This guest post is by Dr. Jill Zambon who became a single mom after she learned that her fiancé was cheating on her. She’s since learned to turn that experience around and now teaches other single moms what she calls a hidden process for gaining back time and extra income.
As single moms, we all know the value of more time and money, don’t we. (Not a real question.)
If you had told me eight years ago that there would be a time I could look back on my broken engagement and the abruptness of being a single mom to an 11-month-old baby and actually LAUGH about it, I would have told you that you were crazy. But if there are five lessons I would share with women about being a single mom, or just life in general, these would be my biggest lessons:
- Learn to laugh at yourself. This one was a HARD one for me to learn. Being type-A and prior military, things are black and white for me. They’re perfect…or they’re not. But there has never been “good enough”… that is, until I became a single mom. Things that I would have never allowed (i.e dishes in the sink–huht!!! What a sin!!!) are now an everyday occurrence. Things I used to be serious about, like my former highly strict diet and exercise regime, are now FUN. And hell, some days I don’t even follow an exercise routine! Life is hard. And if you can find anything to look back and laugh on, do that. It’s good for the soul!
- Accept that you are going to make mistakes, and possibly even fail. Nobody likes to make mistakes. I made a $90,000 mistake within the last 2 years and trust me, while painful, it guided me to where I need to be right now– helping other single parents. My mistake was that I tried to start an ecommerce fashion brand with zero experience and no mentors. I dove in the deep end, too deep, and too quick, and it failed. But the leap of faith, and the failure, taught me more in 1 year than I ever learned sitting in a college lecture hall. Accept the failure and the mistakes, assess them, and figure out what you can do better the next time you try something.
- A child with 1 parent who loves them is enough. There’s all these societal norms that families have to have two parents- one male, one female– to be complete. It simply isn’t the case anymore. In fact, there are over 20 million single parents in the U.S. alone, and this is a global issue. It is time to toss the old idea that kids are going to be broken if they only have one parent in their life. One parent who loves them, is enough.
- The healing process takes time, and you can’t speed it up. Sometimes I think I’m all healed and better from the jarring discovery of a cheating fiance… then the next minute I’m angry because he’s gone off and done something else that’s stupid. But, here’s the deal. You cannot control their actions, but you can control your response, and that for sure will change the outcome of the situation. Every time you respond negatively, that person is keeping control over you. So learn to walk away. Learn to hold your tongue when it suits YOU and your child. The more you can harness that negativity, the sooner you will be able to heal yourself.
- Set boundaries and stick to them. I don’t know about you, but I was not raised in a family with boundaries. I had never even heard that term until much later in life. Even now, I’m still learning them. My escape was always to run away. When I didn’t know how to fix a situation, I left. I moved. I cut the person out of my life. I just didn’t deal with it, I walked away. That method will work for a while but at some point, you have to set boundaries for yourself and demand the respect and honesty that you deserve in life.
I hope you find these lessons helpful!
If these lessons resonate with you, leave a comment below and tell us which one!