What a Single Mother Wants you to Know On Mother’s Day.
by, Laura Dizon
(Mom extraordinaire, Photographer, & Charity co-Founder)
I’m a single Mom!
Ugh, I really hate that phrase! It comes with so many stigmas.
Does that mean people think I made poor choices? Do people think that I wasn’t responsible? Do they think that I would actually choose this chaotic and hectic life? But… I wouldn’t choose any other kid, that one I made from scratch. I’m sure I was meant to take care of her and I’m so lucky to be able to have her with me everyday.
Mother’s Day is a day for me to be grateful. Grateful to be a mother to my sweet girl under any circumstances. Because I’m a Mom, that’s my job, solo or not I’m going to do my very best at it!
Truth, I didn’t choose this life. I thought I did things in order and ‘correct’…. College, Job, Marriage, Kid…. That turned into…. Divorce, Loss, Single, Moving, Broke, and all of a sudden a life I didn’t plan for.
I’ve been a single mama for almost 4 years now. I’ve learned so much about myself, my resilience. I’ve also learned how strong and resilient my kiddo is! Wow! She amazes me every day!
So, on Mother’s Day, I wanted to give a shout out to all Moms but especially to you single mamas. The ones like me, just trying to hold your s*#t together each and every day! Trying to stay positive for that sweet little human or humans that you seem to keep alive, fed and happy, each and every day! I see you girl, I get it!
Being a single mom means so many things. There is a lot of self doubt. Maybe because you don’t have a partner telling you that you did a good job. You need to learn to be your own cheerleader. The cuddles and love from the kiddos remind you that you are doing just that, A good job!
Being a single mom means… Being STRETCHED thin…. There are not enough hours in the day to be the kind of mother I want to be. Doc appointments (we both are overdue), play dates and sports and school functions and volunteering and birthday parties and…. Grocery shopping….Ugh! What’s for dinner is my least favorite question!
I’ve always been a planner, but no one plans for this crazy life! I used to have it under control, there was always milk and groceries in the house. Now it feels like I should get an award if I find the time and energy to make a home cooked meal.
I constantly feel like I’m just spinning my wheels’ or ‘treading water’ just trying to keep up with life. It seems to come with a lot of guilt. All moms feel that guilt, sometimes I just think I feel it a bit more.
I don’t have a significant other to grab the kid for me or grab dinner, or show up to volunteer for this school event. But I also want to be involved, let my kid see me showing up for her. I want to get to know her friends and their parents, and be at the festivities on the last day of school. So I do it, somehow I make the time and get it done.
But I ask for a lot of help! All. The. Time.The hardest thing in life to do is to ask for help. It takes courage and strength.
Being a single mom means…. ALWAYS asking for favors.
“Hey, so I know I asked you this last week, but could you grab my kiddo for me and drop her at drum lessons as I have an important meeting?”
“Some friends are getting together, I need some adult time, could my little one hang with you for a bit?”
I ask for so many favors, from my parents, my friends, parents of my kiddos friends, teachers, neighbors. The hardest thing in life to do is to ask for help. It takes courage and strength. I’ve been learning this lesson more lately than ever. It is ok to ask for help.
It doesn’t mean you are weak or incapable. Everyone needs help at times. Your friends are there for you through the good and bad. It is human nature to want to help. You just need to let people know when you need it.
Being a single mom means… You need to find your VILLAGE. “It takes a village to raise a child.” An African proverb we have heard over and over and it is so true. Raising your kiddo well, takes a community, the whole community. I could not do what I do without the encouragement and help from my ‘Village’. I am so lucky to have a caring community and family around me. Find your community, you need them and they need you as well!
“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.” – HERMAN MELVILLE. I know we will be OK. I know that because my VILLAGE reminds me of it. They remind me I’m doing a good job, they step up for me when I need them.
Being a single mom means… Showing up SOLO. At my daughters band concert the other day I realized there is almost always an open chair next to me. Maybe people think that someone will be joining me? I don’t know. I’ve learned to embrace walking into a room solo. There are some pros. I don’t need to worry if my partner is enjoying himself. I can show up and leave events when I choose.
But it is hard being the third wheel, or worse being the only single person invited to the party. And then the constant explanation of your life…. Where is her dad? Do I tell them the whole story or just laugh it off, he’s not in the picture?
I remind myself that it takes courage and strength to just show up. So that’s what I do. I show up, smile on my face, happy to be there and guess what? I always have a great time. Don’t be afraid to just show up, be present.
Being a single mom means… ACCEPTANCE. Accepting that this may not be the way you planned things but it is the way it is. This may not be the way you envisioned your family but it is the family you have. I didn’t choose this life but I wouldn’t change it! My girl is my world. Two peas in a pod.
We are good together. Our life is good. Mother’s Day is a great day.
I am so thankful to be a mother, even if it wasn’t exactly the way I planned.
Synergy eTherapy is a tele-mental health group therapy practice helping all moms access the care that they deserve. All sessions are by phone and video from the comfort of your home or surroundings. Please visit our HOME page for more info.