By Laura Lifshitz
Single mothers are not simply mothers, but we are also warriors. We are two people in one. We are a three-course meal. We are the alpha and the omega.
Well, not literally.
But if you’re a single mom, you know what I am saying!
Quite frankly, whether you landed your single mom role from your child’s birth or from divorce, it’s a role that is not for the weak.
Deciding to or having to parent alone, whatever the case may be, is a brave and tough choice to make. Our lifestyles make us stronger than kryptonite because if we allow ourselves to be weak, we’ll never get through the day, much less a week as a single mom.
1. We Make Decisions Oftentimes, Unilaterally
Depending on whether or not the other parent is actively involved, single moms make life decisions alone and sometimes, these decisions also involve the children.
When you are the sole person to call the shots it can be rather intimidating. It feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and sometimes, it might really be! But when you start to get used to making decisions on your own about the daily minutiae to the bigger more, anxiety-producing decisions, you get stronger. You feel competent and strong. Confident. As hard as it can be to be the “CEO” of the home and kids all the time, it can also be satisfying to know that you really are incredibly capable all on your own.
Having to keep it together all the time makes us stronger and more efficient.
2. We Don’t Get A Chance To Do It Over Or Hit Pause
When you are the person with your kids all the time or close to it, it is exhausting. Unlike a partnered mother or perhaps one who directly splits custody in half, we don’t get the chance to hit pause or take a break…step away from our kids to come back refreshed. We don’t get do-over’s in that way. We have to be “on” from dusk til dawn. Having to keep it together all the time makes us stronger and more efficient. Why? Well, if we aren’t efficient then we won’t make it through the day, week and what have you. We have to stay the course. If we don’t, our kids won’t be ok, simply put.
3. We Must Financially Stay Afloat
Whether you’re a comfortable single mom with a great career or a single mom who is struggling to manage the finances, it doesn’t matter…it has to get done. We don’t have someone else to rely on to make ends meet. Kids are expensive. They need things. They eat us out of our homes. We must feed those beasts, literally!
When emergencies happen and the chips fall down, it’s up to us to pay for repairs and crises. We don’t have someone who can cover us if we get laid off. We don’t have someone to split the bill if a new car needs to be purchased or what have you.
We are in the driver’s seat.
Even if you are fairly comfortable, this can be stressful. No one loves having all the financial pressure on him or her, but single moms we do this job everyday because there is no default captain!
4. We May Go Through Emergencies Alone
Now this isn’t about financial emergencies. These are life crises. Sickness. A child’s injury.
These are the crises of life in which we want someone there for us, emotionally, but often times we are there to deal with our feelings and perhaps our children’s…without someone there to comfort us.
Remember that first time post divorce or in general when you needed to list an emergency contact? After my divorce…it shook me: I didn’t really have that emergency contact listing.
Even with my parents alive, I had a health crisis and they weren’t close by to be there. In pain and afraid, I had to suck it up alone.
You are the most amazing human in your children’s eyes
Single moms have to often emotionally process difficult things and situations alone. Doing this makes you stronger and also, aware of your feelings. Aware of your shortcomings and strengths. With this awareness, you become better at knowing how to harness what you have and deal with what you don’t!
Being a single mom is not for the weak. It is not for the timid. It takes a strong person to manage the ship, make no doubt. That’s why people want to pair off and “parent” together. Because two heads are not better, but easier than one. This road is not always easy as a single parent but have no doubt…you are the most amazing human in your child/children’s eyes. You alone have the most impact on them and that is fantastic!
About the Author
Laura Lifshitz is a Freelance Writer, Content Creator, Comedienne, & Obsessive Chocoholic