After the homework is done, dinner is made & cleaned up, dogs fed, kids bathed, bedtime stories done, cuddles and kisses complete I do one more once over around the house to make sure I’m all caught up on everything and then head upstairs for a bath. Just kidding – as a Single Mom I’m never caught up on anything. Every night as the kids wind down I start to wind up with the list of things I’m not getting to. I missed some emails, should have progressed more on projects at work, I probably should be feeding my kids less sugar, I should also find some kind of lunch they’ll actually eat, my house is always in need of some major cleaning job, I have paperwork to do, I have bills to pay (so many bills to pay), I need to get groceries so I should probably start a list, I need to update my calendar(s) again because the onslaught of new appointments and activities for school, sports, friends, and family is constantly changing, I should go get myself some clothes soon because I’m pretty sure I am down to four outfits for work and one reasonable one for the weekend, I need to get to the gym because all this sitting & stressing is not doing me any favors…. I can keep going here. As any Single Mom can attest the list of ‘things I didn’t get to or should be doing better’ is ENDLESS. So I started my own nighttime routine that settles me down before bed. It reminds me of when I clued in with my oldest that those lavender bubble baths really do make a difference. So every night I get done what I can get done and I head upstairs to start a hot bath complete with some of my favorite bubbles. I soak in that bath all the way up to my neck. I usually put on a hydrating mask for my face and my hair from one of the Sephora samples I always seem to have kicking around. And then I breathe. Sometimes it lasts a total of two minutes and sometimes I get a whopping ten. No matter how brief it is my mind is altered and my body so much more relaxed than when I stepped into the bathroom.
As soon as I step out of the tub it’s tea time.
I have become a huge fan of a sleep time tea before bed. I have learned over the years of being a Single Mom sleep is insanely important. The only way I have the energy and patience for two kids by myself with all the other demands life has going on is by being well rested. So I drink a warm, relaxing tea and breathe a bit more. As I sit quietly with my tea I realize how very grateful I am for this life I have no matter how busy it gets. The reason I am writing this blog is to document the progression to getting my life in order as a Single Mom and to get a grip on all the things that overwhelm me on a daily basis. But until I have all the pieces of this Single Mom puzzle in place the things I can arm myself with are the basics – quality time with my kids, time to myself to decompress, lot of rest, exercise, meditation, and healthy food. When I have my bubble bath and nightly tea I’m reminded life is short and the time with my kids even shorter. That means I have a few minutes to myself to make sure I’m ok and brace myself to do it all over again the next. I know the equation now – self care, get some rest, take it all on one step at a time and everything gradually improves.