From great pain comes great art. I wish it worked differently, but the idea of a tortured writer, singer, artist, etc. discovering their greatest gifts during periods of pain, seems to hold true for, well, even me.
Only a single mom with great time management skills will be able to manage everything in life without going crazy.
If the dark cloud of divorce is looming over your Valentine’s Day, you’re not alone — many single parents struggle with it. It might seem like the love-themed holiday isn’t for you now that you’re on your own, but that’s not true. You have a lot of love in your life from your children, and that is certainly something worth celebrating.
I’ve heard it over and over again from my single mother friends, “...joint custody totally sucks. I hate not seeing my kids.” I absolutely sympathize with mothers who loathe missing out on 50% of their child’s life. That’s A LOT of time to be away from your trusty little sidekick(s). And I can’t say that I can empathize with you, because I actually have no idea what it feels like to split custody with another parent. However, I do understand what it feels like to be on the other side of the spectrum.
I was only one semester into graduate school when I found out I was pregnant with my first son. Was I scared? Was I worried about how I would afford daycare and diapers? Did I have doubts about how to juggle an education, a career and a family? Of course! I felt completely overwhelmed, but I never once considered giving up.
Love, Marriage, Baby. It’s a beautiful trio, but the order in which each item appears is not always so clear. Whenever there is a pregnancy and the couple isn’t married, there are a hundred burning questions that people want to ask, but feel like they shouldn’t. So most of the time, people either make up stories or assume things that may (or may not) be true. Here is what NOT to ask.
As a single mother, there is one question that is almost guaranteed to arise in conversations you have with coworkers, peers, friends, family, and sometimes, complete strangers: How do you do it? Becoming a single parent, whether by choice or by fate, is daunting, and dare I say, very scary. You’ve either had nine months to contemplate how in the heck you’re going to make it work, or you’ve been in a slowly unraveling relationship in which you’ve spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out how two hands could possibly handle the work of four.
It all started innocently enough with a casual conversation between a close friend and I. She lamented that since her husband rarely made it home before 8PM each night, she was pretty much “like a single mom.” Having been a single mother in the past, and intimately knowing their struggle, my mind wandered to all the single moms out there who managed to make it six months, a year, a decade! How dare she compare her situation to theirs.
All too often we judge others over issues we know little to nothing about. We point fingers and condemn rather than seeking to understand, and we criticize rather than assuming positive intent. Why is that? My guess (unfortunately) is that it’s just human nature. By some twisted form of logic, putting others down makes us feel superior. There is no one single way to parent “correctly”, and the amount of judging and grief we give to moms is ridiculous and has to stop.
A recent forum conversation struck an odd chord with me. It took place in a community of (largely) single mothers and it almost felt live a scorned, dumped mommy club. Having been a single mother for a few years, and also having some experience with the topic at hand, I was in the HUGE minority with my stance on the issue. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I am a millennial mommy and my views are more liberal than those who have gone before me?
Behind every pretty, smart, and successful woman stands...herself. Being single can be empowering and more importantly, it’s fun! But at some point, many single mothers toy with the idea of dating again. And thanks to online dating sites, getting back out there is easier than you think. All those nights spent stalking people on Facebook and Instagram, well, online dating is kind of like that.
A few years back when I was a single mother fresh on the dating scene, a guy told me “…you’d be really hot if you weren’t a mom.” To which I thought, you’d be really hot if you weren’t…not. His statement didn’t warrant a response of any kind from me, except an exaggerated eye roll. I don’t recall what the guy who said it looked like, or even his name (obviously because he wasn’t worth committing to memory), but it did get me thinking.
For all my single moms out there, if you haven’t been asked this question yet, brace yourselves. You will get asked this over and over, often at inopportune times, and it will wear on your patience on those unbearably long days where you feel like you aren’t doing anything right. “Where’s my dad?” I hate this question. Those three words make me feel like an utter failure…
I struggled greatly with writing this post. Not just with the actual content itself, or with telling a story befitting my courageous friend and her tiny angel, but in asking for insight into a topic that, as a culture, we typically shy away from because it is so painful. I don’t think people truly understand how much is lost when a baby dies. And I know I absolutely do not. But if you ask any parent who has experienced something as horrific as the loss of a child, they will tell you that not even one day goes by that they don’t think of them.
I stumbled upon an article the other day titled “Single mothers shouldn’t be vilified, but they shouldn’t be glorified either. They’re people who made bad life choices.” [Gasp]…ummm what? I immediately got angry…like super, defensive angry… and contemplated writing back a fiery response to the author. But I didn’t for a couple reasons...
Describing life as a single mother can be done in four simple words: the struggle is real. You wake up everyday knowing that you are about to embark on an exhausting journey that requires at least two more hands than you have available, your patience is still running on empty from last night’s power struggle over eating vegetables, and bedtime cannot possibly come soon enough. And did I mention, once you finally collapse for the night, tired and defeated, you get to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow.
Let me start out by saying that I became a single mother by choice, not by chance. Does that mean I planned for it to turn out this way? Absolutely not. But you roll with the punches… or in this case, I rolled with a sleek, black, City Mini baby jogger (which, by the way, is an excellent way to appear to be a mother who has it completely together).