Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Solo Mom: How I do it

Posted May 10, 2011

Stacy Lamb, organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle

So how do you do it?

I said in my first post that as a single mom I get this question a lot. I wish I had an easy answer, but the truth is, like I said last month, I just do. Someone told me recently that they liken my attitude to a Winston Churchill quote: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Makes sense to me. Why would you stop to check out that kind of scenery?

Of course, there’s a part of me that wants to say “If you’re going through hell, stop and party for a while.” Maybe that doesn’t seem too Mom-blog appropriate, but think about it. We all need time for ourselves – to party, if you will, or to do whatever it is that we enjoy. Whatever it is that makes me, well, ME.

I think that’s the key. I do find time, however little, to do the things that make me happy. Sure we’ve all heard that before and thought “she’s crazy, I have no time for me!” But the kids go to bed sometime, right? Those dishes can wait another day, and I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart won’t be stopping by tonight to criticize that still-piled-in-the-basket laundry (and if she does, well obviously she’s got time, she can fold the clothes!).

Some ways that I have found “me time” include:

  • Working out, catching up with friends, or just relaxing with a book after the kids go to bed
  • Hosting a dinner/movie night at my house – my childless friends understand that sometimes this is my only social life, and they all appreciate having a willing hostess!
  • Trading sleepover nights (for the kids of course) with other single parents
  • A “date night” often involves me cooking dinner after the kids have gone to bed
  • Posting and attending events with Single Parents of the Triangle where the kids can run around (somewhere safe) and the adults can hang out nearby and talk. We also meet up for the occasional lunch break when the kids are in school
  • I’m also lucky to have my mother living close by. And what grandmother doesn’t want to spoil her grandkids? As long as it’s not the night of her favorite TV show, Grandmom is always willing to babysit!

Your turn – what other ways have you found some time for yourself? You don’t have to be a single parent to have a hectic life – comments here are (as always) open to everyone!

Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She also is organizer for Single Parents of the Triangle. See an earlier post about the group. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.


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  • carolinagirl28 May 16, 2011

    Oops - computer being difficult - sorry! What I was saying is, do you honestly think the rest of us put our kids in a room somewhere and ignore them while we do what we want to do? No! The point is, you take time where you can get it. I'd say most of us making the argument for taking time for yourself do so after the kids are in bed, or, like you, during a break at work. So maybe we are more in agreement than it would seem :)

  • carolinagirl28 May 16, 2011

    JOCO - That's great. My point is, doing something you want on your lunch break IS "me time." Do you honestl

  • imsosorry May 16, 2011

    I was on my lunch hour at work and my daughter was at school, when I am home and she isnt in school she is with me, I dont take me time when I can be with her !! Again, I gave that up when I decided to be a mom !!

  • carolinagirl28 May 13, 2011

    Don't worry, WakeMom, it's hard to argue with the truth, so I wouldn't expect too much "fun" ;)

  • AWakeMom May 13, 2011

    Ut oh - this is gonna fun........

  • carolinagirl28 May 13, 2011

    I'd just like to point out that all of you preaching about never taking time for yourselves are clearly doing so long enough to read the articles on this website and post comments. This is the type of "break" most of us are talking about - a few minutes to do something you want to do. And there's nothing wrong with it! And JAT, you take a lot of "me time" to read and comment on these things, all day every day, so don't pretend that you are with your child spending quality time constantly. I'm not saying you shouldn't do this, mind you, I'm just saying don't be a hypocrite.

  • Killian May 12, 2011

    Great post! And please don't listen to people who tell you that you gave up your right to "Me" time when you had kids. That's a crock that leads to nothing but resentful parents and kids who think the world revolves around them. You're a better mom for taking time to recharge and broaden your mind and exercise your body.

    Most gyms have great kid-only space for social time and their own fun fitness games while you work out. Babysitting co-ops are fantastic for time trading as well. I'm not a single mom, but my indulgence has always been a candle lit bubble bath after the kids are asleep. Perfect for relaxation and a little pampering.

  • redshoe May 12, 2011

    Great post SOLO Mom! Although I'm not a single parent, I am married to military so I often find myself going it solo. We're proud of the work he does, but it is difficult when you have young children to find a few moments of "me" time especially when you have a child under the age of 3. Older children are a little more independent and flexible so it's a little easier.
    I love spending time with my children and I know you do as well. In fact, our daughters were best buddies at daycare so I know just how much you love your children and devote your life to them.

    I find time to myself usually after the baby has gone to bed. The 6 year old and I play a game, watch a movie, or just sit quietly and read. Other times, I am thankful to have family around when I need to run errands.

    People misunderstand the term "me" time. It doesn't mean selfishly running off to have fun. It simply means needing an hour or two to recharge from the demands of young kids.

  • imsosorry May 12, 2011

    I gave up ME time when I became a mom. There is nothing I want to do that she cant do with me.

  • JAT May 12, 2011

    AWakeMom - either that or he's really, really bored! :) But it's nice to know we brightened someone's day, isn't it! Alas, all is not lost.