Single Mom Chic Answers Her Readers Questions about Health, Wardrobe and Dating…Oh My

me again

I absolutely love interacting with those who follow Single Mom Chic on Instagram and Facebook . Here are a few question’s I’ve received about my single mom journey:

  • What do you think makes you different from other single mom bloggers/writers when it comes to life advice? I wouldn’t say i’m necessarily different. I think we all share some common experiences and I like being part of the mom blogging community, but I would say that what sets me apart is my mix of personal and professional experience. Many people blog/write about their personal experiences and some blog/write about their professional experience-what they know about theory and practice as counselors, therapists, etc. Both are valuable, but I actually have the life experience and the professional experience combined. I think that makes me somewhat unique. I also try to mix up the life advice with fun fashion or beauty posts. I like my blog/book to read like an Oprah Magazine with a little bit of all three mixed in.
  • How do you prepare healthy meals on a budget? I think you have to ask yourself where you can cut costs in other ways. Healthy food unfortunately is going to cost more, but if you cut down on eating out, picking up coffee on the go, and unhealthy snacks you will have a little more wiggle room in your grocery budget. One thing that I did as a single mom surprised a lot of people. I ordered groceries online. It wasn’t simply about having someone else shop for me, it helped save me money. Instead of being surprised at the register I could budget better online and remove items I didn’t really need or couldn’t afford before check out. There was a nominal fee for this at our local grocery store and then I would pick up my groceries from the loading lane. I saved a ton of money and time!
  • You mentioned workouts and gym memberships being worth it in your book, but what if you feel like you really don’t have time to work out? You have to make the time. None of this stuff is easy but it is worth it. If your health is bad you aren’t doing your kids (or your career) any favors. I would take my kids to the local high school track after work and they played around or walked/ran with me. We also joined the YMCA together where they could hang out in the play room or work out too. I tried all kinds of things with them to get exercise in. It certainly wasn’t a perfect system and it was a challenge, but you have to get creative.  Giving up an hour of sleep every morning to work out downstairs while the kids are still asleep may not seem fun at first but once you get into a routine it makes everything better.
  • Do you get bored of the capsule wardrobe? No, because I mix and match and it helps that I pack away clothes for each season. When I bring out next season’s capsule it feels like I have just gone shopping. Sometimes I find things in a previous season’s capsule that I forgot I owned. It’s always a great experience and I do add and remove a few things each season. I love that I can purchase higher quality items even if it’s just one fabulous thing. I would choose that any day over a bunch of stuff I bought simply because it was cheap, that doesn’t fit well or I have nothing to wear it with.
  • What if you can’t afford to invest in quality? Save up. Put just a little bit away each payday and buy one investment piece each season. Eventually you will have a nice capsule wardrobe.
  • How do you implement a minimalist capsule wardrobe with your children? I wouldn’t suggest a capsule for children. Children grow so quickly and they get dirty (or at least they should), so it doesn’t make sense to invest in high quality.  You want them to enjoy their childhood, not worry about their designer outfits. I do think you can save by sticking to a similar color palate and buying separates that are interchangeable.
  • How long is an appropriate amount of time before you start dating again? It really is a personal choice. I occasionally dated  but it took me 13 years to enter into a serious relationship. Some people date right away and others wait. I would say don’t feel pressured to do anything you aren’t ready to do. Only you will really know when you are ready. Also, remember that dating for sport (just for fun) is okay too. It’s nice to go out and have good conversations without thinking about turning it into a serious long-term commitment.
  • What do you do if your children dislike your new partner or vice versa? I don’t think it would be easy for a single mom to have a partner who disliked her kids. That would be deal breaker for me, but if my kids disliked my partner that would also be cause for pause. I would definitely want to understand their position. Do the kids dislike him just because he isn’t their dad or do they have a legitimate reason? Communication is key and I believe with kids it is important to take things slowly. I think my dating chapter in my book Single Mom Chic is probably one of my favorites and gives good advice to single moms about getting back in the dating field.
  • How did you know your second husband was the one? I know it will sound cliche but it just felt right. I think it was more about where I was in my life. I was ready to accept this wonderful man into my world. If we had met a few years earlier in my journey that might not have been the case. I do think timing is an important thing. I also knew that we were both pretty happy on our own. I distinctly remember telling him “Listen, I am very happy being single so if I get into a serious relationship it will have to be even better than what I have on my own.” Now I will admit that we are even better together but there was no saving anyone, or fixing anyone, he is my other whole, not half and I love that.
  • What do you think is the single most important piece of advice you can give a single mom? Remember who you are! It is easy to buy into what the world sells you about single motherhood or to make your life entirely about your kids but I think it is healthy for your kids to see you as a woman who loves who she is. That gives them the freedom to love who they are too!

I really love answering questions from readers so keep them coming!

p.s. I adore the pic above with my big fake light up ring. I think my smile says it all. Who wouldn’t be happy wearing a  big pink boa..

Until Next Post,


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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

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