“Life as a Single Mom… Oh My!” — 3 Amazing Things No One Tells You When You Become a Single Mom

| August 6, 2017
Rams Head

No one plans on becoming a single mom.

Let me rephrase that: aside from the fiercely independent women that get tired of waiting on “Mr. Right” to arrive, and decide to find his face in a book at the nearest fertility clinic; no one plans on becoming a single mom.

If there’s one thing most single mothers have in common, it’s the fact that we truly believed that we’d have and hold onto a picturesque family unit. For me, becoming pregnant at 19 and actually marrying my son’s father was a huge “in your face” to societal statistics that said I’d always be single, poor, fat and struggling (stereotypes are always so unnecessarily tragic!)

However, deviating from the fairy tale family agenda, I eventually had to recall my dramatic “in your face” to society when we divorced. I once again found myself added back on to the “Stereotypical Teen Mom Statistic List”. (INSERT HUGE SIGH, EYE ROLL, OTHER DRAMATIC GESTURE HERE.)

Thankfully, in addition to the hardships, struggles and exhaustion that coincides with parenting alone, there are also LOTS of benefits, triumphs and lessons.

Here are a few of the very best lessons I’ve learned, re-learned, made up on the fly, calculated, and run with in the years I’ve been a single mom:

You will almost certainly become best friends with your child

There is a very special bond that forms when it’s just you and your kiddos against the world. You learn to both be strong for each other, and that its ok to be weak sometimes too. You understand when each other falls quiet, or gets emotional seemingly out of the blue. You find ways to laugh through tears, and bond through sadness. It is an absolute bittersweet blessing to grow an unbreakable bond with your child through times of uncertainty, it teaches you both that you can count on each other to get through ANYTHING.

You will learn to trust yourself to find answers to the hardest of questions

It didn’t quite hit me how versatile I was going to have to be to parent a boy on my own. As he grew older, he started asking questions that I NEVER THOUGHT I’D HAVE TO ANSWER without a spouse, and certainly not alone. Questions about girls (fine), erections (kinda fine), wet dreams (OMG are we talking about this?) and then some. The mere thought makes a lot of mommy’s cringe. I know, this is YOUR BABY- but when your child is coming to you, curious and comfortable enough to ask the tough questions -you find the answers, you giggle about it, and you move on. It’s honestly not as hard as it sounds.

You will learn that it’s more than ok to solicit help

This is a big one for me. More often than not, women who raise children on their own embody a FIERCE sense of independence. Once you’ve been left “holding the bag” by your child’s other parent it’s hard to be comfortable relying on others to help you with anything. But truthfully, even the super-est of Super Moms need to call for back-up sometimes. Whether it’s in the form of grandparents taking the kids for the weekend so you can rest, or having a friend, coach or neighbor drive Billy to baseball practice so you can pick up Susie without missing too much work- TAKE THE HELP (the people who know me personally will laugh when they read that part, it is literally one of my biggest struggles.) Accepting help from people who know and love you and your children does not make you weak, it doesn’t make you incapable-it makes you HUMAN, and it’s ok.

Single parenting is not easy. (Duh.)

In fact, sometimes it’s really, REALLY HARD. (Double duh.)

It’s having the world on your shoulders. Its knowing that every decision you make has some kind of impact on another human life. But it’s also being the recipient of every hug, every laugh and every smile. It’s being the tear (and butt) wiper, advice giver, home-run cheerer, personal chef and tucker-inner every night. It’s being the bad cop who yells that homework needs to be done NOW, and then getting to be the good cop who makes ice cream sundaes when the work is done. It is literally being EVERYTHING to the young human who means the world to you – your child. And I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Severn Bank

 

Category: OPINION

About the Author ()

Stephanie Fahie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages. She can usually be found on a baseball field!