Being a single mom is tough. Emotionally, physically, mentally and financially it can be exhausting. There are days when you can feel completely overwhelmed and alone. However, it can also be super fun and rewarding, and most of the time I really do love being a single mom. But the one time I hate it the most is when people make judgments about single mothers.
The term ‘single mom’ comes with a stigma. People often assume that single moms made a string of bad life choices and ended up in a situation that they could have avoided.
I’m here to tell you that there is no such thing as a stereotypical single mom. I want people to know what a real single mom looks like, so I’m going to tell you:
Real single moms are educated. We have graduated from high schools, colleges and universities. We have diplomas, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and PhDs.
Real single moms work. We are doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, social workers, engineers, pharmacists, hairdressers, plumbers, electricians, administrative assistants, university professors and many other working professionals.
Real single moms earn money. Some of us work from home, some of us work away from the home. Some of us work two jobs to provide for our children. Some of us are stay at home moms because we can financially do so.
Real single moms make great decisions. We choose to formula feed, breastfeed, seek child support, not seek child support, involve the father, not involve the father. We make decisions that work for us and our children. We make our decisions out of love, care and concern.
Real single moms are smart. We teach our children everything. We teach them how to walk, eat, speak, read, and use a computer. We teach them manners, life skills and critical thinking. Our children are awesome because we shaped them into amazing little people.
Real single moms are strong. We were faced with situations that were heartbreaking, emotional and difficult. We wondered the whole time if we were making the right decisions and if the situation we were in could have somehow been avoided. But the truth is; it couldn’t have been. We are not responsible for how a father does or does not act.
Real single moms are creative. We find ways to stretch our time, money and energy. We make everyday life fun and interesting by coming up with practical solutions and well thought out plans to make sure that we never experience deficits.
Real single moms are superheroes. We give 100% of who we are all day every day to our children. We get very few breaks and sometimes wish we had someone else to talk to about our parenting worries. But we always manage to get through and find the energy to do it all over again each and every day.
Real single moms became single moms through lots of different means. Some of us adopted, some went through fertility treatments. Some had a partner leave after a baby was conceived. Some of us had a partner leave after a baby was born. Some had a partner leave after the child became a teenager. Some had the unfortunate heartbreak of having to deal with a partner who passed away. Some of us got here by choice, chance, circumstance or a combination of all three.
Real single moms are everywhere. We are proud of who we are and proud of the children we are raising. We hope that you give us the respect we deserve, because we always make sure to give it to anyone who is on the sometimes bumpy path of parenthood.
So, real single moms, please raise your hands. Tell everyone who you are. Break the stigma and show the world that you are more than a label. Tell me your story, tell anyone your story. The only thing I can ask of you, single moms, is don’t ever be ashamed of how you got here. Life is not about the destination, it’s about the journey.