Over the weekend I saw a post on Facebook about an act of kindness a man did for a single mother who couldn’t afford more than a happy meal for her young son, not able to even get herself a .99 cent hamburger, yet noticeably hungry. I know many stories on Facebook these days are part of the “fake news” circuit but whether this particular story was real or not… the storyline is very real for many single moms indeed. After crying my eyes out at this post, the feelings all too familiar, I haven’t been able to stop reflecting on life now and then when I was part of the “single mom club.”
Being a mom is a hard job, the hardest I have ever had that’s for sure… chasing after your little ones, the spit up, the teething, the endless poop and making sure your child is eating just right, sleeping enough, and socially progressing… it’s insanely overwhelming at times since it’s the type of job that you literally can’t walk away from at 5 pm (or ever). I haven’t even mentioned the financial expectations entailed in parenting… from medical, housing, food, and even a little fun that comes with raising kids… this is tough for most with a joint income let alone for a single one. Being a single mom puts you in position to worry about all of the above and more (a lot more) on your own… so to all of you in the “single mom club,” absolute hats off to you in every way. I respect and admire each and every single parent out there beyond explanation.
If you are a single mom and reading this, you don’t need me to tell you what it’s all about, you know all too well the struggles entangled with the triumphs. However, I think there are a lot of people out there that need to understand that being a single mom doesn’t make you any less than or beneath someone living their version of life. No, being a single mom makes you awesome!
I will never forget the stresses, pressure, failures, successes and everything in between. I remember the feeling of hunger, desperately scraping together change to eat. I remember walking into the Public Health Center and applying for the WIC program to get my son’s formula and diapers when I couldn’t make ends meet. I remember putting college on hold because there was not enough time in the day for work, my baby, and classes. I remember crying myself to sleep more often than I’d like to admit, while holding my perfect baby boy. I remember envying everyone else around me that made better choices and weren’t financially strapped. I remember moving place to place… always seeking something better, safer, nicer. I remember feeling shame at the title “single mom,” failed relationships and the fading dream of being a wife and mother to more children. Sometimes I would give up and give in to “my life” and settle. Someone dear to me once said, “Life is meant to be lived to the fullest… it’s about evolving and never settling.” One day I had enough courage to stop beating myself up inside and to stop being so hard on myself. I remember that day… I decided I was worthy of love, self-love mainly. Being a single mom makes you a fighter in a sense. You are always looking out for your child and fighting daily to be like all of the other moms and kids out there. You work extra hard and you build a firm exterior, or at least I did. This particular day, I softened, I stopped seeking a better life and just lived the one I was in. I was happy and proud.
I don’t share this with you to seek pity or praise… I don’t share with you to assume that every single mother out there is in the same position that I was in or further give “cliché” to the title. I share this as a means to be genuine with my blog’s purpose… to share and hope that it might help someone else out there that may be experiencing the same. I also remember the pure joy I shared with my son as a single mom. I was able to have him all to myself for so many moments held firmly in my heart. Selfishly, I am so glad I was (am) his mom. I also must admit, I could not have done it without my family and dear friends. I honestly couldn’t have done it alone. I don’t mind admitting that and when I finally made it back to college, I will never forget the philosophy a professor shared one day that, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and my/our life was testament to that indeed. It was that day in class that the burden of guilt for having to rely on my village to raise my little human was lifted. Like I said, I am proud of my story.
My life is very different now than back then, but I realize that it was an important chapter and worthy of sharing. I will never forget that piece of my story, it helped me to love more, care more, and to never give up on a dream, to never give up on love. Each of our stories are meant to be written uniquely as their own… there is no cookie cutter mold to life and no way of living is better than another. I am grateful for my life… every painful or beautiful moment.
To all of you single moms out there… give yourself a huge hug, forgive yourself for anything that ails you, embrace your beautiful journey and know that you are not alone, and above all else be proud of yourself for kicking a$$ as a single mom!! I came across a site that offers a list of many resources for single moms, here. I also, was able to seek out local agencies and resources. Google wasn’t really a thing when I was in need of help so I settled on standard government assistance for a few months and then struggled every day to make ends meet. There are resources to help you… there are so many programs to help you improve your quality of life, after all just because it may be harder to be a single parent than to share the load, you don’t have to settle… you can still chase your dreams. If you are lucky enough to have a village, use them, it does take a village to raise a child. If you know of any support groups or places for single moms to find what they need, please comment below. We are in this together, you are not alone. Thank you all for being the absolute examples of how to Go Beautifully, no matter what life throws at us!
Thank you for listening.