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International single parent dating

Knowing that she had a babysitting partner nearby "saved me money -- and my sanity," she says."Many single moms fall into the superwoman trap, feeling that in addition to working all day, they must also keep a clean house, serve home-cooked meals, and tend to their children's needs," Mattes says.

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Aside from setting goals, single mothers need to take care of themselves."I realized that if I wanted to spend time with my son -- and get any sleep -- I had to rethink my priorities," she says.No matter what your reason for being a single mother, you're probably well acquainted with a nagging sense of guilt -- about working too much (or too little), not having enough time or money, being embattled with your ex, wanting to provide a sibling for your child, feeling that your family is "fractured" or less than ideal -- you name it!But for many moms, the most immediate, sanity-saving goals involve finding some much-needed personal time -- whether it's going out one night a week (or month), listening to music, writing in a journal, getting fresh air and exercise, or spending a few minutes a day in quiet reflection."One of my goals is to read a bit before going to bed each night," says Mary Royse, a single mother who lives with her 2-year-old son in Cincinnati."Some nights, I may only get through one or two pages before falling asleep.Whether it's making sure you eat well, taking time to exercise, keeping in touch with friends, getting enough rest, or even seeking professional counseling if you need it -- you'll be a better mom if you make yourself a priority.

Finally, it's important for all single women to try to create a peaceful and harmonious home life.

"Having goals, no matter how modest, can keep your spirits up and keep you moving forward," she adds.

Some single moms have long-term ambitions, like going back to school, losing weight, starting a new relationship, or moving to a better neighborhood.

A few weeks after I adopted my 8-1/2-month-old daughter, Eleni, I was about to take her to the park when I suddenly burst into tears.

As I glanced down at my little baby, my backpack overflowing with diapers, bills, bottles, and toys and a big bag of trash that desperately needed to be tossed -- I thought to myself: How can I possibly carry all this stuff? Looking back now, I realize that as a first-time single mom with a new baby on board, I was clearly emotional, exhausted, and stressed.

But while it's always easy to find something to feel guilty about, "it helps to focus on what's good and right about your family rather than on what's wrong or lacking," Mattes says.