I never ever in my craziest imagination thought I would be a single mom. My biggest dream and goal from age 3 on was to be a wife and mother and to start this life straight out of high school. No other options even existed for me. That was going to be my life. It never even occurred to me that God might have other plans. I didn’t get married right out of high school or immediately start popping out babies at 18 like I wanted. Instead, I got unexpectedly pregnant at 21 and was left to raise this little surprise all on my own. Coming to the reality of being a single mommy to my little boy and trying to figure out what on earth to do since I had no home and no job and no support hit me very hard. But slowly over time, I started to figure things out, and now, going on 8 years later I can pretty much say I’m a single mom expert. Here are my personal thoughts on the ups and downs of single motherhood.
The emotional strain and stress of being a single mom is a pretty deep subject. Being the only parent, only income, and only hands on deck takes its toll. The feelings of not being enough for your child, of constant worry and stress and of total mental, emotional and physical exhaustion are just the beginning. Many single moms have no real support, they have to go it entirely alone. While others are blessed with helpful family members and friends nearby and if they are super duper lucky, they even might receive financial child support. But I have none of those things. But not to worry though, we are doing pretty darn good. We may struggle, we may stress but we are alive and well. There are days that are better than others, but for the most part, we do alright. We are getting by and my son is healthy and happy which is all that matters.
To keep myself going, I take time to “recharge” and relax. Every mom, heck, every person for that matter needs their alone time. I take my “me time” very seriously. By having regular junk food and Netflix nights after my son goes to sleep is the best ever. It keeps me sane and gives me a chance to chill after a long hard day so I can do it all again the next day. It’s what I need to live.
A social life? LOL, what is that!? You can pretty much kiss any chance of having any type of social life goodbye as a single mom. Not that I‘ve noticed, I never had one, to begin with. So nothing has changed much for me, but I totally understand the importance of a social life. If you are one of those blessed single moms who have people you can trust to be with your kids, then going out with friends without your kids is a must every so often. And grocery shopping alone? It’s like a vacation! Any chance I get to leave the house alone I jump at. It’s refreshing to spend some time in your own company or in the company of friends for a few hours. One of the down of single motherhood is sometimes forgetting what it’s like to talk to people. Rarely seeing other adults can make things awkward when you finally do go out in public. But since I’m already a socially awkward introvert, I rock it.
Another downside is handling the judgment and criticism that often comes with being a single mom. People can be very ignorant and cruel. Knowing the best way to answer people’s dumb questions or harsh comments can be a battle. So many people just don’t understand what it’s really like to be a single mom. It’s hard to make new friends when they treat you like a disease to be avoided. But who needs ‘em!
Now, this is the part that causes the most problems for people. The judgment you suffer if you receive any government assistance or if you don’t work at some out of the home job every hour of the day. Being with my son is the top priority. Being available to him and doing my job as a mother is more important than being at some job. Being a full-time single mom is my JOB! This may mean not always having money in the bank, or at least more than it takes to pay the pills and nothing more, but it’s all good. We have everything we need. Money doesn’t equal happiness. I work hard to provide for us and I am proud to be a work from home mompreneur!
Being home with my son means more quality time together, more lessons to teach, more games to play and of course, more cuddle time! What is more important than that? You may have to be a little more creative to make any money as a single mom, but I promise it’s worth it!
There are so many ups and downs with single motherhood that I literally cannot write about them all. I narrowed it down to the 3 biggies. But there is so much more.
I did want to mention a little up that makes me happy to be a single mom, and that’s the fact that I get to have my son with me always. No shared time, no one telling me what I can or can’t do, no one to run decisions by, no one to take my son’s love away from me. He’s mine. Just mine. All that extra time and love is the best thing on earth and I have accepted my single mom status. I did not ever picture that this would be my life, and even though it isn’t always easy to say, it’s ok that it is.
If you want to follow me on all my single mom adventures and find all the best tips, advice, fun and support then please subscribe to my blog and join the tribe! I’d love to have you join me so come find me here: On Your Own, But Never Alone – A blog for single moms …
Thank you so much to Savannah for having me as a guest blogger!
Much Love, Jess