Parenting is a challenging job, even when you’re doing it with a live-in partner or spouse. But finding yourself as a new single mom can be downright terrifying. Whether you’re dealing with separation or the dissolution of a long-term relationship. Or your partnership ended before your child was born. You’re faced with unique challenges to ensure you and your children continue to live happily and fulfilled. There is the task of figuring out effective co-parenting techniques, you’ll have to manage financial changes, and you may even have the added stress of finding a new place to live or new schools for your children. Building a new life as a single mom can be overwhelming, but you’ve got this! Here are some tips and the best advice for new single moms from moms that have been there. 

We already know you’re solid and resilient. You will shine even more with a few bonus tips in your single mom toolkit. You can easily tackle transition tasks, stay organized and embrace support from new sources. Communicate clearly and effectively with your co-parent, have control of your finances, and raise emotionally healthy, well-adjusted children. In general, this is your time to shine and show off as the rockstar parent you are! Here is our best advice for embracing this new phase in your life. 

Best advice for new single moms from moms that have been there.Best Advice For New Single Moms

Get Organized

First and foremost, it’s perfectly okay to take your time navigating this transition and ease into your new normal. With so much on your plate, we recommend doing what you can to simplify and organize as much as possible so that the long lists of tasks you’re facing don’t feel quite so enormous. 

Create a daily routine that’s easy-to-follow, and allows everyone to be aware of what each day will look like. It will help create a sense of safety and normalcy for your kids, especially if there’s been a great deal of upheaval during your separation from your partner. 

Take advantage of online tools and systems for staying organized. There are tools and apps for everything from making “to-do” lists or grocery lists to managing shared calendars and keeping track of everyone’s activities. At Single Mom Defined, we love using Google Calendar. Features like color-coding let each family member easily recognize their events, and calendar syncing shares information across everyone’s devices for real-time updates. So co-parents and older kids with their own devices can also see the family’s schedule. 

Planning and preparing in advance makes busy schedules simpler too. Meal prepping for the week, packing school lunches at night, and laying out school clothing in advance. Batching or outsourcing tasks like laundry and cleaning are all ways to make getting out the door for work and school go more smoothly. It also reduces nighttime stressors and reduces the likelihood that things will slip through the cracks at the last minute. 

Build a Support System

You may not be able to rely solely on a partner or spouse for help anymore, but now you can build your ideal support system. Ask for help from parents, siblings, friends, and neighbors you can rely on. We know it can be hard sometimes to ask for help. But you may be surprised at how much people are willing to assist with cooking, carpooling, babysitting, and even cost sharing. 

And even if you have difficulty asking up front, be willing to accept help when offered. Lean on your village–the people who care about you–to help you through this adjustment period until you can stand on your own. 

Join a Support Group

According to 2022 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, there are 11 million single-parent families in the U.S., and almost 80% have single moms at the head of the household. That means you’re not alone. Even if you have close friends or family to lean on, surround yourself with people who know firsthand what you’re going through. They can offer advice, tell you what worked for them as they settled, share resources, or even be a sounding board as you process your emotions. 

If you don’t know any other single parents, look for established support groups or join playdates in your area to help develop new friendships. Many Facebook groups, like our Single Mom Defined group, are geared toward local communities of single moms. You can utilize them, from finding deals on family activities and baby/infant care items to participating in clothing sales or swaps, moms’ nights out, and babysitting co-ops


Without a second salary, your finances may look different than they did before. Make sure to fully account for what your new income will be and what expenses you’ll be responsible for. The best way to do this is to set up a budget–and stick to it. Whether you choose to go old school with pen and paper, use the notes feature in your phone, or sign up for an app like Mint, being aware of where your money is coming from and where it’s going will help you to know where you may need to cut back and when you might have money left over for extras and unexpected expenses. Putting your essential bills on autopay might also be good if you frequently forget things. 

If you find gaps in your income, there are resources you can seek out to help. Find out what access you have to state and federal programs in your area, like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), government-run programs that help low-income families and single mothers buy food for their families.

If you’re local to Pittsburgh, our Single Mom Defined Resource Directory can lead you to a host of supplemental programs, organized by category, to help you find the assistance you need. 

Establish Clear Co-Parenting Communication 

Establishing a new family routine that includes your children’s other parent will be a considerable part of your transition. Transparent practices and boundaries with your co-parent will be paramount for keeping your kids on track while moving between households. Let technology be your best friend, and take advantage of apps to improve your co-parenting communication. Misunderstandings can create more stress for everyone involved. There are co-parenting apps geared toward every area of family management, from secure messaging and calendar sharing to document storage and expense management. You may have to experiment to find which one works best for your family, but it will be worth the effort once you’re operating like a well-oiled machine. 

And when it comes to the time your kids spend with their other parent, let go of what you can’t control. You’ll have an established set of rules for what is permissible at your home, and your kids’ other parent will have theirs. Operate from a shared set of family values as much as you can but know that you can only control the influence you have when your children are in your care. 

Be Open With Your Kids 

Talk with your kids about your new life in an age-appropriate way, and allow them to express their fears and concerns with you. Keeping the lines of communication open will help them to feel supported through the emotions they’re experiencing. Giving them the tools to cope may help prevent them from acting out or eliciting negative attention as a way to manage their feelings. 

Incorporate Self-Care

We all know the adage, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” It’s often repeated because it’s a potent metaphor for a clear truth. You need to take care of yourself to take care of the people you love. During this time, you might be feeling a ton of conflicting emotions. You may be grieving what you lost or recovering from past trauma. You may feel guilty that things didn’t work out as expected.  Or you might even feel a sense of relief that needs to be processed. Look for ways to take care of yourself while your emotional wounds heal. 

Focus on what’s good in your life, strengths, healthy relationships with family and friends, faith, and future goals. Be kind to yourself during this time when you might not be at your best. Making time for yourself away from your kids, listening to podcasts, reading blog posts and books from authors you trust, and talking with a professional therapist are all ways to incorporate self-care into your routine. 

Don’t Feel Pressured to Date

Naturally, you will eventually want to return to the dating pool and look for a new life partner. Know there is no need to rush. Use this time to focus on yourself and decide what you want from your life, independent of someone else’s opinions or ideals. Running into a new relationship could end up causing more harm than good for you and your family. Don’t feel pressured to introduce someone new into the picture before it makes sense, or you and your children are ready to open your hearts again. 

Bonus Advice From Moms Who Have Been There

We asked moms in our Single Mom Defined community to share the best advice they received when they were in your shoes. Here’s what they had to say: 

Give yourself grace. We’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for our children. It’s okay to cry. We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. There’s an African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child”…Single Mom Defined is a village. – Sarah Lyn Murphy

Just know that God chose you to care for His child. What an honor! It will feel lonely, but you’re never alone, it will be difficult, but soon you will see that it’s all worth it! – Bey Dede

What was the best advice you received when becoming a single mom? Please share with us in the comments.