Surviving Thanksgiving for the Single Mom with Kids in Tow

Thanksgiving is right around the corner ya’ll!!!

I’m sure you all have some exciting plans! Hosts are planning to receive guests from all over the world. Menus are being laid out and It’s a great time of year to enjoy the company of others and make the time enjoyable for your kids.

Now, for those of you like me who are single or too far from family travel this is most definitely for you.

A few years ago me and another single girlfriend of mine came up with an easy fix.

One would host and we both would cook dishes for ourselves and kids. We didn’t have any partners at the time so it turned out to be an excellent idea. If you have another single friend that can make even a pie that will save you some time and energy on this big day!

For me, Thanksgiving is my all-time, hands down,  favorite holiday! We go all out. I make pies for myself, my kids, and a few friends! Then, we deliver them the night before while they are still warm!

If most of your friends will be out of town or with their partners, you might be thinking, “so where does that leave the single me?” Really, if you don’t just absolutely freaking love this holiday for the food alone, it could get a little depressing to say the least. I suggest inviting a single friend or coworker even if they don’t have kids.

You could take the kids to feed the homeless.

Or you could pass out a few meals if you can spare from your own kitchen.

Do something that will shift the focus from what you think you might be missing out on and remembering all the things you do have and are grateful for.

Look, I personally don’t want a bunch of people over in my cramped apartment stepping over Legos and dolls, but I do want to make the time memorable and have fun. Have you ever thought of having a private party? Just you and your kids?


Blast the music, eat until you pass out and play some games!

Charades anyone?

Seriously, you might think it sounds cheesy or lame, but let me tell you just how to do it.

  1. Get your meal done and there’s no need to get all super fancy because as long as it tastes good and looks halfway decent your kids will love it.
  2. They are out of school so let them stay up late and help you do it! (Even if you have to force them)
  3. Wear pajamas all day long !!
  4. I mean it put the phone down. Send grandma the photos and put it down!!!! There’s no point in watching your news feed to see what everyone else is doing. Or eating. (We all have practically the same thing anyway)

Try our quick family favorites!

SO what now?

Get to the store grab your stuff and get ready for the best day EVER!!

Should you decide to have company or go to someone else’s place, I have a short list of the things many people forget until the last minute. And let’s face it guys…the stores will be closed and you’ll end up overspending at the one convenient store that opens up on that day! That’s a big no-no, but almost a necessity when it’s Thanksgiving.


You’ve decided to host “more power to ya” 


Take care of pets. You’ll want to make sure your pets are not frightened or in the way of your guests. Put them in a quieter part of your home and make sure they have snacks and toys to keep them occupied.

Make kid friendly snacks. This one is super easy. Kids love easy to grab foods so think miniature cakes or individual serving pies. Some alternatives to sweets would be pretzel sticks dipped in Nutella! (Family favorites) I’ve made pineapple upside down cake muffins which were a real hit!

Stock extra plates and foil. Keep these on hand for guests wanting to pack a plate to go! A lot of people visit different households on Thanksgiving and can’t eat at each one.

Monitor your kitchen.  Check for paper towels or rags left around the stove or other open flames such as candles. On this holiday we tend to use our kitchens to the fullest and this is a potential fire hazard. Also ensure smoke alarms are in good working order.

Create enough seating.  Pretty self-explanatory, but something to remember

Stash blankets/toiletries. For out of town guests. Everyone forgets something or gets it confiscated at airport security. Such a hassle if you are already away from home so be mindful of your guests.

Turkey temperature. Do you know right off hand the exact temperature the inside of the turkey is to reach to be considered safe to eat? Me either! I use to google it every year or read the packaging. It’s 165 just in case you forgot like me. And At 350 degrees you’re looking at 15 minutes per pound! Thank you

So you’re traveling with kids

Toys. Make sure they have something to keep them occupied. Nothing worse than having to pack and go because your kids are cranky.

Feed them breakfast! Really and maybe even a light snack. They burn so much energy and they don’t understand saving their appetite like we do.

Change of clothes. Well this is more for the younger kids, but maybe the older ones as well if you are wearing dress clothes to dinner. Afterwards kids will want to play and it’s no fun having to tell them to sit still and not mess up their clothes.

Food allergies. If you or kids have any allergies please share them with your host. Be informed, but don’t be a nag. A common allergy is nuts and there’s pecan pies, and some people put them in gravy or sauces.

Be on time! No one appreciates it more than the host. There’s no need to arrive all too early unless you are helping out, but right on time means they won’t have to wait on you to get started. People put a great deal of work into their Thanksgiving spreads for your enjoyment and we want to be grateful and punctuality shows just that!

This holiday is by far one of my most enjoyable! I could eat sweet potato pie all day long!!!

It doesn’t have to be lonely or boring or anything less than perfect.

I know it sounds all cliché and it probably is, but it’s the truth.

And whether you like it or not your current season of being a single mom is full of those times where you might wish you had a partner to share things with, but you have embrace it!

Enjoy it!

Be happy right where you are!

See things from a different perspective…you have less mouths to feed. Spending less money. You have free reign of the TV. Watch what you want. You have all the leftovers for yourself. That last piece of pie is yours girl! You decide the meal. Yeppp! You don’t have to share your pie. Best part!!

Should you decide to go to a friend’s home laugh and have fun.

Oh and offer and actually help with the cleanup.

Continue being a great mom!

Every moment you have with your kids is another memory in the books.  You’ll be begging them to come home for Thanksgiving when they grow up and move out… at least now they’re stuck with you LOL!!!



If you’d like to share your Thanksgiving stories or tips for single moms please leave a comment. If you like this article please like and share.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!! Gobble gobble

2 Responses

  1. Hi Monique 🙂

    I love this! Single mommyhood for me was a few years back, but I could see me loving these ideas at the time! I was the one with a billion people in my tiny apartment (because single mommyhood didn’t kill my Martha Stewart tendencies lol), but I learned how important it was to use that time to create moments with my girls that would make us closer and make them feel more secure. Great ideas, keep sharing!!

    • Monique Carson says:

      Thank you! It’s definitely more important to enjoy these moments with your kids when you are single than to spend them feeling down. Kids will remember all the fun they had with mom and I try to do little things to make it special for us. There are so many things a single mom is responsible for on the day to day, so I like to keep things simple and fun. Oh and congrats on not being single anymore:)

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