The Bittersweet Realities of Single Motherhood
Single motherhood is no longer the frowned upon novelty like it was just a few decades ago. Almost half of today’s families are headed by a single parent, most of them women. Yet, despite the seeming recognition and acceptance of single motherhood, society still has a way of disparaging single moms. Your choice or not, being a single mom takes a lot of mettle. It is hard, rewarding, agonizing, and uplifting.
It can be overwhelming
Single motherhood means responsibility, pressure, and negative perception. You will be facing a lot of backlash from society. Even the most mature women who have chosen single motherhood over marriage are not immune to the criticisms and disapprovals. With a life squarely dependent on you for financial, moral, emotional, and educational sustenance, you will be expected to rise above the negativity, survive the perceived tragedy, and thrive – for the sake of your children. Yes, the pressure, responsibility, and societal expectations can be overwhelming.
Money is always tight
A marriage will usually have two working adults. Being a single mom means you can only depend on one income – yours. Living with and supporting a child is expensive. Mortgage payments, childcare costs, utilities, and other household expenses will barely go down with one less adult in the house. You will need to make a lot of sacrifices, close your eyes to fancy stuff, and cut corners at every turn.
You’ll need more hours to your day
Your schedule will be crazy. From the day you become a single mom, you will have to forget about sleeping in, leisurely lunches, and snuggling down with a book. Every minute will count. Your days will be a series of hurrying from one point to another. Preparing breakfast, driving to school, work, games, homeroom meetings, doctor’s appointments, dinner preparations, and cleaning up the house. You may want to read a bit before you
Failure will be hovering constantly
Failure or the thought of failing will be so real and crippling. You will blame yourself for many conceived failures – failing to provide your kids with a father, failing at the relationship, failing to conform to societal and/or religious mores and more. You might also feel like a failure at being a provider, and think that your children could have a better life, live in bigger homes, and go to better schools if they only have a father. Worst, there will be moments when you will feel inadequate to provide all the love and care to your children.
You will need all the help you can get
You will still have your friends and family supporting you. No matter what, there will always be people who will still love you despite or because of your situation. They will be there to support, love, and help in any way they can, and in any way you allow them to. At a certain point, you will need a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, a friend on the line, or a secure place for you and your kids. It could be disheartening, shameful, or scary, but letting people help you could be your salvation. Just remember, they care about you and your kids.
Your child will be asking for the story
If your kids were still too young to understand your singleness when it happened, expect a time when they will be asking for the truth. They will want to know why your family don’t include a father. When the time comes, do not say that they are too young to understand. They understand enough, that’s why they asked. Carefully explain to them the whys, what, and how in a language they can understand. The truth might hurt them and they might hate you for it. But it is best if they hear it from you first. And never ever tell them a lie.
You will know real love
When you’re pushed to the limit, at a disadvantage, and at your lowest point in life, you will realize the meaning of real and true love. Not the kind of love that comes with physical attraction, sexual satisfaction, or exclusivity. You will know the more tender, poignant, and unquestionable love and admiration. The one that doesn’t come with qualifiers like good looks, body weight and shape, proximity, or availability. Love at its purest will remain as is despite of.
You will see your best, or your worst
Single motherhood will test your mettle, abilities, your strength, and determination. It will not be a smooth ride. Either you end up polished or demolished. To survive, you will need the love and support of the people around you. Appreciate all the good, and remove all the negativity from your life. Make your children as your best weapon for the fight. Set a goal, take a deep breath, and face your battles. The one who fights always ends up a winner and the one who gives up will always be a loser.
You will have your children’s unqualified love and admiration
You children will always love and adore their Mom. Single moms enjoy the most fervent love, loyalty, and devotion from their children. No father figure to disrupt or divide the affection, it will all go to you, Mom! Your kids will know and appreciate the sacrifices, the hard work, and the huge amount of love you have for them. Raise them well and they will reciprocate with love and devotion.
You will not change a thing
You will be tired, you will feel like you’re at losing it, and you will certainly hope things were better. Maybe a husband to help and support you, or not getting pregnant at all! But, guess what? After a time, things have a way of getting better, and great surprises are just waiting around the corner. You are strong and independent. You have total control of your life and the love of a wonderful kid. Husband what?! You might go out, have new relationships, maybe even fall in love. But, this time, you will make sure that the next man in your life deserves you.