A leisurely walk by the Nairobi CBD found me peering wistfully through the windows of a local bookshop at the Nairobi CBD, Prestige Bookshop, off Mama Ngina Street. I spied a rather interesting book that would appeal to many single mums; The Kickass Single Mum by Emma Johnson. The book promises to offer the single mother nuggets on financial independence, discovering ones sexiest self and raising fabulous and happy children. I promised myself to treat myself to the book the following month. And treat myself I did.
forceful, vigorous, and aggressive.
“he’s a kick-ass guy who takes no prisoners”
extremely good or impressive; excellent.
“I will be a kick-ass management coach”
The fundamentals of being a single mum
Some of the learnings that I picked from this section of the book;
The definition of a single mum: If you have children and are not currently married or permanently partnered then you are a single mum. If you are married and you feel like you are raising children on your own that does not define you as a single mum.
To be a good single mum you must indulge in self care. The following are aspects of self care that you can look into;
Health and fitness
Giving Back to the community
The author seeks to dispel the notion that single moms are broke and uneducated. She urges all single mums to embrace a mindset of abundance in their lives.
To create a lifestyle for their family that they can afford.
As fate would have it and as women, women’s prime earning years coincide with child bearing years. In other words as a woman if you feel like starting your own family and gaining financial independence, one is not necessarily a sacrifice for the other.
All single mums should focus on increasing their earning power.
Whatever you believe in is what your life will manifest.
Identify your money mind set that is simply what you believe is true and possible with money.
Know your income.
Know your debt.
Know the absolute minimum of money that you need each month to get by.
How much do you want to earn to create a lifestyle that you want.
Think of at least three things that you can do today to increase your income.
The power of outsourcing as a single mum so as to create more time for you to earn more money; e.g. day care, laundry.
Build a lifestyle that you can afford today that is do not live a lifestyle that you hope to afford tomorrow. In the first few months or years of being a single mum expect to a bit strained financially as you adapt to the new normal of living managing family finances without a partner. At the beginning cut of non essentials e.g. unnecessary use of the car, gymn membership, eating out etc.
Live within your budget.
Begin saving and planning for your retirement old age years over college saving for your children that is if you have not already began doing so already. Reason being at the bare minimum children can work for college fees or get scholarships, tuition /financial aid but s senior citizen who is broke is a burden to society.
Live as if you are not relying on alimony or child support from your ex. If you receive any form of alimony or child support count it as a windfall and use it to save up for college education or things that you consider as luxuries for your children e.g. expensive vacations, braces. Try as much as possible to be able to afford the basics of your children’s upkeep on your own.
Living well is the best revenge that a woman scorned can give.
The author puts forward a case for free range over helicopter parenting. Free range parenting has to do with a child left to learn from their own experiences rather than being monitored step by step by their parent or guardian.
She argues that the best type of parenting for a single mum to adopt is equal shared parenting with the children’s father where possible. Coparenting that is. She urges single mothers to put aside their relationship differences with the fathers of their children for the benefit of their children.
You are not obliged to be friends with your exe’s new partner but you can be cordial and diplomatic and especially if the relationship becomes serious and the new partner interacts with your child.
To begin with accept that there is nothing shameful about a single mother dating. You are an adult woman with romantic, emotional, social and sexual needs. Accept that you are an adult woman.
A sexually satisfied mum is a happy mum.
Good men to date can be found through referrals from friends, neighbours, colleagues, single dads, online or even by chance encounters.
It is okay for your children to know that you date. This dispels the notion that single mums are asexual beings.
Finally, a word on widowed single mums;
The reality is that some men may fear or be off put by the fact that you are a widow. Yet others may want to take advantage of you especially if they think that you got a financial windfall on the passing on of your handsome.
The book is written in an easy to read style. With questions prompting action points at the end of each chapter. One does not have to agree with everything that the writer has written as the single parenthood journey is very personal and individual.
Also some cultural differences had me disagreeing with some of her thoughts.
Overall it was a worthwhile investment of my hard earned shilling for the Wacha niKwambie blogs followers and readers and myself. I highly recommend the book if you are a single mother and are looking for some motivation beyond the negative stereotypes that society in general has towards single mums.
To the best kickass mums ever whether single, married or anything in between.