Finding a woman that proclaims that they are a proud single mom does not happen every day. I would venture to say that the women I know are harder on themselves than anyone else could ever be.
Add motherhood to the mix, and the gates open and the bad press for ourselves multiplies. Take that other person away who helped the mom keep her perspective, and single moms might be the hardest on themselves of any group of women.
I know, and I can honestly say, I am much harder on myself now as a single mom than I ever was as a married mom.
Why is it so hard to be a proud single mom?
I often wonder why we think that we have to be so good at being a mom.
Why do we raise the expectations when our life plans change and find ourselves solely responsible for the little people looking back at us? Why don’t we give ourselves the break that everyone else seems willing to provide us?
The other night, after an incredibly stressful day of motherhood, I was downtrodden. I was beating myself up for not being strong enough to stand my ground as a mother. Upset that I was not creative enough to dissolve a tantrum faster. I was so frustrated that I was at the point of tears, exhausted, and out of ideas to motivate myself for the next day.
Though, in the back of my mind was a little voice trying to get through. The good-thought fairy was trying to tell me to be proud of my day even when it seemed so hard and hopeless.
I made a list of why I should be a proud single mom today, and I think you should make one, too, at least once a week.
The following was my list that day.
1. I Got Them to School On Time.
You may laugh and even roll your eyes at this one. But getting three girls up and ready for school and out the door on time is no easy task. I know many married moms who share that their kids get tardy all the time because they were late. And that is sometimes even with dad at home to help.
Small tasks yield considerable praise in my book when you do it day after day, time after time, and you know that getting them there on time is something you can do well!
2. I Can Buy Them New Shoes.
Buying shoes for kids is a mundane task, but being able to afford them is very empowering. As a work-from-home single mom, there have been times when I worried that something would not come in on time to get what my kids need.
Child support aside, kids are expensive. Raising them on a single income can be very difficult. So when I can earn and save the money to get them what they need, I am very proud of myself!
3. I helped my second grader with her math.
Have you SEEN second-grade math? I know some of you may be math-wizzes, but that’s not me.
I might have used Google a time or two, but I did it. With two others running around and one pleading with me to help her understand, we sat there until we figured it out together.
As a single parent with dinner cooking and other kids that need to be tended to, just taking the time to sit down and help a child with homework is an accomplishment in itself. I am very proud that I helped her. She got an A.
4. I laughed a lot today.
Amid the chaos – especially with multiple kids – I managed to find things that made me laugh.
Laughing refreshes the soul; it’s a significant pick-me-up and stress reliever. It wasn’t big things, but it was authentic – laughing at my son’s joke, sharing a funny text with a friend, laughing with a client over the phone about life and its mishaps.
Being able to stay motivated and positive is not always easy. But, in the moments where I don’t know how to change the day, I try to find a way to laugh. Sometimes, that is a tough thing to do, so laugh and be proud of your laughter, mommy.
5. I did it!
It’s that simple.
My kids are taken care of, happy, fed, bathed, and safe in their beds – what more can I ask? I woke up in the morning, completed the tasks I had to do, with ready hugs and kisses at every turn for my kids. Though the day felt overwhelming and insane, and I had a headache, I did it.
I made it through and lived to love these children another day. A proud accomplishment that always deserves a pat on the back.
Soak it all in.
Not all days are so bad that you have to go back and look for the tiny uplifting parts. But all days create moments that we should pride ourselves on as single moms. Next time you have one of those days, do what I did.
Make a list, and you will remember, motherhood is not always easy, but it’s the most rewarding job you’ll ever do.