Single moms are very dear to my heart. It makes sense since I am one. On my journey of motherhood without a spouse I’ve learned there are a lot of different single moms out there. Each situation is pretty unique. I’ve met girls who are completely on their own. Their families have disowned them and it’s basically just them and their baby. I know the girls that have child support from their baby daddy. There’s really just so many different aspects to each individual family dynamic.
For me, I’m the single mom with a lot of help. That’s kinda what I want to focus on in this post. Any single parent has to do the job of two. They have to nurture and love while providing. They have to carry the emotional and physical burden of being a parent all on their own. Add on different circumstances and the job description isn’t too desirable. I think it’s really easy to look at the mom’s that have no support and think to pray for them. We see them and think oh my gosh she needs some encouragement. She needs love and prayers. How can I help her? You aren’t wrong in thinking those things. That momma does need some life spoken into her situation. Those are the single parents that we naturally think of.
I think there are also a lot of single parents that have a lot of support. Thankfully, I’m one of those parents. My family and friends are amazing. My mom watches my kids three days a week for free. That lightens my financial burden so much. My friends are always willing to watch my kids if I need it. I have so much love surrounding my family it’s really quite incredible. I think the enormous support can be a double edge sword though. Let me explain.
With support comes this appearance that you’ve kinda got it all figured out. I’ve heard things like You’re a single mom sure but so many have it much harder than you. Honestly sometimes I forget you’re a single mom because you just don’t seem like it. I know none of those things were said negatively. If anything I’m sure they were meant as a compliment. What everyone doesn’t see is the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into running a well-oiled machine that is a single parent family home. For me it looks like working 60 plus hours a week to be able to care for my family. It looks like cleaning and cooking just like any other household with kids. It looks like a long work day and busy evening playing, cooking, cleaning, and bonding with your kids. It also looks like handling emotional parenting setbacks and victories alone. While I have a tribe that loves and cares for us so incredibly much that doesn’t eliminate what is inevitably everyday life. Because I do have it so much better than others I sometimes feel like I can’t ask for help. Who am I to take support from those who don’t have the love in their life that I have? It’s a weird place I’ve found myself. I sometimes think I’m the least single momish of any single mom. But if that’s true why do I find myself so overwhelmed and quite honestly sad so often.
I guess I said all of that to say this. My message to any single parent is let yourself be yourself. If you have found yourself in a fortunate spot with love and support appreciate what you have. In addition to that don’t discount your struggles. You have the beautiful gift of parenting. It is hard and that’s okay. You can ask for help. Your emotions are valid and real. To those of you watching from the outside, try to understand. Not every story is created equal. However, every single parent story does have a common denominator. There is someone who has taken on a job meant for two all on their own. Maybe offer encouragement, take them out for coffee, ask how their day is (but dig a little deeper), place value on their story. To myself...be confident in yourself. Your story is unique. Your family is precious and you will get through this. Don't be afraid to be honest and real with people.
Finally, I leave you with this: single parents are ballers.