What We Can Learn from Single Moms

The other day I got the opportunity to listen to an excellent interview on NPR.  The title of the segment was: Single Moms Make It Work and featured 3 single moms: Lori Gottlieb, Stacia Brown, and Aracely Panameno.Screen shot 2013-04-18 at 3.29.34 PM

The women seemed to enjoy themselves during the 15 minute interview which focused on tips and tricks many single moms use to make their lives run more smoothly.  The interviewees pointed out that while we may have stereotypes about single moms (harried, super-busy women who were left by their partners); these stereotypes don’t always fit reality (big surprise).  Some women may be single by choice, others live in multi-generational homes instead of a more traditional two-parent household.  Whatever their living situation and what led them to it, these women were clear: single moms have lots to teach the rest of us.

  • It’s OK to ask for help.  Stacia Brown pointed out that it is not a sign of weakness to ask others for help.  Rarely can anyone parent alone (even those who have a partner), so being able to reach out when assistance is needed is key.
  • We all have different ways of doing things.  Lori Gottlieb spoke about the fact that different things work for different families.  It is up to us as parents (single or not) to figure out what works best for us and our children.  Sometimes this means we have to learn to live with imperfection in ourselves, our homes, or our children’s craft projects.
  • Outsource the housework.  I just love this tip offered by Lori Gottlieb.  By outsourcing she means getting our kids involved with the running of the household.  Laundry, dishes, watering plants, dusting, cooking – kids are capable of lots more than we often give them credit for.  Demanding that our kids take more responsibility at home helps them learn important skills – and helps us parents in the process!
  • Be disciplined, committed, and organized. Aracely Panameno offered this guidance to the listeners.  I was struck by how important these things are in all aspects of life whether it be parenting, work, or relationships.

To listen to the interview in its entirety, click here.