According to Google dictionary:
- A person who is in charge of a worker or organization
- A person in control of a group or situation.
A single mom boss?
It may sound like an oxymoron. I’ve got good news for you though: Single mom and Boss Lady can go hand in hand. I tell you this from firsthand “swift kick in the rear” experience.
Now, I use the term Boss Lady because quite frankly, it’s trendy. Single mothers out there need to know that being on your own with a child is not a scary diagnosis.
Below are 10 strategies to shift from survival mode to boss mode at your own pace and embrace each step of the way.
Note: The following 10 strategies are not “quick fixes” but they will yield results.
1. Give yourself some time to grieve the loss.
Not the loss of your marriage or relationship but the loss of your old identity. The “wife” title, the memories you experienced, expectations you envisioned, a possible court battle, or a financial crisis. You will survive this but in order for new beginnings to take place, you must mourn the loss and let this chapter come to a complete end.
2. Own your new filing status.
Yes, I called it a filing status because it can be temporary just like “Single” and “Married” were. I say this to empower you and not let you feel victim to a label. The words “Single Mom” without a doubt come with a stigma but that does not mean that you have to sulk in it.
Let’s break this down.
What makes a single mother different from a single woman? The child. Correct?
Women who get divorced are not going around calling themselves “divorced women” but as divorced women with children, we fall into a very different category that society doesn’t always view in the most positive light. Your child is not a barrier to creating the life you desire; your child is your inspiration and ultimate driving force. That child is your reason to push yourself beyond limits you didn’t imagine could exist beyond childbirth. Being a single mother is your strength once you get past the new label. Use this to your advantage and push forward!
3. Make friends with discomfort and uncertainty.
You’ll have to deal with some degree of uncertainty and at times even feel that you lack direction. That’s okay because it’s temporary and necessary while you figure out what you want to do. Think back to when you were in middle school. Did you know what you wanted to major in or which company you’d work for? Uncertainty can either make or break you. The decision is for you to make.
4. Pool your resources.
Be wise and be humble. Remember that in order to be a Boss, you need to be strategic about the resources available to you. Seek and accept guidance, gifts or offers, and financial help in all forms. Before a Boss becomes a Boss, they have mentors, work entry level jobs, take loans and always keep their vision as their key focus.
You need to do the same and not let pride or ego get in the way of your dream.
“No thanks Frank, I don’t need you to invest in my company. Keep your money” said No Boss Ever.
Accept the help, love, and kindness that come your way. Be careful not to become complacent at this stage. Keep your eye on the prize and move forward.
5. Have a meeting with your inner Boss.
Yes, that would be you. How can you keep your eye on the prize and move forward if you don’t know where to begin? You need to sit down and have a serious talk with Your Self to design your plan. Grab a notepad and make an agenda.
Depending on your current economic status, this could mean: working extra hours, taking a loan, moving in with family, or applying for temporary assistance to cover your living costs, or quitting a job to start your own business. For the moment, you just need to have enough to survive and make a plan.
What are your immediate needs?
More hours in a day?
Every single thing on this list is doable but you can’t do it if you lack awareness. You need to think like a Boss and get all your ducks in a row.
Take it a step further and ask yourself:
What kind of life do you want? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How can you make yourself stronger mentally and physically?
6. Make a strong financial plan and consider all options.
Long gone are the days of your needs vs. wants lists. Before you can find the solution to all your Single Mom issues, you need to differentiate between needs and immediate needs.
Ask yourself questions like:
What are my monthly expenses, soup to nuts?
Do I really need cable?
Do I need internet or a home phone if I have a cell phone?
What material items could you do without?
What could you sell for extra cash?
I know a mom that sold her couches, rugs, and bedroom furniture for a few thousand bucks because she needed the cash more than the stuff. It’s all replaceable if you can work through your attachment to things and prioritize.
7. Start fresh.
You may ask yourself “What choice do I have?”
You may or may not have initiated your divorce but you do have a choice in how view your situation.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Does it still feel like an end or is it starting to feel like a new beginning?
Do you feel any negative thoughts creeping in?
Can you see this as an opportunity to take a step back and focus on grabbing the reigns again?
Your mentality plays a huge part in how things will unfold from here on. The more you dwell on what you lost or did not gain from your divorce, the more you attract these feelings. Similarly, don’t focus on who your ex was or who he needs to be. This is time to focus on YOU! Your energy and time is precious and needs to be used wisely with positive and clear thinking.
8. Embrace the challenges and put an extra focus on the good.
To embrace is not the same as to enjoy. I am not saying that you will enjoy the challenges you face but you can certainly accept them. You see, when you do not embrace your challenges, you are rejecting them. Rejection causes resistance and resistance will work against you in finding a solution.
You have some substantial challenges. You know what a Boss Lady calls that? Motivation. Bosses aren’t needed where things run smoothly all on their own. Bosses are needed where there is difficulty, a need for growth, or pure chaos to be managed.
9. Adopt a C-E-O mentality.
CEO stands for Clearing Emotional Obstacles. Before you can make major moves in your new role, become the Boss of YOU first.
Own your feelings and take control of your emotions like a Boss. Look back at your past decisions from an objective point of view the way a Boss reviews a year-end report to see what improvements can be made going into the new fiscal year. Look at the past as your focal point for advancement. Most importantly, focus on the present moment. Nothing happens in the past or in the future and the second you truly understand that, you will feel like time is on your side. You will feel the new exhilarating reality that comes with becoming a better version of you. Once you get to this stage, you will make every second count.
10. Become a strict Boss of your time.
If you ask a group of single mothers what they wish they had more of, the answer is almost always: TIME.
We all get the same number of hours in a day. Every moment is either yours for the taking or for the wasting. Take a good look at where your time is going.
What can be ruled out as a distraction?
Your social media accounts?
Your dozens of newsletter subscriptions that arrive via email?
Choose your content — do not let IT choose you.
Once you get a strong grasp on your time management skills, your inner boss lady will have no choice but to get strategic on how each moment will contribute to your vision.
Get clear on what you want to achieve and go after it!