10 things a single mom wants you to know

It’s so much more than being alone

Some might assume that single parenting is the same as any other type of parenting, only that it does itself. Not so, says single mother-of-one, Ashley.

“Being single and being a mother is much more than being a single mother. You are not only taking care of yourself, but also others with one person’s income. There is no time for yourself. Being sick is not an option. Finding quality, affordable child care seems impossible.. You feel like a burden when you have to ask friends or family for help because even though it’s not your fault being a single parent, it’s definitely not their fault either.”

You are not a single mother if your partner works a lot

When married dads complain that their partner isn’t in touch or works most of the time, comparing themselves to single moms, it can spark anger, says single mom Vicky Charles.

When you have a partner, even if they are only home on weekends or work odd hours, they are there for you at some point.. And if they are working, that income is also contributing to your household. When you are a single mother, there is no other person who is responsible for your child, to help you with childcare, school and everything else.”

It’s motherhood on steroids

Teia Collier, a single mom from Dallas, knows that other single moms need support; that’s why she helps run dallassinglemom.com. She believes that single motherhood has its ups and downs like anything else, but both are magnified when you do it alone.

However, according to Collier, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on life. “When asked about single motherhood, I often say it’s motherhood on steroids. It’s about joy and doing the best you can. It’s about realizing that it takes a village to raise a mother and a family.. It means you get up and learn to be your best self. There are unique challenges, some from society, some from the nature of the beast, but there are so many proud mom moments and none of them stop you from having it all in this life,” she says. (Look at these true stories that show how much fun parenting can be).

Success and failure are yours alone to claim

Sometimes the hardest part of the whole job of being a single mom is the pressure to do it right.planted squarely on one set of shoulders instead of two.

“When something goes wrong, it’s only you. You have to cry to yourself while you try to find the solution by yourself. When something goes right, you don’t have anyone else to celebrate with, so it doesn’t always seem so grand,” says Ashley, mother-of-one.

Single parents have their own problems.

Nicholas Demski, a father-of-one and a writer who documents his travels with his young daughter on his site thesingledadnomad.com, says he’s made up some silly games with his daughter to tackle a very unique problem.

He says: “As a single parent, I struggle with public toilets and showers. My daughter is too young to use the female facilities on her own, so I play a game with her that we call “Don’t look at the butts!“. Basically, I just make sure he covers his eyes in awkward situations.”

My children are independent because they have to be

“The best thing about being a single mother is that your children will be more independent. My two are very aware that I am the primary caregiver and it is impossible for me to give them 100% of my attention. Being aware of this has made them both much more self-sufficient,” says Amber, a mother of two.

I am more than capable by myself

For many mothers, the thought of parenting alone sends shivers down their spine. It seems overwhelming and it’s easy to feel insecure about her ability to handle it all on her own..

Trina Dye, a single mom and blogger, says she found a new sense of confidence when she became single. Dye says: “I stayed in a very unhappy marriage longer than I should have because I thought it would be better for my children. Then I thought about what I wanted for them and realized, ‘this is not all.’ I thought being a single mom would be the hardest job in the world. I was right about that, but I didn’t realize that I am more than capable. I found a strength I didn’t know I had. It’s hard and I’m scared most of the time, but I always find a solution. And with each solution, I get stronger.”

Single parenting may be an option

Being a single mother is not always a bad thing; sometimes, it’s the preferred option, says Emma Johnson, author of the new book, The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children and founder of richemommy.com.

Johnson tells Reader’s Digest: “Despite all the very real fear and stress that comes with finding out you’re parenting alone, eventually you will realize that being a mother without a romantic partner suits you much better than other family formations. I love the autonomy of running a home as the only adult (no fighting over decor, chores, or clutter), the day-to-day parenting decisions, and dating and sex during this time in my life have been an incredible and powerful surprise. I connect with tens of thousands of single moms around the world, and my perspective, wonderfully, is far from unique.”

Joint Custody Can Be Awesome

While some single mothers have full custody of their children, others share time with their children with an ex, and the arrangement works out very well, says Courtney, a single mother-of-one.

She says, “There’s something really nice about co-parenting and having reliable, scheduled time to be alone, run errands, or spend time with friends. I love my son immensely, but I am very spoiled by the freedom that my shared schedule with his father gives me.. Sometimes joint custody can be irritating and infuriating at first, but with time, patience, and hard work, it can become a really good and healthy thing.”

Filling the void for both parents can be heartbreaking

Sometimes single motherhood is the result of a heartbreaking loss that is difficult to navigate on your own, let alone guide the children. Becky McCoy, a writer and podcaster who has experienced more pain than most at her age, says that Replacing a missing spouse can be the hardest part of doing it alone..

“People assume I’m divorced, but I’m widowed. It makes my singlehood complicated because my youngest son was not even born when my husband died. As I raise my children, I grieve my own loss, as I help them grow up without a father.. I am teaching them about their father to fill in the memories they will never have.”

Decisions can feel overwhelming

For some, the chance to start a new life without a partner can bring feelings of relief, even joy, but for those who have lost life partners unexpectedly to death, it’s the little things they miss the most.

Tara Dickson and her husband of 23 years, Alan, never expected a brain cancer diagnosis to change their lives. When the unimaginable happened, and Dickson was widowed with three of her four children still at home, her life changed in countless ways.

Her entire family moved away, she renewed her love of writing, and found that the smallest things became the things she longed for the most. She says: “I think some of the biggest challenges since Alan passed away have been making decisions. It wasn’t that hard to make the big decision to sell our house and buy a new one. Although it was something we had never done as a couple, let alone alone. I knew our future lay elsewhere, but because I’m making so many big decisions on my own every day, I find the small ones more challenging. Deciding what to make for dinner, or what we need from the grocery store, can be overwhelming when I’ve been struggling to be the sole financial provider. or figuring out how to advise my son on career options.”

Taken from rd.com 10 Things a Single Parent Wants You to Know

10 things a single mom wants you to know