Single Mothers, It’s Time to Take Care of YOU

Mom resting in hammock

by Diane Flanagan

Diane is a single mom and freelance writer who lives in North Carolina.

When was the last time you took a few minutes for yourself? And no, hiding in the bathroom with a candy bar doesn’t count. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 9.9 million single moms in the United States. You’re not alone; almost 10 million other women know you need time to recharge, re-energize and reclaim yourself.

Need Some Convincing?

We knew you would. If you think these ideas are too expensive or impractical, or if you’re just not sure where all your money goes, remember this important fact: Your little ones depend on you for everything, but who takes care of you? If you don’t prioritize yourself, you’ll end up stressed, worn out and overwhelmed. Make self-care a priority and afford a special treat with a few tips:

  • Save your $5 bills in a “Mom’s pampering” account
  • Barter with friends. In exchange for cash or babysitting, prepare a few meals, mow grass or run errands
  • Use daily coupon deals to afford restaurant meals, movies and spa treatments

Then, try one (or two) (or all) of these “Mommy time” treats:

1. Cut Your Hair

How long have you had the same hairstyle? Go out on a beauty limb, and try a new hairdo. Either visit your neighborhood salon or check out the affordable services available at your local cosmetology school. Your new look will increase your confidence and energy.

2. Send Yourself Flowers

There’s something about receiving a bouquet of flowers that brings a smile to your face. Buy yourself roses at, and schedule a delivery to yourself just because you deserve it.

3. Go Faux Shopping

When you feel stressed, try a little faux shopping. You’ll get all the benefits of a retail therapy session without the expense. Visit your favorite store, grab a cart, and look at and touch everything. Savor the experience. Then place only the items you really love in your cart. After you’ve explored every department, walk out of the store without buying anything. You’ll feel less stressed, and the experience doesn’t cost you a dime.

4. Schedule a Date With Your Mom

There’s one woman who still sees you as her little girl. Take your dear mom on a date, and enjoy a few hours of peace, quiet and connection. Thank your mom for taking care of you, pick her brain if you need advice or simply talk with her about life. If you can’t do a date with your biological mom, ask a mentor or older friend to join you, and enjoy sharing adults-only conversation with your loved one.

5. Get a Free Makeover

Makeup complements your facial features and skin tone while improving your overall sense of well-being. Visit the makeup counter of any major department store, and receive a free makeover as well as free samples. Try out new brands, colors and techniques that enhance your beauty, improve your confidence and boost your physical and emotional health.

6. Take a Nap

Naps are one of the luxuries you enjoyed before kids, and they’re even more special now and they come with lots of benefits. Schedule a nap before they arrive home from school or while a neighbor takes them to the park. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed, energized and prepared to be a better mom.

Treating yourself helps you unwind, so you can be the best mom you can be. Your kids will thank you!


  1. Nicole, You know that you don’t need my permission. I wish each and every single mother would give herself credit for all she does. Pat yourself on the back, until I can do it for you someday.

  2. I love these self-care ideas, Gail! Thanks for the permission to splurge a little on me.

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