Friend and MomCaveTV founder, Jennifer Weedon Palazzo, recently did a video saluting single moms. It was poignant and really true. See it here. So it got me thinking to a time when I was a single mom.
Everyone is different but in my experience, being a single mom was both freaking hard and amazing. I guess that’s true of parenting in general. Right?! The only difference is that you’re doing it solo.
At 29 I found myself amidst a situation I never anticipated – with a new baby and facing divorce. I will spare you the details but I will tell you that being sucker punched with a divorce and a new born was no walk in the park. Can you say, “Holy S#it”?
My first response was one that many single parents face, “I can’t!”
Whether being a single mom is by choice or circumstance, I am here to tell you that you CAN! You truly can do anything. You can be happy. And you will… for you and your kid(s).
Let me caveat that by saying that it wasn't easy – at all. In fact, I am pretty sure that I could have been cast in a prequel to the Walking Dead. On most days I was a zombie just trying to get through the day. Other days I didn’t want to get out of bed due to sheer exhaustion (physically and mentally).
When my daughter was a baby, a typical night included me being awake all night nursing, rocking, driving, singing, crying… nursing, rocking... and nursing again. Yeah - sleep wasn’t in the cards but I had to go to work regardless. And I did so with a smile on my face and a triple grande ginormous coffee in hand. And the next day I did it again and again.
The thing about single momhood is that there was no one else to hand the baby off to, no one to make me a cup of tea, no one to let the dogs out or fix the clogged toilet at 2am. There was no one to empty the dishwasher, no one to go to make a 24 hour pharmacy run. No one to yell at when I needed it most. Nope. Just me and my little bundle of joy.
Here’s the key – no matter how much I wanted to run away (far, far away some days), the moment I'd stop and look at my daughter gooing and laughing with those big brown eyes and unconditional love, it made it all worthwhile. Every diaper explosion, every projectile vomiting incident, every colicky marathon was worth it. It truly was.
Yes, being a single mom had its challenges but there is a very special bond between me and my little side kick. One that marriage or divorce or lack of sleep could never take away. It was she and I against the world and guess what? We won!
So instead of feeling sorry for a single mom, just give her the kudos she deserves, some caffeine and every once in a while a nod that says “you’re amazing” because that is what she really needs.
“Single moms: You are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”
- Mandy Hale
Please share your single mom story and/or share this with a single mom in your life.