Since day one, I’ve been a single mother, and by day one, I mean from the time I found out that I was pregnant.
I never felt sorry for myself. To be very honest, I think I prepared myself for single motherhood long before I ever got pregnant. It wasn’t something I hoped would happen, but it was something I knew I would be able to handle if it did. Thirteen years later, I became pregnant with my son.
My pregnancy came as a shock to me, my friends, and my family – I was the last one of my friends to get pregnant, and I wasn’t married. I won’t go into all of the specifics of what happened with my son’s father, but I knew from the words, “I’m pregnant,” that I would be in it by myself. I was up for the job and accepted and owned my situation.
Being raised by a single mom, she taught me to be independent and take care of business. That was the example that I saw in my home, and I want to carry on with the tradition of being a strong woman.
Story Time – Being a Single Mother at School Events
Fast forward to ten and a half years later, and I’m attending Dr. Seuss night at my son’s school. I talked to some of the moms, and there was a new kid’s mom in the group – they had only recently moved here. We joked around about me being the only single one in the group. The new mom came to talk to me later and said she was sorry that I have to go through motherhood alone.
I was a little dumbfounded and heard myself saying: “Why would you be sorry? No one died!”
The mom who offered her condolences began to stutter and explained that she thought that being a single mom had to be so hard. She said she has no idea how I could do it alone and jokingly laughed that she’s making a mental note to make sure to keep her husband away from me.
I have to say – her words hurt me quite a bit.
The moral of the story – even if you are trying your best to be a good single mother, not everyone will understand your choices. And honestly, that’s perfectly fine. So knowing that, how can you be a good single mom?
5 Tips on how to be a Good Single Mom
1. Accept your life and your situation.
The only real difference between a positive and a negative person is their attitude. You can be happy about your life and be grateful for all the things you have. Or you can be sad and angry, complaining about everyone and everything and taking for granted all the good things in your life.
In the end, it’s all about the choice you make when you wake up in the morning. Choose positivity today.
2. Be Grateful Every Day.
I try to have a good stretch in the morning and to quickly list three things I’m grateful for that day. The following was my list this morning:
- A good night’s rest in a safe and comfortable home.
- My sweet son woke me up with coffee this morning.
- Having a family and a job making me look forward to my day.
Once you start seeing your life as a blessing, it quickly becomes one.
3. Stick to your Convictions.
These convictions can be the rules you have as a parent or your opinions about life. Make sure you know who you are and what you stand for so that when people criticize your choices, they don’t shake your foundations.
The same goes for your parenting. You are the only parent making the rules, and your kids will challenge you from time to time. Make sure you stay consistent with your opinions on discipline, religion, school attendance, dating boys with motorcycles – whatever rules you choose to enforce.
As long as you believe what you have to say, you can be proud of yourself. Don’t let anyone cause you to start doubting yourself.
4. Take Time for Yourself.
Before you became a mom, you used to be this whole other person with interests and hobbies. Being a single mother, or any mother actually, can cause you to lose sight of the person you used to be.
Even if you don’t want to go back and you like who you are now, make sure you take some time to be yourself. Take time to have some good, old-fashioned alone time, and be sure to add some self-care into your days.
You will be a better mom for it – it’s much easier to pour love out to others when your cup is full.
5. When You Need Help – Ask.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You may be a single mom, but you are most certainly not alone. Even if your family is not around, most people would love to do you a quick favor and help out someone in need. Don’t naturally assume that no one cares about you and you have to do it all on your own – most people are good at heart and willing to help.
For all of you single moms who feel some way because most of your friends and family members are married and you are left feeling out, don’t let life or other people get you down. Comparison can be a real thief of joy.
You are more than enough.
Stand tall all the time so that the next time you are in a group of moms and ask you about your husband, you can tell them you are a single mom and proud of it. Being a single mother is tough, but you’re doing fantastic!