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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood An Inspirational Guide for Single Moms

Samantha Gregory

© 2008 by Samantha Gregory

Published by RSM Publishing 5145 N Somerset Ln, Alpharetta, GA 30004

© 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Important Notices All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without prior written permission of the publisher.

Disclaimer: The information in this book is not meant to be legal, medical, financial, or theological advice. I am not a doctor, attorney, accountant, or ordained minister and any information found within these pages should be used at your own discretion.

© 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

To my children, Lexi and AJ You are my inspiration and my joy

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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Introduction

Being a single mother can be a stressful experience. Everyday you are juggle the roles of mother, father, employee, cook, mechanic, referee, and countless other functions in your personal life drama. The entire situation can be overwhelming at times and the guilt (from within or without) you may be feeling does not help matters. There is a better way to live life as a single mother. You can be successful and have a positive experience throughout your journey. You may be a single mother because of divorce, death, or desertion. You are a one-woman show, but the circumstances surrounding your single motherhood is not as important as how you learn how to effectively deal with the experience. At times, your self-worth may plummet, your life may seem like one endless struggle after another, and the loneliness can be unbearable. Just remember that your parental status does not determine who you are, but knowing yourself is most important. Your determination and hope is the main ingredient in determining your success. Whatever you resolve to do in your life, do it well and remember that making the best of the circumstances, with a little bit of creativity, is success. Success requires the completion of goals, goals you set for yourself. Your own measuring stick measures these goals. No one else can determine when or how you reach our goals. Staying on track and reaching your goal is the measure of your success. The barriers of your past cannot keep you from being successful if you are determined to create a fulfilling life. The illusions of other people cannot keep you from knowing the truth about you. Learning these lessons can be hard so this booklet designed to guide you, through quick tips, along the path of personal excellence. This booklet is divided in according to the hot spots in the life of a single mother. You may want to read the entire booklet at once or concentrate on one section at a time. Whatever the case, enjoy your journey as you learn to the secrets successful single motherhood.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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You may wonder what I know about all of this. The answer is that I am a single, never married mom. I lived the struggle, but I learned wonderful ways to cope with every obstacle that came my way. My journey was not easy, but it was necessary to make me into the person I am today. It was also necessary, so I could share what I lived and learned with you. I hope this booklet is helpful and a blessing. You are not alone. You are a blessing to your children, you deserve the happiness that is possible by reading little books like this, and embracing the tips found in this booklet.

Enjoy!

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded! ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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Self-care 1. Prioritize your life to prevent being overwhelmed. 2. Determine the five important areas in your life (ex. self, children, career, social life, church, volunteering, etc.). 3. Order your priorities from the most to least important then, within each; decide what activities you normally engage in then prioritize those. 4. If it is not a priority, say ‘no’. Decide later if it is worth adding to your list of priorities. 5. Step back when overwhelmed. 6. Walk (or run) away for a little while to prevent mental and emotional overload. 7. Take a day off to regroup your life and mind. 8. Take a half-day off if a whole day is impossible. Those few hours will do wonders for your soul. Use the time to pamper yourself. 9. Remember that when the mommy feels good everyone else feels good too! 10. Have dreams and set attainable goals. Knowing the direction you are going in will keep you on track. 11. Maintain positive friendships. Do not forget the old ones and never be afraid to make new ones. 12. Realize the freedom you have as a single mom. You can make independent decisions. 13. Learn from your mistakes to avoid repeating them in the future. You will save yourself much aggravation. 14. Forgive yourself and move on. Forgiving yourself releases guilt and allows you to move on with life in a positive way. 15. Follow your unique path. 16. Make time for things you enjoy. All work and no play make life much too stressful. 17. Pamper yourself often. Lavish yourself with wonderful smelling fragrances. Take a bubble bath. Get a massage or get your nails done. You can do many inexpensive things for you each week. 18. Do not be too hard on yourself. Being human means that you will not be perfect so accept the reality and move ahead. © 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

19. Find out your personality style. Discovering your personality style is a first step to discovering who you are.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Spiritual Success 20. Spend time in nature to revive yourself. 21. Write thoughts, joys, and frustrations in a journal. 22. Attend a community event to support and give back. 23. Instill spiritual principles into your kids. 24. Help a family or elderly person in need. 25. Read a book of poems or meditation. 26. Seek the help of a counselor or life coach. 27. Listen to music that gets you moving or helps you relax.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

The best six doctors anywhere And no one can deny it Are sunshine, water, rest, and air Exercise and diet. These six will gladly you attend If only you are willing Your mind they'll ease Your will they'll mend And charge you not a shilling. ~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Physical Success 28. Go for a walk 29. Eat good, healthy food 30. Have regular visits to the doctor 31. Eat breakfast 32. Take vitamins 33. Play with your kids 34. Get a massage (from a professional or a friend) to relieve physical stress.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

The loneliest woman in the world is a woman without a close woman friend. -George Santayana

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Social Success 35. Develop friendships with other single moms. 36. Attend cultural events with another single mother. 37. Join a health club or YWCA and participate in the activities. 38. Enroll your kids in sports and interact with other parents. 39. Join the committees at your child’s school or get involved in their class.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which has overcome while trying to succeed." ~Booker T. Washington

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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Emotional Success 40. Find a trusted person to talk to about your frustration. 41. Talk about your feelings and frustrations. Do not keep them bottled up. 42. Encourage your children to talk about their feelings. 43. Read books on self-improvement and/or to relax.. 44. Work out your childhood issues. They could be hindering your emotional health. 45. Commit to having good emotional health. 46. Access the local mental health service for counseling through work or the county. 47. Pace yourself when resolving difficult personal issues. Tackling too much too soon can overwhelm you.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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Financial Success 48. Develop a spending plan to avoid overspending. 49. Involve your kids in creating and maintaining a budget. They should know how the money is spent so that they can be more sensitive to money limitations. 50. Have a savings plan to prepare for emergencies and vacations. 51. Join a Credit Union to avoid outrageous bank fees. Your money will earn interest over time. 52. Have funds for retirement/ savings automatically taken out of your pre-tax dollars. 53. Get child support payments direct deposited.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Education is the movement from darkness to light. ~Allan Bloom

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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Education Success 54. Return to school to increase your job skills. Better job skills usually mean an increase in pay. 55. Find out if your employer will pay for training. Be sure to ask. 56. Attend continuing education courses for self-improvement. 57. Never stop learning. Your extra skills could help you earn extra money. 58. Use your newly learned skills or old ones to make extra money in a home business. 59. Be a good student because good grades have its rewards in scholarships and excellent recommendation letters from instructors. 60. Set a positive example for your kids. When they see you’re working hard and studying for your class, they will be motivated to do their best as well. 61. Get help from a tutor for any trouble you are having in a subject. There are usually free or very low cost on-campus tutors available. 62. Take advantage of library resources. Check out movies; get access to online services such as e-books, and courses, etc. 63. Learn how to do-it-yourself. You can repair a leaky faucet or put together your child’s dresser drawers by reading a do-it-yourself book. 64. Teach your kids basic life skills. Teach them to care for their health, their clothes, their money, and themselves. 65. Improve your basic life skills. Cooking, money management, and healthy habits are all skills that can save money and bring enjoyment. 66. Be a temporary apprentice to someone who has a skill that you want to learn. Most people are happy to share their knowledge.

© 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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Parenting Success 67. Read parenting books and discover your parenting style. 68. Remember that your kids follow your example rather than you words. 69. Everything you do is being watched so watch your words and actions. 70. Encourage close sibling relationships among your kids. 71. Sibling will always have someone on their side if they always treat each other with love and respect. 72. Allow your kids to be kids to avoid complicated adulthoods. 73. Don’t make your kids responsible for adult stuff too soon. 74. Don’t treat your child as a confidant. They are too young to understand or deal with your adult problems. 75. Extended family is important to kids of single moms. Be sure the relationships are healthy. 76. Teach your child balance and interdependence. They will be healthier emotionally.

© 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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“You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip.” ~Jonathan Carrol

© 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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Relationship Success 77. Use wisdom in exposing your kids to other adults. 78. Resolve past relationship issues before dating again. 79. Ask trusted friends to vouch for the character of your boyfriend. They may be able to see what you can’t see and head off future problems. 80. Be wise about the interaction between your kids and your boyfriend. 81. Take care of yourself first and stay grounded in a new relationship. Spend time alone and with your children away from your special friend. 82. Read books on relationships. Advice from a trusted source in invaluable. 83. Seek the wisdom of an older, successfully married woman. Her insight and advice can be a priceless source of information.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week. ~H. Jackson Browne

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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Career/ Employment Success 84. Negotiate your position and/or salary to be sure you are compensated fairly. 85. Change jobs while you are still employed. Finding a job while you have a job is easier than not having a job. 86. Get a professionally prepared resume. A professional can develop and highlight skills that will help you get the interview. 87. Maintain a professional attitude on the job. You are being scrutinized on your work ethic, attitude, and skill. 88. Practice first class customer service. The way you treat people speaks volumes about your character. 89. Be kind and willing to go beyond your duties. Develop a reputation of being kind, yet professional.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn, Hundreds of bees in the purple clover, Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn, But only one mother the wide world over. ~George Cooper

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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Miscellaneous Matters 90. Ask your family/friends for help. They may be able to help with childcare, finances, or moral support. 91. Go to social service agencies for temporary help. You may need assistance with food, shelter, childcare and employment. 92. Join a support group for single mothers. No one knows what single moms go through like other single moms. 93. Prayerfully locate a supportive church to attend. The members of a compassionate church can be a haven of rest for a weary mom. 94. Understand that you are a valuable person. Walk with your head up. 95. Be proactive instead of reactive in solving problems. Search for the answer instead of wallowing in the problem. 96. Develop a prayer life. The more you pray, the better things eventually get. 97. Take time to read books that will improve your life. There is a book for every situation in life. 98. Make time to be alone to regroup when life begins to overwhelm you. Alone time is priceless. 99. Take the time to enjoy your kids. They are a gift from God and they are only small once.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Discipline Success 100. Set ground rules early and stick to them. 101. Discuss the rules and expectations for behavior 102. Follow through with consequences to negative, i.e. Extra chores, revoke privileges, 103. Have family meetings to talk about issues 104. Implement time-out for everyone to cool down 105. Teach self-control and be an example of the same. 106. Praise good behavior and ignore negative attention-getting behavior 107. Use corporal punishment as last resort 108. Get family counseling when you first see signs of delinquent behavior

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Raising Boys: A Primer for Single Moms 109. Remember that you are not a man, but a mom 110. Find trustworthy men to be a role model / mentor 111. Get them involved in physical activities to exert extra energy 112. Be their biggest cheerleader and advocate 113. Let them grow up 114. Remember that boys act like boys; let them be who they are 115. Teach them to respect you and all women at a very early age 116. Resist spoiling them no matter how cute and affectionate they are 117. Teach them to cook, clean, and do laundry; they will thank you later Note: They play with their private parts; it's normal, so relax

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Raising Girls: A Primer for Single Dads 118. Remembering that you are the first man in their lives, show them how a lady is to be treated 119. Find a good lady friend, mother, or aunt to style her hair until you learn 120. Learn how to style her hair 121. Girls typically come into the world moody so don't take it personally 122. Learn to shop for clothes that fit and flatter her body 123. Take a balanced approach to discipline and doting (spoiling) 124. Let her be the girl or little lady and keep her innocence for as long as possible 125. Show interest in her life even if she acts like you annoy her 126. Be a sounding board on a consistent basis so that she will come to you with her joys and sorrows Note: Pads is not a four letter word, neither is bras; get used to buying them

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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Successful Single Motherhood Resources Internet Resources www.SingleMotherResources.com - Offers information about finances and scholarships. www.Co-Abode.com - Connects single mothers who want or need to share housing. www.MakingLemonade.com - A site for all single parents. www.Singlemothers.Org -The Official site of the National Organization of Single Mothers, Inc. www.Singlerose.com - An informative site for single mothers. You have to join but the membership is free. www.Singlemoms.Org www.Singlemom.com - This is another site for single moms. It has a lot of information on the pages so be prepared to stay awhile. www.ParentsWithoutPartners.com - This is a national organization with many local chapters. It is open to all single parents. www.Singleparents.About.Com - An About.com channel. It has many articles for and about single moms and single parenting. www.TheSingleMom.com - Offers articles, a forum, and a store. www.SingleParentsNetwork.com - Another website for single parents. www.SingleParentCentral.com - a resource site for single parents. www.RichSingleMomma.com – Wealth building resource for single moms.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood

Government Resources: www.hud.gov/renting/index.cfm - Department of Housing and Urban Development guide to finding a house or apartment. http://www.govbenefits.gov/ - Very Low to Moderate Income Rural Housing Loans www.govbenefits.gov Helps you determine for what benefits you are eligible. http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cse/ - Federal office of child support enforcement. http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/index.htm - Apply for financial aid for school. http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/ - Information about food stamps. http://nccic.org/ - National childcare information center http://www2.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/hsb/ - Head Start Bureau

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com

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About the Author Other Websites Rich Single Momma Single Moms Rock Single Moms Network 7 Dollar Offers

Single Mom Success Guides 100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood The Single Mom’s Guide to Success and Happiness The Truth About Grants for Single Moms

I am the author of 100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood, a writer, web entrepreneur, and blogger. I am also a single mom and advocate/motivator for all single moms who want to thrive. If you want to learn how to be happy and financially independent contact me at samantha.a.gregory@gmail.com.

Š 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


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Need a speaker for your group?

Samantha Gregory is available to speak to your group.

Topics include: Single Mom Success Strategies Living a Successful Life Career Focus

…and much more

Contact Information: Samantha Gregory 256-417-0466 Samantha.a.gregory@gmail.com

© 2008 Samantha Gregory http://www.richsinglemomma.com


100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood  

100 Secrets of Successful Single Motherhood gives 100+ tips on how to navigate through single motherhood with poise and sanity. You will fin...

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