2 lessons that have helped me thrive as a solo mum
When I made the decision to pursue solo motherhood I realised that to thrive as a solo mum, I must wholeheartedly embrace this path. There was no room to question my decision, or to wish things were different. If I was going to do this, I needed to do it with 100% dedication and enthusiasm.
When I say there was no room, this wasn’t an overnight magic wand, that allowed me to get to this mindset. It was a process of working it out over time and continuous practice.
There are 2 main things that I have learnt during this ongoing process, which have made and continue to make my experiences as a solo mum significantly better that they might otherwise have been. Let me share with you what they are:
1. Curb Comparison
I quickly realised that any time I spent comparing myself to others did not result in a positive experience for me.
There are many people around me in a variety of circumstances. There are people in great, supportive relationships who seem so happy and in love. They really share the load and are there for each other. Instead of comparing myself and wishing I had what they had, instead I have learnt to concentrate 100% on my own circumstances. Focusing on how can I make my life the absolute best it can be in the situation I am currently in.
One of the ways I do this is that rather than feeling envious of my friends who are in happy relationships, instead I spend more time with them. I feel good spending time with happy, positive people. I’m not jealous of them, I’m happy I have them in my life and feed off their enthusiasm and positivity. I make myself part of their family, surrounding myself with amazing people. As Jim Rohn famously said “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”
It also allows me to remind myself that no-one has the perfect situation. Everyone has challenges they are dealing with. It can be easy to forget that at times.
2. Redefine relationships
There was a time when I believed that ‘if only’ I had a partner, things would be so much better. I would be so much happier. All my problems would be solved.
What I soon realised is that it was not a partner I needed, instead it was to strengthen my existing relationships as well as building new ones.
What are some of the things I would like from a partner. Someone to:
- Share experiences with
- Have fun with
- Support me
- Share my feelings with
- Give me cuddles
What I realised is that I already have loads of amazing people in my life who give me many of these things. One of my mistakes was not placing as much importance on these relationships, instead fantasising that getting all of it from one imaginary person would be so much better.
When you analyse everything you might hope to get from a partner, it is clear to see that you can get many of these things from friends and family. You might just need to let them in a bit more. You might also need to re-evaluate the importance we place on a romantic partner. As I have written about many times before, the fairytale we are sold as we have grown up will have us believe happiness comes when we find our true love.
One of the things I needed to do to thrive as a solo mum was to reframe things. There was no point always thinking I wish I was sharing things with a romantic partner. What good does this do me? I haven’t got one. So if I constantly think this, I will keep on being disappointed. Instead, let me embrace the love and support I get from those people who are in my life.
These are all concepts that we cover in my group coaching course Choosing Solo. If they are things that you are working through, I’d love for your to join us in the next course. You can check out more details here.
I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below.