When Emma Johnson's marriage ended she found herself broke, pregnant, and alone with a toddler. Searching for the advice she needed to navigate her new life as a single professional woman and parent, she discovered there was very little sage wisdom available. In response, Johnson launched the popular blog Wealthysinglemommy.com to speak to other women who, like herself, wanted to not just survive but thrive as single moms. Now, in this complete guide to single motherhood, Johnson guides women in confronting the naysayers in their lives (and in their own minds) to build a thriving career, achieve financial security, and to reignite their romantic life—all while being a kickass parent to their kids. The Kickass Single Mom shows readers how to:
• Build a new life that is entirely on their own terms.
• Find the time to devote to health, hobbies, friendships, faith, community and travel.
• Be a joyful, present and fun mom, and proud role model to your kids.
Full of practical advice and inspiration from Emma's life, as well as other successful single moms, this is a must-have resource for any single mom.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Emma Johnson is the creator of the popular blog, WealthySingleMommy.com, and the podcast, "Like a Mother," where she explores issues facing professional single moms like herself. She is a writer, journalist, entrepreneur, former small-town Midwesterner, and current New Yorker. Since launching her blog four years ago, she has become the leading voice of single motherhood in the popular media and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, Women's Day, and NPR, among others.
Read an Excerpt
Single Mom Money Management
THE NUMBER ONE CHALLENGE single moms face is money. In survey after survey of my single mom followers, finances is the most pressing challenge, the one that creates the most stress and the most conflict with exes, and what holds single moms back from being the parents, romantic partners, and women they want to be. If your bank account is low, your credit is a mess, you are miserable at work, and you are stuck in your stressful money situation, you are far, far from alone.
Also, you’re not materialistic or greedy for prioritizing money. Money, even more than health, it can be argued, is the most important part of life. Make no mistake: More does not automatically mean more, and extreme affluence is not the goal (though it is a very good goal, and if that is yours, go for it with abandon. Then invite me on your private jet, OK?). However, not having enough, or not feeling like you have enough, affects your emotional and mental health. In turn, this stress affects your ability to thrive as a person, enjoy motherhood, and be an effective parent. Fear of poverty can interfere with wise career choices, and keep you stuck in a low- paying job that you hate. That further sucks your energy and well- being. Buying into pressure to work all the time can warp your priorities, get in the way of an exercise routine, or keep you back from investing in self- care, like the occasional evening out with cherished girlfriends or a trip to invest time with your extended family. If you feel broke, you likely don’t feel great about yourself, and that will impact the types of men you attract and date. And if you are poor, you are likely not to have access to quality health care or healthy food, which increases the chances that you will be sick now, and dependent on your children sooner than later.
So, never, ever be ashamed about prioritizing earning, saving, and growing your money. In fact, I urge women to own their love of making, saving, and growing money.
Say it out loud: I love making money! Having money is fun and important! Building wealth feels AWESOME!
If you spend about forty- five seconds on Google, you will find very accurate statistics about single moms and money. Fact: Single mothers are poorer than married mothers, and poorer than women without children, and poorer than pretty much all men.
More facts: There are 10 million single mother–headed families with kids at home in the United States. That is a quarter of families, and 40 percent of babies born today. Those figures are about to explode, as a full 57 percent of millennial moms are not married. And they are not all broke and uneducated. Far from it.
Of the 64 percent of millennial moms who have babies outside of marriage, two- thirds are college educated, and a third have four or more years of higher education. That is far from surprising if you consider the strides women overall have made in the past half century. Today, women make up the majority of college undergraduate students, our participation in the labor market is closing in on men’s, and 40 percent of families are headed by breadwinner women. In a single generation, the pay gap has narrowed significantly, and more and more women are leading businesses large and small. Thank you feminism! Yay women!
As women overall enjoy more professional and financial success, so, too, do single moms. No one said it would be easy, but it is getting easier every day—from a logistical and financial standpoint— to raise a child without a romantic partner. It is no wonder that the fastest-growing type of single mom is the single mother by choice, women who tend to be older and more professionally established than unmarried moms overall, and who have the financial means to consciously choose a single mom family.
In sharing these facts I do not intend to minimize about the very real challenges of raising children without a spouse or committed partner. Rather, I share them to put into perspective exactly what those challenges are for single moms, and to urge you to be very conscious about where you put your energy. It is true that in the United States we lag behind many developing countries when it comes to affordable child- and health care, parental leave, and paid time off. Generational poverty and education inequality are no joke. Spend any time researching the embarrassment that is our social welfare system and you will find yourself in tears.
But one of the tenets of being a Kickass Single Mom is to focus your energy on what you can control. You and I alone, today, cannot change policy and reallocate federal spending to prioritize affordable health care or stagnant wages. The Democrats and various advocacy groups have been on this mission for decades! Universal, affordable, quality childcare will not happen in the foreseeable future in the United States, as much as you and I want to see it, and as much as we must continue to fight for it.
However, there are three critical components to thriving financially as a single mom, all of which you can control:
1. Use the time + money + energy = abundance formula in every part of your life. More on this later.
2. Create a lifestyle that you can afford now (not when you were married, or where you hope to be in two years. Now.). This includes a savings plan for emergencies and retirement.
3. Focus on earning.
Table of Contents
Part I Single Mom 2.0
What Is a Kickass Single Mom? 3
The Kickass Single Mom Manifesto 8
Your Single Mom Identity 11
A Breakdown of Single Mom Monikers 16
Single Mom Support Network 19
Single Mom Self-Care 28
Part II Money
Single Mom Money Management 35
The SAHM Fantasy That Holds Women Back 40
Identify Your Money Mind-Set 49
The Kickass Single Mom Money Rules 53
Outsourcing = the Secret Formula for Single Mom Success 63
Build a Lifestyle You Can Afford-Today 71
Quick and Dirty Kickass Single Mom Budget 74
Get Out of Debt for Good 80
Superhigh Priority: Your Credit Score 84
The House 90
Commit to Frugality 96
Estate Planning for Single Moms 100
College Saving for Single Moms 105
College Financial Aid for Students with Divorced or Separated Parents 111
Retirement Savings for Single Moms 114
On Alimony and Child Support 120
Good Guys Like Women Who Are Financially Independent 140
When You Pay Child Support or Alimony 142
Part III Parenting
Parenting and the Single Mom 153
The Argument for Equally Shared Parenting 159
How to Parent Without a Father 167
For Single Mothers by Choice, "Who Is My Dad?" 171
Co-Parent Life a pro 173
Your Relationship with Your Ex's New Girlfriend 181
When You Should Meet the New Girlfriend (and Your Ex Meet Your New Boo) 183
Finding Your Parenting Style 186
Part IV Dating
A Sexually Satisfied Mom Is a Happier Mom 206
Why Dating as a Single Mom Is So Much Better Than Before 211
If You're Stuck and Not Dating 217
A Date, Defined 223
Where Can I Meet Good Men? 225
More Thoughts on Meeting Men 230
Dating and Your Kids 232
A Few Hard Rules About Men and Kids 237
How to Introduce Your Boyfriend to Your Kids 241
A Special Note About Dating for Widowed Single Moms 244
About the Author 273