Single Mom Stress: When Counting to 10 Just Doesn’t Work

Make it Stop!

We have all been there. The dog won’t stop barking, the kids are tearing up the house, dinner is burning on the stove, the phone and door bell are ringing, the pet fish is missing and there is a suspiciously fishy smell coming from the couch. Well, if you know what I’m talking about, then you also know that Calgon is not gonna just come and take you away and the single mom benefits you thought of are a distant memory. The perils of single parenting not only include many responsibilities, but these responsibilities are often handled under very stressful and high pressure situations.


One of the challenges for many in dealing with single mom stress is to vent those pressures in an appropriate and constructive manner. Many single moms and people in general, tend to keep these feelings bottled up inside to the point where they become symptomatic. Such single mom stress symptoms may include unwarranted pessimism, an overly critical outlook, crying, sadness, fatigue, sleeplessness, angry outbursts, back and neck pain, overeating, lack of focus and in some cases, depression. In addition, not properly addressing these symptoms can eventually lead to child abuse. Since we are all here to help each other and our children to lead happier, healthier lives, why don’t we explore some ways in which we can redirect our single mom stress into more positive channels? And then turn these stressful situations into a single mom benefit!

Take a Deep Breath

Before lashing out or responding in the heat of the moment, take a minute to do some deep


breathing exercises. If the situation is too far gone, sometimes it is best to just walk away and gather your thoughts before proceeding. By giving yourself time away from the situation, you are in a better position to determine how to deal appropriately with the problem instead of saying something or doing something that will do irreparable damage to your relationship with your child.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare and Did I say Prepare?

If you repeatedly deal with troublesome behavior or situations on a daily basis, in your downtime, think of different ways of handling them when they come up again. Rehearse your responses in your head and keep trying a new strategy until you find one that works. Draw on your single parents support network to find out how they may have dealt with the same problems. This will alleviate a lot of frustration for you as you will have an arsenal of tactics ready to deal with predictable problems.

Get Rid of Clutter

Clutter is one of the known contributory factors of stress. Try to maintain an orderly living area and your personal space. The whole house need not be spotless, but orderly is a must. If your children are old enough, have them to help out by taking responsibility for keeping their toys not in use put away. Use positive reinforcement as much as possible and be firm in accountability when children are disobedient. Getting children in the routine of taking responsibility for their actions will minimize stress for you as there will be no question about the rewards or consequences of their behaviors.

Take a Time Out

Life is not just running from one task to the other, rinsing and repeating. Life is to be enjoyed and taken in at a leisurely pace when possible. Sometimes, we have to make sure we pencil in plenty of self-care time. Just a few minutes to meditate while the kids are watching television, or a quick stroll down the block to walk the family pet can do wonders for countering a rough day. One of the best single mom benefits is that you are the adult that gets to call all the shots. So when you need a time out, everybody gets a time out! For more information on single mom benefits and tips, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, Single Mom Weekly. Other benefits and resources can be found at and a little Retail Therapy never hurts!

At Your Service,

April Storm

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