Yes, being a single mom is exhausting. We all know this. It’s a daily financial struggle and one that many of us didn’t choose.
But the financial concerns, the lack of sleep and the constant worry aren’t what really gets to me. That’s actually the easy stuff, the stuff that you just put on your big girl panties and do what you got to do to get through the day.
Then there are the single mom struggles no one really talks about. These are the ones that cause me to cry myself to sleep some nights:
Holding back tears of sadness as I stand in the doorway and find my son watching a YouTube video to learn how to tie his tie as he gets ready for prom that night.
The struggle to teach my daughters to love a good man when the first man they are supposed to love walked away from them.
The pride of watching my teen boys find their own path to becoming responsible men as they work part-time jobs and offer me their paycheck to help pay some of their own expenses. Wishing I didn’t actually need to accept their money. But knowing I do.
Relief as each of the boys steps up and offers to take their sisters to the Daddy Daughter dance at school.
The regret of having to teach my daughters how a man is supposed to treat a woman, when too often they saw their own mother belittled and mistreated by the man they were supposed to trust.
Feeling humbled when I find out my then 7-year-old introduced my best friend’s husband to her teacher as “my dad too”.
Grateful for the moms who still get go on the field trips and send me pictures of my kids having fun and smiling. And more than a little jealous of those moms too.
Knowing I am risking my family’s financial future as I tell my boss “Yes, I am leaving work early again” as I walk out the door so I don’t miss yet another school event.
Being the only one to sit up at night when it’s past curfew waiting on the offending child to make it home safely. Or being the only one to make the drive to the Emergency Room with a crying and hurt child.
Having to make major decisions by myself with no one who cares enough to have any input.
The really real reality of being a single mom is having the hard-fought and well-earned knowledge that nothing, and no one, is stronger than a single mom protecting her family.
But sometimes that’s a heavy load to carry.
Author: Jennifer Williams-Fields
Editor: Caroline Beaton
Photo: Courtesy of the author