3. A stable personal life
An elemental secret to happy kids and mamis? No drama in Mom’s personal life. “I’ve been divorced for several years, and I’ve had a couple of boyfriends since,” says Nikita, a single mom of two girls. “But even when I was fighting with a boyfriend or sad after a breakup, my kids didn’t see any of that. I kept them very far from that drama.” Even when you’re a single mom looking for a new partner, the kids have to come first. “I go on a date only when my ex has the girls,” adds Nikita. “I’ve never cancelled a date with my kids in order to spend time with a man, and I’ve never put a boyfriend before them. What kind of an example would I be setting for them if I did?” The same goes for your relationship with your ex, the kids’ dad. You may not be able to stand the sight of him, and there may be deep-seated pain in your shared past, but spare the kids. Don’t badmouth their dad or let them hear you arguing with him.

Read Related: Preserving Your Own Identity While Being a Mom