I’ve always done things on my own. An only child of preoccupied parents, I was left to entertain and care for myself for the vast majority of time. Always independent, always the lone ranger. You’d think that when the leg of my journey as a single mother came around, I’d easily adapt. Hmmm…..not so much.
I guess I actually DID. We have always had a roof over our heads, even when I was unemployed for months on end, and not receiving child support. We always had food on the table even when we weren’t eligible for assistance. We have stayed together as a family. My children all graduated high school early and as members of the honor societies. They have all begun…and in the case of my eldest …graduated college. They are close, loyal, loving, supportive of each other and of me.
Ok, so I guess I didn’t do too badly…..but it has been a VERY exhausting, lonely, challenging, and scary road.
All mothers are amazing beings. We multi task, we have versatile and varied skill sets that far exceed excellence in a given field, as we are prepared to be through our education and career paths. We do it ALL – it is as simple….and tiring as that!
SINGLE mothers have a totally different lot in life. They are not fully similar to mothers with partners, nor even to single fathers.
It is not ONLY having just a single set of hands to juggle all the myriad of tasks involved in parenting.
For me it was more the challenge of a single heart that bore all the heartache of decisions, scary times, and sadness that our children faced. A single heart that was desperate to share the happiness, the pride, the joy of parenthood. The challenge of a single mind – so many decisions, so many details to track…..it feels endless.
I am NOT complaining. Not at all. I have no regrets.
I just hope more people come to realize that not every single mom has family to rely on. They may have lost their friends in the divorce. They may be too busy to make new friends…bustling past neighbors with a smile and nod, arms full of groceries but no time to stop and chat; Too focused on work and then dashing home, to socialize with coworkers and colleagues. Not every single mom – actually MOST – do not have a co-parent who has the children some of the time, not even an occasional night or weekend, during which you can catch up on sleep, date, take a bath…..
So when someone shares that they are a single mom….don’t just say ‘aw that’s nice’….tell her she is amazing….and then buy the girl a cup of coffee. Trust me – she needs it!