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Mother’s Day Manifesto for Divorced Breadwinner Moms: 10 Tips to Live By

In honor of Mother’s Day, here are 10 tips to live by for divorced moms. No matter what your circumstances, it’s a day to celebrate you, so stop the mental chatter and seek out the good you do as a mom. May the thoughts listed here help you see yourselves as good enough moms.

  1. Once a mom, always a mom. Divorce doesn’t change that.
  2. All moms are working moms. After divorce, you’re still a working mom, though you may have more work on your plate.
  3. Though life may seem unfair at times, you can – and should – feel good about yourself for doing what’s right for your children despite the hardships and impacts you may bear. Kids know who they can count on, even when you can’t see it in the present moment.
  4. You’ll never go wrong being kind to yourself or your kids.
  5. Being a mom doesn’t mean ignoring your own wants and needs, though it does mean considering the well-being of your family in your choices and decisions. Don’t be a martyr or act from obligation or guilt. It’s okay to say no, and it’s okay to include time and activities for yourself, even after divorce. You’ll come to resent your children or your work if you don’t find a balance that includes nourishing you.
  6. Being or becoming a breadwinner after divorce does not mean you’re neglecting your kids or being a “bad” mom; instead it means you’re providing for your family’s financial well-being and security.
  7. Motherhood enriches and challenges your life in ways no other experience could; divorce doubles the challenges, but adds to the richness. You’ll find strength and resilience you never knew you had, and you’ll grow stronger and more confident as you learn what you’re capable of.
  8. If you’re doing the best you can, it’s good enough. Let go of guilt; it won’t help you, and it sure won’t help your kids.
  9. Love isn’t always laughter and cuddles. As a divorced mom, love sometimes requires hard work, hard actions, and the pain of enforcing discipline and allowing our kids to experience consequences from their actions. Though it isn’t always comfortable, especially when you’re parenting on your own, this kind of love allows kids to grow into healthy, responsible adults who have something to contribute. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done (and not a barrage of negative comments about what you haven’t done or didn’t do perfectly).
  10. There are millions of mothers in the world, but your children have only one mom – YOU. Stop comparing yourself to other moms or a standard of how you think you “should” be. Just be yourself. Your kids need you, not an ideal or perfect mom. Trust that you’re enough because you are.

Happy Mother’s Day.

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