It’s not always easy for single moms to have an active personal life. Between work and being a parent, there’s not a lot of leftover time for other things. You might get out with your girls every couple of weeks to blow off some steam or do lunch with friends periodically, but it’s not likely you’ll have the time or energy to hit the bars or catch a show every weekend.

But becoming a mom shouldn’t mean the death of being a single woman. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can be a single mom and a single woman! Far from convincing yourself that you don’t have time to be both, you need to actively make time to be a single lady or you’ll find yourself relegated to only being a mom.

Finding balance

Part of the struggle many women face is the conception of what it means to be a single woman when you’ve got a child. How do you, a woman, coexist in the same frame of mind as you, a mom? It’s about realizing balance.

Take something like stress. Being a mom amounts to all sorts of stress. Get the kids to school on time. Make sure you’ve got meals planned. Stop them from fighting. Make sure their homework is done. Rise and repeat day after day, week after week. Even moms who have it down to a routine still experience stress. Without a way to alleviate that stress, it’ll just keep building.

Enter: Single woman. A single woman can blow off steam with her girlfriends. Spend a day at the salon. Flirt with the cute guy at the coffee shop. The single woman side of being a mom is an outlet—a way to vent that stress and focus on yourself, instead of dedicating every waking moment to caring for someone else.

Get past the stigmas

You’re not a bad mom for wanting to also have a life as a single woman. Many single moms feel guilty not only because they see themselves as a mom first, but because everyone in their life also sees them as just a mom.

It’s easy for others to judge you if you drop off your kid at grandma and grandpa’s so you can spend the afternoon getting glammed up for a night out with the girls. But they’re not seeing the whole picture. What’s one night out as a single woman against a dozen other nights tucking your child into bed at 8pm?

There’s also the stigma of intimacy. As a mom, you might not have time for a committed relationship—and you might not necessarily want one. But, as a single woman, you’ve got needs and wants. It’s easy to make yourself feel guilty for casual sex or a fling, and it’s even easier for others to judge you for these activities. But they’re part of who you are as an adult. Why should you forgo intimacy? What’s wrong with having it on your terms?

Single moms need to remember that they’re also single women, and being a single woman doesn’t negate who you are as a mom. They’re two facets of who you are, and they both deserve a place in your life. Don’t trick yourself into thinking it’s all or nothing, or let anyone else guilt you into feeling that way.