Here is a shout to ALL of the parents out there. If you are doing it right; then you are probably feeling insane, stressed, over-worked, and under appreciated, it isn’t a job for the meek and mild. It is a responsibility that pushes you to the limit, pushes you so close to edge and right before you fall off… a sweet little hand and your favorite smile are there to bring you back. If you are lucky, you get to share this task with another poor adult, who looks at you in shear terror as their eyes scream “What the f*** were we thinking”. At the same time, you have a partner to marvel over the beautiful little person you brought into the world.
I am not discounting those lucky enough to co-parent, I know it is still hard but be thankful of that support net that you have sleeping next to you, going to work to help provide a future, giving you breaks, hugs, and just reminding you that you can do it. This is more of a reminder that the next time you criticize a single mom (any single parent) that you should understand that they get to fill ALL the roles at the same time.
For most of us, we did not choose to raise children on our own, I don’t complain about it but I would love more than anything in the world to give my kids a constant male influence and to have that partner to be there when I need it. At this time, that just isn’t my reality, I can probably also speak for most single moms that we get awfully picky about finding a permanent man to be in our children’s lives because the heartbreak from loss is one we tend to prevent at all costs, even if it means being lonely. You only get one shot at raising your kids.
So, that brings us back to doing it ALL on our own. That means making enough money to provide a home AND a future. It means being a domestic goddess, a sports coach, a stern but loving example. Have you ever tried playing Good Cop/Bad Cop all by yourself? A single mom has to learn to create a bond of trust and open dialogue that allows a child to feel free to be completely honest but also drawing the line for them to KNOW who the boss of the house is… yeah, easy peasy. We are the nurse, the mechanic, and if you have daughters, the badass the boys will need to be scared of. All time off, all emergencies, all crisis rests on the shoulders of that single parent. The weight of the magnitude of responsibility can be overwhelming. The biggest critic to a single mom is herself, she guilts herself when she has to miss a concert or a school trip. She cries when she feels guilty about wanting a social life.
A single mom doesn’t want hand outs and pity; she wants understanding and patience; she wants a network of people who she can lean on, who can laugh with her, and who understand that she isn’t crazy, her head just hurts from all of the hats she wears.
So, this Mother’s Day, find a single mom and doing something to show her love, bring her dinner for kids and her, send her a maid for the day, a sitter, help her plant a garden… or just give her a big hug because we all have the same goal when it comes to being parents, just some of us face much larger hurdles.
Taking it one day at a time-
Mom under Siege