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The Single Mom Podcast - Single Parent Advice, Support & a Little Bit of Humor
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The Single Mom Podcast - Single Parent Advice, Support & a Little Bit of Humor

Author: Heather Wells | Parents On Demand Network

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The Single Mom Podcast is dedicated to inspiring and supporting single moms. Heather Wells is a single mother of three children (two with special needs) who spent years struggling just to make ends meet. Now she is a successful business owner and is dedicated to helping other single moms find the tools, resources and mindsets to navigate through the craziness of raising children alone.

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Moms Are STILL People

Moms Are STILL People

2019-05-2700:40:202

After a recent interaction with someone who accused me of 'emotionally abusing' my daughter because I was expressing my hurt and frustration I started wondering something...  Why do moms get treated like we are no longer people? Why are we supposed to keep our feelings, emotions, anger, frustrations etc all bottled up? When we need to go out to let off steam, why are we judged? If we breakdown because we are so tired and emotionally drained, out parenting abilities are questioned. Or when we let our child know that they hurt us we are accused of emotionally abusing them...  When did it stop being ok for us to be human?
I quit smoking 8 years ago, and after I did I gained a lot of weight. What started out as 10 additional pounds grew into 50. I have been trying for YEARS to find the motivation & commitment to lose all those extra pounds. I have tried various diets, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, and other fad diets I found online. I joined a couple different gyms – and barely went. I tried working out with Beach Body videos at home. I gained it all right back! I finally found something that worked for me - the Keto diet. This episode covers my journey on this diet.
For single moms, Mother's Day can often end up being just like every other day. We don't always have someone to take over for us - allowing us to sleep in, taking over our daily responsibilities and obligations, etc. So for some of us Mother's Day really isn't any different that yesterday or the day before that or the day before that.  But it SHOULD be different. Even if there isn't another adult to help you feel that you are amazing for all you do, your kids likely do! And YOU should do something to make yourself feel wonderful on Mother's Day. Because as a single mom you are EXTRA awesome and should be treated as such. So, this podcast episode is dedicated to finding ways to treat yourself this Mother's Day! A quick random list of easy, inexpensive or free ways to do something for yourself this Mother's Day. Don't let it just be another day!
Today's podcast is all about parenting agreements and why you should ABSOLUTELY have one.  Making sure that all the details of your co-parenting arrangement with your ex are all laid out and legal is so very important. Having a parenting agreement helps keep all the rules and guidelines of how you will raise your child will actually help to keep things civil with your ex. Well, hopefully. There are so many different things to consider when creating a parenting agreement and today I will cover several of those things. Some of them PROBABLY aren't what you think...
Too often we as single moms will undervalue ourselves. We may not do it on purpose, or even realize we are doing it but it happens more often than not. I recently came to this conclusion after having someone try to use the fact that I am a single mom as some form of insult. This of course does not work on me - because I am happily single. But it does make me realize that there are people who think that all of us single moms are just miserable and looking for a man. Which is often times not true. However, I do know that there are many of us single moms out there who are lonely and who do want to find someone to love and love us in return. Unfortunately, sometimes we end up lowering our standards and undervaluing ourselves just to find someone to fill that void. And that is something we should NEVER do! This episode goes deeper into why you should NEVER undervalue yourself.
Self-contentment... remember what that feels like? Do you remember who you were before you had kids? Do you remember what you loved to do and the things that brought you joy?  As a single mom I know that for many years I felt like there was nothing more to me than just being Mom. It was a feeling that is hard to nail down sometimes. The best way I can describe it is a sort of hollow feeling inside. Like there is a part of you that just isn't there anymore. All those things that I used to do, that brought me happiness, I simply stopped doing after my kids were born. Because I was a single mom with little to no help it just seemed impossible. There was no way I would have the time or energy to work on self-contentment.  I had kids to feed, boo-boo's to patch up, clothes to wash, events to drive to, homework to help with, doctor's appointments...  There was no TIME for anything more, and even if there was time - I was too damn tired to try and do it. 'I'll do that later. When the kids are older.'  But something happened, and it happened so slowly - in small increments, that I didn't even realize it ... I lost myself.  So many things that had to be done to care for my kids and give them full lives, that I forgot about my own life. I became simply mom. Nothing more to me than that. And I thought that was how it was supposed to be. I felt guilty if I tried to go and do something for myself. How could I possibly justify spending even a dollar on something special for ME when I should dedicate everything to them? What a horrible mother I must be for wanting some time away from my kids! How could I possibly follow my dreams and still be a good mom?  So everything was pushed aside and my dreams tossed aside so I could be the best mom I could be. Or so I thought... You see, after a while that hollowness - it starts to become all consuming. You start to feel lost somehow. Yeah, you are still doing everything you need to do in order to be super-mom.  But it feels like a chore. Like you have to force yourself to continue with the day to day. You still love your kids more than anything but your life...you don't really love that. Which is NOT a good thing, because whether you realize it or not, your kids can feel that. You may try to hide it - but they instinctively know.  Somewhere along the way we decided that we needed to put ourselves last in order to be good moms. We don't. We need to be right up there in the top two! First the kids, then right along side them - US!  We need to feel that we are just as important and our goals and dreams are also just as important. Now, I am not saying you should ditch your kids and run off to Paris to become and artist. BUT - if art is something that you love, then it should STILL be a part of your life. Music, art, fashion, architecture, guitar, dance... if you love it, and it feeds your soul, it NEEDS to be a part of your life! You need to feel like a whole person if you want to be the best mom you can be.  Even if you can only take 30 minutes a day to feed your passion - at least that is something. Do the things that bring you joy (provided they are not bad habits). You will feel better. You will be better. You will feel part of your self return, I promise! And you will be a better mother for it.
For many couples with children it has been typical that the woman would be the primary care giver. Often times staying at home to care for the kids while her husband worked.  However, over the years this dynamic has changed a bit. A 2013 Pew study revealed that 40% of women were the main breadwinners in their homes. It is likely that number has risen over the years.  So what happens when a mother, who has always been the primary breadwinner, becomes a single mom? When you haven't been the primary care giver for your child it can be quite a change.  In this weeks podcast interview I talk with Rachel who has recently become a single mom. After separating from her husband, she found herself struggling with being the primary caregiver.  Rachel had always been the breadwinner for her family while her husband took care of their baby. When they separated Rachel had to learn how to be both breadwinner AND caregiver.  Not many of us can understand what it's like to find ourselves in tears at the grocery store because we don't know what foods our baby likes. Rachel's husband had always taken care of the shopping.  Not only did she have to learn all about her baby's habits and routines, she had to find a way to move past the guilt she felt because she didn't know these things. In the past several months Rachel has been able to get into the groove that many of us is simply the norm. It took her quite a bit of work but things are finally going great for her and her daughter. She is settling into the single mom life and I have no doubt she will be very successful.
If you know me, or have listened to some of my podcasts, you know that one of the things I dislike more than most anything is stereotypes. I do not like it when people put other people into a certain box, or judge them based on preconceived notions. Assuming they know a person's situation before actually getting to know them. This happens all to often to single mothers. I know that personally I have been stereotyped in the following ways: - a slut  - a whore  - a welfare queen or scammer  - just lookin' for a daddy for her kids  - mooching off the system  - your kids must be in jail  - you were probably a drug addict And there have likely been more over the years. So it stands to reason that I would absolutely despise when people just put stereotypes of single moms out there in the world. Especially people with large platforms. People like Tucker Carlson. Recently on his show Tucker did a piece on 'Men in Decline'. In this piece he talked about how women were less likely to marry men who made less money than they did. How they SHOULD want to marry them but they more than likely don't. Now, setting aside how insulting it is to women as a whole to assume that we are all money hungry gold diggers only interested in what a man earns. I mean god forbid we marry for something as stupid as love. There was another statement that he made right after that one that REALLY got my attention. “Over big populations this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow. More drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation." A spike in out-of-wedlock births and the familiar disasters that inevitably follow. That my friends is a dig as single mothers. That is the stereotype that is thrown around so often about children raised by single moms. And yes, I know that there have been studies about it, and yes I know that it can and does happen.  However, I also know that there are thousands upon thousands of children who are raised by single mothers who turn out just fine. No jail time, no drug habits, no alcoholism.
It is almost the end of 2018 and I don't know about you but I am ready to kick last year to the curb! Last year seemed to be the most BLAH year I have experienced thus far. Now, it may be due to the political BS that has been going on ALL YEAR LONG. It could be my struggles with depression. It could be any number of things. Whatever the cause, I know that I am ready to close it out and bring in a bright new shiny year. I don't know about you, but I personally have routines and rituals that I go through every New Year's Eve. Not the party till I pass out kind of rituals but the kind that help me prepare myself for success in the coming year. Now some of these may be a little too woo-woo for you, and that's ok. BUT I highly recommend that you also close out your year in a way that helps you make 2019 an amazing year! This episode covers my list of rituals and routines for closing out the year...
It's CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!! I don't know about you, but this is my favorite time of year! However, this is also the time of year where I tend to drive myself a little bit crazy and drive myself into the ground. I also used to deal with an overabundance of guilt because of my need to compare myself to other moms or families. In this episode I talk about why you shouldn't try to live up to the idea of a 'perfect' Christmas.
Being Thankful Every Day

Being Thankful Every Day

2018-11-1500:35:35

The holidays are here again! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I keep seeing people posting on social media all the things that they are thankful for. And while I think that expressing gratitude is always a good thing; I always wonder why people only seem to do it around a specific holiday? Why only think about what you are thankful for around Thanksgiving? Why not do it all year round, every day?  Today's podcast talks about why remembering to be thankful every single day is so important.  Now I know that for many of us single moms it can be hard sometimes to be thankful or show gratitude. When things seem so hard or stressful. When you aren't sure how you are going to pay the bills this month or if you will have enough food.  When your ex decides to stop paying child support. Or maybe you are recently divorced and it seems hard to see how you could possibly be thankful for your world falling apart at the seams. These hard times can make it very hard to find things to be thankful for. But it's these times when it is more important than ever to work on being thankful. Because that is how we bring ourselves back to the light and the good times. By finding the good in the bad. Creating a daily gratitude practice for yourself can be so helpful and will often get you through those hard times with a better outlook. This episode covers a few ways to help yourself in your gratitude practice
A few days ago I was scrolling through my Twitter feed trying, and failing, to ignore the political nonsense that has overtaken literally all social media platforms. I posted some pithy comments and re-tweeted some of the dumbest things that I came across. Realizing that by doing so I was totally contributing to the din, but apparently unable to stop myself. When I came across a post by a father Twitter handle: @daddyfiles, that caught my attention and made me stop in my tracks. It was a post about his little boy being bullied at school for wearing nail polish.  His post railed against the toxic masculinity that caused this little boy to question himself and want to stop being who he was. And this dad was PISSED! I read through his entire thread and all I could say was BRAVO! Seriously, I gave that man a standing ovation in my damn living room. It made my heart so happy to see this father do what ALL parents should do - accept their children for how they are. Could it be a phase? Of course it could. Could it mean more? Of course it could. But ultimately this little boy ended up knowing that his father supported and loved him no matter what!  Isn't that what we as parents are supposed to do? Raise our children to know that no matter how they dress, what they look like, who they love, how they wear their hair - that we will love them. That we support them.  We don't have to always LIKE what they do or wear BUT they aren't us and we aren't them. Giving your child the ability to express themselves (as long as no one is being physically harmed) is so very important. I don't want my child to grow up hating me because I couldn't bring myself to approve of who they were at their core. I would never want to lose a relationship with my child simply because I couldn't accept their differences. It made my heart happy to see this dad just blast the toxic masculinity that caused his poor little boy to suffer at school. Thank you @daddyfiles for all you did to support and love your son!
The Pros & Cons of Working From Home As a single mom I struggled for years trying to support my family while working full time. I had to apply for government assistance to afford the child care I needed. I knew that the only way I was going to get out the struggle I was in was if I didn't have to pay for child care. The only way I would be able to do that was to work from home. I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it but I dove right in. I made a lot of mistakes and stumbled along the way, but I was able to create a successful business for myself. I have been self employed for 10 years now. It has been the best thing I could have done for myself and my family.  Working from home has given me back control of my time and allowed me to be more present in my children's lives.  Working from home has plenty of perks but it can also have some downsides as well. It isn't always for everyone. In this weeks podcast I cover the pros and cons of working from home.
As single moms we are more often than not running in 5 different directions, going a million miles an hour with our hair on fire! We take on so much every day just to keep our small humans alive and kicking. But when we do this it can take its toll on us. Hell, who am I kidding, it kicks our asses most days. We spend so much time taking on all the things that need to be done that we often neglect to take care of ourselves. We put ourselves last. And by the time we finally have time to MAYBE do something for ourselves, it is really just one more thing that takes up our time and energy and we just don't do it. OR we feel guilty for doing it. For the simple act of taking a moment to care for ourselves, we feel bad because we could be doing any number of the other things that are on our to-do list.  And yes, I KNOW that you know how important self-care is. And yes, I KNOW that you have heard me talk about this before. But if you are anything like me, even knowing how important it is, it almost always ends up falling WAAAAAAAY to the bottom of your list of priorities.  We have to stop letting ourselves do that. Our well being is imperative to our children's well being. If we are too stressed and too tired and too overwhelmed - it reflects in our parenting. No matter how hard we try to hide it.  We aren't at the top of our games as moms when we allow ourselves to get to that point. We need to relax and recharge! Now I know that many of you are saying 'I don't have time!' .... none of us have time! BUT we need to find a way to make time. Even something as simple as taking a bubble bath and reading for 30 min while your kids take a nap. OR giving yourself a pedicure after the kids go to sleep for the night.  Instead of doing that load of laundry, that will still be there when you are done (it's not like it's gonna self destruct if you wait an hour to put it in) - go for a walk to a park and just enjoy the out doors before you pick up your kids from school. It doesn't have to cost a ton of money, it doesn't even have to take up much time - just find something that helps you recharge your batteries, feeds your soul/spirit and keeps you SANE!
Pick Your Battles

Pick Your Battles

2018-09-1100:38:21

As parents we have so many different things that we have to worry about and deal with on a daily basis. Making sure that these little humans grow up safe and secure and turn into hopefully productive members of society!  But let's be honest - they can REALLY test our patience and our sanity! Who among us hasn't ended up in a battle royale with their kid over something completely ridiculous? I know I have! We all struggle with it, and we all know that in the end it leaves us feeling emotionally and physically drained.  So over the years I have learned to pick my battles when it comes to my kids, rather than spend time and energy on arguing. Now don't get me wrong - I still stand my ground on the important things but I am not willing to get into a 30 minute argument over whether my daughter should wear matching socks or not.  If my son decides he wants to make a peanut butter sandwich rather than eat spaghetti for dinner - fine by me. I am not going to argue and make myself insane over little things, because life is too short and I have only so much energy and patience to get me through my day. Having a child with special needs definitely can complicate this but it is something that I also implement with my son. Picking my battles with him is very necessary because my son LOVES to battle. If he can get me to step in that arena with him, he is in his element. And I end up feeling like I just went 10 rounds with a boxing pro - even though I "won" the battle.  Today's podcast discusses why it is so important to your own well being and mental health to learn to pick your battles. Is it REALLY worth the argument? Or is it better for you if you can just learn to let it go?
Don't Be So Quick To Judge

Don't Be So Quick To Judge

2018-09-0300:35:55

There was a recent story about an actor who used to work on The Cosby Show who is now bagging groceries at a Trader Joes. Fox News posted this "story" with a picture of the man carrying grocery bags with a dirty shirt on. The backlash that they received from this story was epic. Because the story was positioned in a way that made it seem they were slamming the man in a sort of "look how far they have fallen" piece.  People from all walks of life came out in defense of this man. Railing against Fox for degrading a man for simply working a job. How dare they make it seem like this man was any less because he is not acting anymore and instead working a regular job like the rest of us. As of now, there has been no retraction or apology from Fox but it made me think about the subject of today's podcast. How often do we look at someone and make a snap judgement about them? How often is it done to us? For all we know this actor DECIDED to leave acting behind and is happy as a clam bagging groceries, and to try and belittle him for it is simply wrong.  I know that I have been treated poorly by those who make snap judgments about me as a single mom. I've had people assume I was on welfare even when I wasn't. I have had people assume that because I am a single mother I must be a whore. Hell, my ex (my daughter's dad) even told me once that I was trying to trap him.  In his mind apparently, because I was a single mother, I was looking for a man to come and take care of me and my kids. That I specifically targeted him because he owned a home and a business and therefore was a good 'target'. Never mind the fact that I had been single for 7 years prior to meeting him, had my own place, paid my own bills and never once mentioned anything about marriage or moving in. Really nothing I actually did would imply that I was looking to 'trap' him. But he made his snap judgement.  Today's podcast is about these types of judgments. Do others do this to you? Do you do it to others? We shouldn't but we do. Let's try to be better so we don't end up like Fox News, trying to embarrass some guy who is just trying to live his life.
Many of you have heard me talk about my son and his traumatic brain injury but I have never fully shared the story of how he was hurt. My son is a shaken baby survivor, both my boys are. I am returning to my podcast after taking a break to manage my life with the story of how Gage was hurt, what followed and a new issue that has come from his brain injury.
Don't Eat Tide Pods!!!

Don't Eat Tide Pods!!!

2018-01-1800:34:22

The newest 'challenge' that is on social media is out there for our kids to be subjected to. The Tide Pod challenge is trending right now because kids are ACTUALLY recording themselves EATING Tide Pods and posting it online. As parents we seem to have new things every day that we need to protect our kids from. Now we need to protect them from themselves and reinforce the need for basic common sense. This weeks podcast covers social media challenges and the absolute ridiculousness of children harming themselves in an effort to get more clicks, shares, tweets and likes.
If you are not sure who Mayim Bialik is, you may not have been a young girl growing up in the 90’s watching Blossom dancing on your TV screen listening to her on screen brother Joey say “Whoa!” You are more than likely familiar with her role as Sheldon’s love interest Amy on the Big Bang Theory. What you MAY not know however is that she is a scientist in real life. Like a really real scientist with a B.S. in neuroscience. She also created a site called GrokNation which caters to women and includes wide-ranging topics such as religion, popular culture, parenting, and Hollywood. Man this lady has a lot going on – including launching a brand new book! Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular looks to be an amazing book and one I will likely be purchasing for my daughter. It tackles a lot of issues for little girls from a scientific perspective breaking down many of the things that as a little girl I wondered about. Hell, some of them I still wonder about. The book has 6 chapters: How Our Bodies WorkHow We GrowHow We LearnHow We LoveHow We CopeHow We MatterAnd that last chapter is one that I am so very excited to read to my daughter.
Who you allow into your life, mind & heart are among the most important decisions you will ever make.   It took me some time to fully understand this and how important it was in my life. I am one of those people who will always try to see the good in people. I usually end up ignoring the bad when I do though. Quite often I would ignore or disregard bad qualities or behavior because I thought that the person was a 'good person underneath it all'. With my boys' father I chose to look past all of the blatant signs that he was not good for me, or my boys. I tried to make something work with my daughter's father that would never work. The whole time telling myself that I could fix things that simply weren't fixable. The realization of how important this decision was for my life finally hit home when I had to completely sever my relationship with my best friend. We had been friends for almost 10 years when I had to walk away. For some time I had suspicions that she had  started using drugs. But I found myself making excuses and talking myself out of those suspicions. My friend couldn't possibly be using, she wouldn't lie straight to my face when I asked her. She wouldn't use drugs while me and my children were in the house. I just couldn't make myself believe it no matter what my gut said. Finally, I couldn't ignore the signs and people telling me that she was using. I had to tell my best friend, a woman I considered a sister, that she could no longer be in my life. It took me a while after that to finally realize that it took me far too long to cut my friend out of my life. I allowed her around my children when I shouldn't have because I wanted to believe my friend. That I stayed for too long in a 'relationship' with my daughter's father because I wanted believe that he would change. I ignored all the signs and it effected my life. Have you ever heard the phrase 'You are who you hang with'? When you allow toxic people into your life they will poison it. It may not happen right away, and you may not even realize it. Until it's too late. They can effect your outlook on life, the way you behave, activate bad habits. When I was with my daughter's father I drank a whole lot more than I normally do. I felt that in order to be with him I had to drink like him. I was the worst version of myself when I was with him.  Since that relationship and losing my best friend I have made sure to only allow positive people into my life. People who will bring out the best in me. Push me to be a better person and help me enforce a positive and healthy lifestyle. It took me many years to fully understand how important this was for a healthy life for myself and my family. Since making that decision life has been much more of a blessing than a burden.  I have had less drama to deal with. There is no longer a constant feeling of BLAH looming overhead. Making sure that only certain people are allowed into our family and into my life has been critical for our happiness and peace. It is the most important thing.
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Comments (3)

Rachel Alison

I recently came across this podcast and after listening to the most recent episode and I decided to go back to all the episodes. This particular episode spoke to me because I gave my 4 year olds father the choice to step up or go, he chose not to step up and I found myself feeling guilty for that but no longer!!! Also I have realised I have been looking for someone to date to give him that father figure so I've kicked that in the butt too! Thank you for giving me the push I needed to be aware that my circumstances do not define me and I am happy with who I am and where I am!

Feb 14th
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Shawna VanOrder

so i wanted to share my thoughts on why some of us might have guilt towards being a single mom and not providing that father figure for our kids and why other moms may not have that guilt. in your first podcast you spoke about the conversation with your boys father and how you gave him the choice to participate or not but that the bottom line was, you were having those babies. At that moment when you decided to keep them with or without him,you accepted the single parent role. You didn't have it in your head that you were going to get married and be a family and raise them as a team.. Your mindset from the get go was that of a single parent. You may not have guilt because you never had the expectations of there ever being a father figure to begin with. speaking for myself, i am experiencing the disappointment and the let down that comes from my kids dad not being around because it was all i ever wanted. To this day I've got no clue what direction to go as far as careers go. Having a family and working together as a team to take care of that family is all i ever wanted. I never even cared about getting married. I just wanted to be a mom and provide my kids with a happy loving family experience with both parents. I wanted them to witness a way of life i didnt get to. When i was pregnant with my daughter her dad entered rehab and things completely changed. We had been together for about 6 years at that time and lived a not so glamorous life till then. With rehab he went back to school, had a good job and was quickly moving up, paying off debt, etc. He was finally becoming everything good that i could see in him even through all the bad. We got our own place together and did weekly hiking adventures and camping and everything we did we did as a team. As lame as this might sound , he was literally making my dreams come true. we planned to have another baby and things were great. I had the most amazing feeling of calmness and peace and contentment. Then he relapsed before our son was even born and everything changed. I fought for close to 2 years trying not to lose that dream that had become my reality. I fought for the daddy daughter relationship they had that i never got to experience. i fought for 10 years of memories made as well as the ones to come. i fought for all the love i still had for him. i fought to keep my best friend. In the end of it all i was forced to get a restraining order to protect my kids. That was December 2016. Ive been doing this on my own with the help of family and friends and i have every reason in the world to hate him. I do not. I am sad for him and all the time he is missing with our kids. i am sad that i lost my best friend of over 10 years. I am angry that i got a taste of the life i always wanted and had it ripped away. The one thing i feel guilt over though is that my kids are missing out on experiencing a family life not just with both parents but one where both parents are actively involved. Where their is love and affection and communication and team work between the parents. Because in my head thats how it was supposed to be. And thats how it started out. That is the role my mind had taken on from the beginning. so yeah.. just my VERY long thoughts on the matter. 😁😁

Apr 26th
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