Mothers, probably more than any other people in the world, are the ones who seem to demand almost unfairly of themselves, the ones who reach for superhuman heights in the many roles they play as the hours swiftly whoosh by and one day simply melts into another. Only to begin it all over again.
So how do you, especially a single working mum, stay on top of your game? We’re here to help.
Get some rest
This may be an obvious answer, and not one that you may want to hear at all (because rest is almost impossible, right?), but unless you really are some kind of otherworldly superhuman, you absolutely need to rest to function at your best.
And by rest, we mean sleep. A good night’s rest allows both your body and your mind to recharge. When you’re well rested you’re the one who can think on her feet with brilliant clarity, the one who can seemingly snatch ideas out of thin air, and who can be the calm of the storm with all the energy in the world.
So instead of staying up late with a glass of wine and a movie for some much needed ‘me time’, book yourself straight into bed and under the duvet for the much more healing and nurturing gift of sleep.
And if that feels like a far-off dream, do whatever it takes to get your sleep wherever you can. Outsource your laundry if you have to and get in a power nap instead. You’ll quickly find that the benefits of even just a snatch of rest can be amazing.
Find a virtual assistant
There’s nothing that can change your life quite so much as a virtual assistant. For this we love AVirtual. An award-winning virtual assistant service, they can connect you with an assistant who matches the way you work … not just in your business role, but in your home environment too.
As a mother you may be hesitant to delegate at first, but as soon as you discover the wonders of time freed by another equally competent individual, you’ll never look back.
From calendar management to social media management and even managing household bills and all those heaps of admin activities that devour your precious time, you’ll be surprised at how those tasks can so easily be delegated. More than that, a virtual assistant worth their salt will have a whole new set of skills for you to tap into, making you the one who shines at the end of the day.
Perhaps, in the 21st century, behind every successful woman there is a virtual assistant.
This one may take a little practice. By now you’re quite adept at wearing all the different hats that a single working mom finds she has to wear, but all those hats inevitably create a breeding ground for an unproductively busy mind.
You might be playing with your children while you’re silently brainstorming the next session with your clients, or find yourself stressing about what to cook for your young and fussy eaters while you’re missing the answer to the question you just asked your boss. It’s a habit that doesn’t serve you or anyone else in your life.
There is an amazing power in utterly dedicating yourself to the moment. When there is only you and the person in front of you, the ‘million other things’ you have to do melt away, and you give yourself the space to bring every wonderful part of your best self into that moment.
So when you’re with your children, really be with your children. When you’re attending a conference, listen with every fibre of your being. Be completely there. You’ll notice the benefits immediately! And the more your practice, the more natural it will become. Zen Habits is a wonderful place to start your journey into being more present.
Forgive yourself for not being perfect
We’ll start where we began: you’re not really a superhero. And that’s okay. You’re a single working mother doing her best, and whether or not you may judge this day or that day as a failure or a success, be kind and gentle towards yourself and forgive yourself for not being perfect.
When you’re not actively forgiving yourself for not hitting your (probably unrealistically high) self-imposed daily targets, you’re filling your personal space with emotions that only serve to muddy the waters and ultimately hold you back from shining as your truest self.
Bestselling author (and mother) Brené Brown says perfectionism is in fact a 20-ton shield and she breaks it down for us in this blissfully short snippet from Oprah’s Lifeclass.
So instead, give yourself a little hug for striving for excellence today, no matter how the day turned out, and reward yourself with a well-deserved early night to bed!