20 Simple ways to be a more content single mum

Content single mum

Who wouldn’t want to be more content single mum?

Bring on more contentment any day of the week, I say!

Fun fact: The adjective for being content is

“In a state of peaceful happiness.”

Sounds blissful doesn’t it?

It’s something we all really want and spend a lot of time searching for.

Yet, contentment comes from within. It is a personal thing and is different for everyone. You may be content with a peaceful evening to yourself or cheering on your kids at sports. Two completely different activities, both happy and fulfilling to different people.

Contentment, like happiness, is scientifically proven to be contagious. So if you are content… your children will feel content too.

Just think.. peaceful, happy children! What more could we ask for?

The best bit is that it’s super easy to have a more content life.

To get you started, I’ve made a list of 20 easy-peasy ways to be a more content single mum. Thank me later!

20 Ways to be a more content single mum

1. Let go of the need to be a perfect single mum (there’s no such thing)

First things first, stop trying to be perfect.

Not only is there no such thing as a perfect mum, but imagine what it would be like if we were all flawless … how boring!

Once you give yourself a break and accept that being YOU is enough, you’ll unlock the gate to Contentment Castle.

I learned pretty early that perfection as a mum was an impossible mission. I then embraced the hot mess single mum I really was and everything felt easier, happier and waaay more fun.

2. Be with your children with no other distractions

What is the most important job in your world?

Correct answer (I hope): Being a mum.

And ‘being a mum’ means being their for your kids over and above everything else.

So, to find fulfilment and feel damn good BE THAT MUM. This means spending quality time with your kids where you focus on them and only them.

Not only will they adore your undivided attention but you can fall unburdened into their world and just enjoy the small human/s you created.

3. Listen to feel-good music (preferably loudly … and dance)

Did you know that music has a profound impact on our emotions and can evoke a wide range of feelings, including contentment?

I’m sure you do. I mean, who doesn’t feel fab when they crank up their favourite tune?

If you’ve had a hard day and your contentment levels are dwindling, put on some music and dance.

My girls are older and I don’t have to be alert for every sound. This means that I sometimes stick in my headphones with my ‘Uplift Me’ playlist while I cook dinner. I make it faster, enjoy the process and I’m sure it tastes better too.

You fav music = contentment. It’s that simple.

4. Live your dreams by working towards your goals

Being a solo parent doesn’t mean you have to forget about your dreams. Yes, some of us might have to slow down with our life goals. Some of us might even have to set our ambitions aside for a little while to prioritise our children.

Like me when I had to give up a promotion years ago; because more workload meant I wouldn’t be able to pick my kids up from school on time.

But remember that you can always get back on track. And it’s never too late to chase your dreams, no matter what age you’re in.

As for me, I know I can get that promotion someday. I’m still aiming for it, slowly, one step at a time. And thinking about how I’ll achieve my goal someday keeps me grounded.

Further reading: Goal setting for success in six easy steps.

5. Accept help and delegate where possible

I know you can handle whatever life throws at you. But let’s face it, despite the satisfaction of accomplishing everything by yourself, it always feels good to have someone help you.

Start by teaching your little ones chores that require little effort, like putting their newly folded clothes in the closet. It will be hitting two birds with one stone – you’ll finish tasks faster and introduce simple chores to your kids. High five!

Thankfully, mine can now do simple household chores like washing the dishes and setting the table. So I’m able to focus on more tedious tasks at home (plus I now have time to relax after cooking).

Also, whenever one of my sisters comes to visit, I never decline any kind of help – especially if they’ll be staying for a couple of days. A simple offer to set the table will give you a few minutes of much-needed rest, so take it.

6. Have something to look forward to, however small

Rewarding yourself for not only surviving the day but also doing it with flying colours – now this is another tick in the content single mum checklist.

At the end of every day, I look forward to the time when both my kids are asleep.

Only then can I watch my favourite Netflix series without someone shouting my name and asking me where their sock is (seriously, though, why can’t they find it and I could?!)

You, too, can have something to look forward to. You can treat yourself to a spa or a movie once every month.

Doing this will help you relax and replenish your energy so you can take better care of your little ones.

7. Seek escapism with a good book or a podcast

We’ve all experienced the challenges that come with being a single mum, so it is important to find moments of escape (not literally, though).

Whenever I get too overwhelmed by everything that I need to do – bills that need to be paid, clothes that need to be washed, or school projects that are almost due, I take a quick escape by reading a few pages from my favourite novel or listening to a fun podcast.

Doing this allows me to recharge and face the world with a fresh perspective.

Aside from helping me destress, it helps me get things done quickly. It is my little oasis of calm amidst life’s chaos. 

8. Nourish yourself with a healthy food

Juggling parenthood by yourself often means neglecting personal well-being.

I, too, used to be guilty of this (I still am, sometimes).

Sometimes I forget to take my vitamins or I get only a few hours of sleep. I’m aware that I should also take care of myself and I do my best to do so; because I know that my children are depending on me.

Aside from exercising regularly, I make a point to plan nutritious meals (both for me and my kids). This not only boosts my energy but also sets a positive example for my little ones.

9. Consider and be thankful for the good things in your life

For me, this is the most crucial factor to being a content single mum – expressing gratitude for all of life’s blessings, no matter how small.

I know it’s easier to whine, to be pessimistic, and to focus on life’s challenges.

I mean who doesn’t complain when things get tough, right?!

But you know what? Once I started taking time to reflect on the positive side of things and appreciating them, I felt more content.

I realised there are more good things in my life than bad. I have supportive friends, my kids love me, we get to eat three times every day, and most importantly, we are healthy.

Stop and take time to think about the small things in your life that you are grateful for.

10. Don’t compare yourself to others or worry about what people think

The world will never be void of people who are quick to judge. Sometimes they add unnecessary stress to our already complicated lives.

If you are serious about being a content single mum, avoid comparing yourself to others and don’t let what people say affect you.

I know, easier said than done.

I also know from experience that it’s difficult to “un-hear” negative comments about your parenting style (In-laws, am I right?! *wink).

But dwelling on what others think does not help at all. Instead, accept and recognize that your parenting journey may be different from others, but it is also valid and valuable.

Look in the mirror every morning and say “I am not perfect, but I am a good mum.” This mantra helped me get through tough times, I hope it does the same for you.

11. Feel happy you’re a single mum

I used to see being a single mum as a never-ending burden.

But after years of being one, I realised that it’s more of a perk!

I get to bond with my kids whenever I want to, and they confide their secrets with me (except spilling those tiny crushes – I just couldn’t get through those, lol).

I think of single motherhood as a superpower instead of a limitation; because mums like us have more strength and resilience than any Avenger.

Think about how free you are to make decisions that align with your values and priorities. That alone is an amazing trait!

12. Exercise as regularly as you can doing something you ENJOY

Before I had kids, I had an extensive workout routine. I exercised regularly and fitness was one of my priorities. Committing to it was easy peasy. (I even had abs!)

But since I became a mum, carving out time to even take a walk around our block has been quite a challenge.

Despite the difficulty, I still try! I wake up at five in the morning and take a light jog or walk briskly to get coffee from the nearest cafe, and I love it! It’s “me time” and workout in one!

You too, can try an activity that you love. Start with an easy one and commit to it. Think of it as an investment in your well-being so you can take on the daily challenges of single parenthood.

13. Watch TV that makes you laugh

Single mum or not, laughter truly is the best medicine.

Taking a break to watch TV shows that make you laugh is a powerful stress reliever.

It can be a sitcom, a stand-up comedy special, or a light-hearted series.

The shows do not need to be on TV either. They can be on your preferred streaming app if you want to watch while on the go.

These moments of joy not only provide a mental escape but also contribute to your overall well-being. So, if you can, make it a regular part of your self-care routine.

14. Catch up regularly with good friends and close family

When was the last time you enjoyed a hot cup of coffee with your friends?

I know you got used to drinking coffee that’s been reheated in the microwave for the 9th time. (I can totally relate, sister).

But every once in a while, you can schedule a coffee date to catch up with your pals.

Now don’t tell me you don’t have time. You can make time for it! You can get a sitter or take your kids to a family member or friend who owes you a favour.

If there’s no one available, you can bring the kids along. It will be a great opportunity for them to get to know their Mum’s buddies.

If you have mum friends, they can bring their kiddos, too. It will be a coffee date and a playdate in one!

15. Get your financial situation in order so you worry less about it

Taking control of your financial situation is a powerful step towards peace of mind and contentment.

Yes, you can indulge yourself with a well-deserved reward from time to time, but make sure you don’t overspend.

I know it’s your hard-earned money and it’s up to you how you spend it. Shopping for stuff might make you happy for a while, but will you feel the same after seeing your card’s billing statement? I don’t think so.

Instead of buying plenty of petty things all at once, purchase one thing that you really want.

Scott Pape’s “Barefoot Investor” offers practical advice on managing money, creating a budget, and building financial resilience. By understanding and organising your finances, you can worry less and have financial freedom.

16. Smile more (it’s scientifically proven to make you feel better)

After I separated from my kids’ father, I smiled less. I became more serious and had this poker face on.

Then I noticed that this habit began to resonate with the people around me, including my kids.

My youngest would frown at the smallest issues, my oldest had fewer friends, and my neighbour would immediately turn around upon seeing me! In her defence, maybe I looked a little too grumpy at the time.

I’m not telling you to force a smile when you don’t feel like it. I’m just saying that it never hurts to flash a grin from time to time, whether it’s at the mirror, your kiddo, or even your morning coffee.

Trust me, it’s like a happiness workout, and the best part? No gym membership is required!

17. Don’t look back in anger, instead look forward with positivity

You may have had issues with your ex-husband (and you might still have), but life’s too short for that noise.

Remember, he is still your children’s father. He may not be present all the time, but that’s on him.

I’m not telling you to forgive him or forget about his wrongdoings, especially if they’re still pretty fresh.

Instead of focusing on the negative things he has done or your differences, redirect your thoughts to how you can make co-parenting work. Focus on the road ahead (and most importantly, on your kids).

Dwelling in anger is like carrying rocks in your backpack. Drop that baggage, my friend, and I promise you will feel much lighter.

Further reading: How to let go of hate and be a better co-parent.

18. Ditch the guilt

I get it – guilt has this sneaky way of creeping into our lives. This is true not only for single mums but also for all types of mothers. I guess that is just how we are.

Here’s my two cents on that – it’s a wasted emotion.

I’ve been down that guilt trip, blaming myself for not being a superhero 24/7.

But you know what? Perfect moms only exist in fairy tales.

So, ditch the guilt, mumma. It’s unnecessary, and trust me, your kiddos won’t remember the small stumbles.

Do you know what they will remember?

That you were always there for them, and that’s what matters most. Now pass me the tissue *sniff.

19. Boost your energy so you feel like you can take on the world

Here’s another secret to being a content single mum – find what gives you a boost of energy.

If it’s a power snack, make sure to stock plenty in your pantry.

It could also be a goofy dance break, so make sure your playlist is prepared with the right music.

If it’s a quick power nap (seriously, they work wonders), be sure to take it whenever you need to.

For me, it’s a dance party in the living room (and a cup of coffee). This combo makes me feel like plugging into a cosmic energy source. Then I’m ready to take on the world again.

20. Reflect at the end of each day and give yourself a pat on the back

This method is often taken for granted because of how hectic our daily schedules are. But it is one of the most simple and effective steps to becoming a content single mum.

At the end of each day, take a moment to reflect and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.

But what if you had a crazy and tiring day?

Here’s the trick: rewind a bit. Think about those moments you handled like a boss and how you conquered the hurdles of that day.

Just like how you still made it in time for your morning meeting even after dealing with an hour-long tantrum at home.

Celebrate those victories, no matter how small. You’re doing a superhero-level job, and acknowledging it is like a daily dose of self-love.

Summary: Simple ways to be a more content single mum

Juggling a demanding job while raising a highly energetic kid (or two) by yourself can make life seem like a relentless rollercoaster.

So I won’t blame you if, even after reading my “tried and tested” tips, achieving contentment may still seem like a dream.

Believe me, it’s not, as long as you’re willing to make time and commit.

Being a content single mum is a journey of self-discovery and resilience.

Despite dealing with the demands of solo parenthood, from financial constraints and moody teenagers to the occasional outbursts with the ex, trust me, you can do it.

Begin by embracing the simple practices above. At first, you can choose one that you believe is the easiest to achieve. And before you know it, you have ticked off all 20 of them!

I know seeing your kids eat their favourite food and buying new stuff for them alone brings you enormous joy. I feel the same. Seeing our kids happy is more than enough for us.

But remember, no matter how content you are, make time to pamper yourself or indulge in your favourite things. You are no robot. I know you feel like you can take on everything, but this Barbie also needs her “me time.”

BOTTOMLINE – make time for yourself. You deserve it, after all!

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