Full disclosure: I am not a single mother. I was however raised by a single mother and as a contributor to Miami Mom Collective, I wanted to begin this adventure honoring single moms.
Single mom: you are an absolute hero.
How you are parenting and leading your child(ren) matters greatly!
My parents got divorced when I was in third grade. I was ten years old and the older sister, which allowed me the eyes to see my mom begin a new journey both as a woman and mother. I saw my mom work like she had never worked before both in and outside of the home. I saw her pain but I also saw her strength. Although not the ideal set of circumstances, my mom’s strength and resolve to provide and care for her two young daughters showed me what a woman and what a single mom is really capable of. That is a life lesson that is rooted deep within who I am today. Single mom, be encouraged, the grind you feel is quite possibly proving to yourself and your child(ren) your amazing capacity.
Single mom: you are doing a fantastic job.
Develop your tribe
Life can be so difficult and motherhood is so tough at times. You are not any less of an absolute superstar when you ask for help. “It takes a village” is extra difficult in a pandemic and you have been stretched thin. It is completely understandable. You were never meant to live and lead in life by yourself. Community is essential. Accept help when it is offered and ask for help when it’s not.
If you do not already have one, create a short list of people you can rely on for last-minute needs and a much-needed break.
Self-care you can do
This might not be the season for you to go to the spa to #treatyoself but taking care of yourself is important in every season of your life – despite finances and time. While you may have to settle for a home mani and a homemade latte, purposely make time to do something just for you every day. This can be as little as five minutes. Do the quick exercise class at home, read a chapter, blow dry your hair, spend time connecting with God, and/or sit in silence. Choose one thing out of the long list of desires running through your head and do it. You are worth it and you need it.
Calling time out
I remember sitting in the baby prep class at the hospital while pregnant and the instructor said “not if but when you feel like you have had enough, tell your partner to tag in.” Single mom, you do not always have that support when you need it so it is critical to plan ahead and schedule a break for yourself. The more you fill your tank, the longer you can go the distance. This is why self-care is necessary. If you are parenting on empty, you will not be able to give your best. You need to stop and refuel.
You are parenting for two.
You are loving for two.
I look back now as a new mom with such thankfulness and admiration for my mother. She is my hero and I hope to be like the incredible mom she is.
Give yourself grace
Your child(ren) are watching you, learning from you, and you are teaching them more than you think. They will grow to understand your immense love and dedication to them. Don’t worry when you mess up, children are not only very forgiving but resilient. As the daughter of a single mom, I encourage you to continue on. You are doing a great job and if no one has told you in a while, you are an absolute hero, and what you are doing matters greatly.
As parents willingly pour themselves out over and over again for their children every-single-day, a single mom does not always have the consistent support of a partner who can help ease the physical, emotional, and financial burden.
A single mom is not as overlooked as years past but she does get overlooked in many other ways.
Look for ways to help out the single mom in your life. Think of her schedule and the variables in her life and bless her by easing some of the load. Offer to pick up kids and take them out for a few hours, bring a meal, and don’t forget how life-giving encouraging words are!
Editor’s Note: This blog is by no means exhaustive and also not intended to minimize the incredible importance of single dads. Dads: your voice, your actions, your presence matters greatly.