recommend this book!
For Single Moms, this means we get the routine down, and habits will help us to keep at it, to keep working towards our goals.
- Keep waiting for payday to buy groceries with cash rather than using our credit card.
- Keep reminding the kids to sit (or stand) at the table to eat meals. It may take years*, but eventually, they will focus on the food and on us.
- Keep setting up our own nightly routine. Write it down, and let them catch us planning out our routine. Follow through on our list and feel comfort in our routine. Today at work may have been brutal with that snotty colleague, but we have our routine tonight that will help us have a better tomorrow.
- Keep our morning routine with the clocks every day. Get up on Saturday and let the kids see us taking care of business (and yes, let’s add music and singing!). Don’t change our routine daily. Keep it steady sister!
- Do our own exercise routine, whatever it is. Just keep on doing it. This is a marathon, not a sprint we are running.
- Keep reading to our kids. Every night, even if it means we fall asleep in their beds for a little bit.
- Keep the TV off on weeknights. It makes everything easier!
Breakthrough Idea: What is your morning routine? Describe its benefits and comfort to you. In 3 words, verbalize to your kids what you get out of it, and how much you like it. And KEEP DOING IT.
You are doing great, Mom. *Parenting is not for sissies, we have to keep the same habits for years before seeing benefits sometimes! There is no race to win this week. Next year, or in 5 years,
we get to see the success. But today be here, in our imperfect place.