When my children were little, I never really gave any thought to how to manage stress as a single mom. My tendency when the kids were little was to go, go, go from morning ‘til evening until it was time for them to be in bed. Once they were in bed though, I’d savor the peace, sometimes (most times) ‘til 2 am! As you can probably guess, my crazy-late bedtime made getting up at 7 am (pretending to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed) an insane prospect.
Once you have children, particularly as a single mom, you need to learn how to make time for yourself, or you’ll do crazy shit like stay up ‘til two in the morning, loving the peace and quiet.
I started taking naps when the kids were napping as babies. Granted, that’s much easier to do when you only have one child, but there it is.
When I only had one child, I napped when she did. Never underestimate the power of a nap, people. It was Heaven! When our second daughter came along, the first one was no longer taking daily naps, and on the rare occasion that she did, it wasn’t at the same time that the baby was napping. When the third one came along, it was that much more difficult (it didn’t happen at all).
So…learn to do small things like take a nap when life is ‘simple’. You may only have one child who takes naps. When any additional babies come along, set the older one(s) up with something harmless like a movie or coloring book in a family room-like space, where you can chill on the couch, napping with ‘one eye open’. Believe me, I’ve done it. It’s not ideal, but it’s the best you’re going to do for the time being. If your child doesn’t nap; MAKE him. He needs it, and YOU need it! Trust me…you’ll feel like a whole new person.
TAKE THE DAMN NAP!