Tried & Tested Life Coaching tips for single parents: Don’t do anything you don’t like. ehm but how…?
I am exploring and testing life coaching advice to find out if and how it applies to a single parents life.
A true self help / life coaching junky myself I have heard / read a lot of advices. Many have helped me along my journey. But since being a single parent I have thought many times: This is excellent advice, but feels next to impossible to implement in my overfull life as a single parent. This is how the idea for this website originated. Most coaches and guru’s are either not (yet) parents or if they are, they are hardly ever a single parent.
So how can we – single parents – benefit from all the self help wisdom and apply it to our daily lives? I shall be the guinea pig and dutifully report back to you.
First topic: Don’t do anything you don’t like.
Ehm oke… great advice for people who feel depleted and burnt out who don’t have kids and are not the only source of income. But I had felt depleted since forever, have 2 kids and fully depending on my very modest income as the only source of money. I could not stripe away anything on my to do list.
I read often: if you don’t like cleaning the house and doing laundry: hire somebody to do it for you! This will create time which you can then use to make more money. I think it’s really good advice. One that I shall remember for my very next phase in life. But right now – I simply am not in the luxury position to make this choice. That made me feel stuck. And I don’t like feeling stuck.
The answer came from an unexpected angle. Girls from work signed me up for a 5 km run. We were to go as a group. I said yes to it and a sense of panic ánd delight came over me.
Now before this happened I had felt rebellious about goal setting. I simply did not see the point. The gift of this 5 km run was a double gift! First of all it taught me how wonderful it is to run! (More about this another time) and it taught me that by having a goal I am now making sure I am creating time to reach my goal. I needed to be able to run 5km without stopping so I needed to train 3 to 4 times a week. This meant I also had to train when the kids were with me. I used to do sports on the days they were with their dad, but now I had to combine.
And no matter how much they would complain, I would go train and they were with me and had to wait until I had finished. While running and sweating and looking like a tomato about to explode I realised I was teaching them a valuable lesson at the same time! It takes sweat and tears to reach a goal and it takes a lot of work. At first you think you simply can not do it but as you keep on showing up steadily you progress. Wow!!
My kids were so proud to see me finish the race and the medal is still in a prominent place in our house. My time sucked, my technique as well, but I felt (months after and I still feel the same) like a total champion simply because I did it!
So back to our topic:
What does this have to do with not doing things you don’t want to do to avoid feeling depleted? We have got to turn it around! We simply have a gazillion of things to do. And even though most things aren’t the nicest or most glamorous (dishes, laundry, cleaning tiny behinds, prepping school lunches…. the list goes on) we do them because we love our kids. And being a single parent we are so strong and resilient that this all is only making us stronger. There might not be a single thing we can stripe of our list but there are things we can add. So let’s add something to the list that is just for you? If only for 5 minutes a day? For me workout things work really well because it gives me muscle aches which remind me all day to what I have done for myself. And the progress is so easily measurable. First I could do 1 push up. Now I can easily do 15. Also my body looks stronger. For me this works really well and it can be done in minutes a day.
From that I progressed to about 6 hours a week that are fully mine. I have decided to start to do extra work (on my own terms) from my house to create extra income. Extra income will allow me to live the life I want. So now the income and a monetizing side hussle has become my new goal. Where I used to spend a lot if time on Netflix or social media (feeling tired and uninspired to do something new) I now am much more focussed and spend most of my screentime learning about how to become a better entrepreneur. And my off time feels very deserved and this is when I watch my favourite series.
So in a nut shell:
- Change how you look at the things you have to do. (I wouldn’t want to miss parenting my kids, so all is welcome even though it’s a long list and I am exhausted often. They grow up fast so it is a matter of time until they will develop lives of their own and I will be missing these moments)
- Add something to your life that you want to do. If only 5 minutes a day! You tha champ!
- Start giving yourself little goals simply because reaching a goal is so delightful! The bigger the goal the bigger the rush! But make sure is goal is realistic… otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. This we don’t want. Nothing but love for yourself. For example; learn how to do 10 push ups! (from the toes! not the knees)
Please let me know if this was helpful for you or you have any questions?