Being a single mother is a wonderful, exciting, stressful and adventurous time in a woman’s life. Every single mother will experience the trials and tribulations that come along with being a mother, whether a single mother or a married mother. However, solo parenting brings with it a few distinct truths:
1. Multi-tasking is a necessary skill
Being a single mother requires a multitude of skills and the ability to multi-task. Mom has to be the chef, source of comfort, homework checker, stylist and everything else in between. This means that when your child is sick or has an emergency, you will not only have to manage your child, you will also have to manage your own life. So it is possible that you could be cooking dinner and running a meeting for work. No big deal, right?
2. Judgement is a very real thing
Although no one wants to admit it, there is a negative stigma that comes along with being a single mother. Single mothers are held to the same standard as every other mother and still must appear to have everything all together – which is completely unrealistic. Often, single mothers struggle to have everything done – kids to school on time, lunches packed, homemade school snack ready, the list goes on – and instead of giving a single mom the grace they need, mothers tend to be a bit too harsh.
3. Criticizing the absent parent is not right
Having a child living in two separate homes is complicated enough without the added stress of the parents bad-mouthing each other. It is important for both parents to decide that no matter how upset they are with each other, they cannot bad mouth the other in front of the kids. It should be easy for the child to move seamlessly between both homes and having a strict no-criticizing policy will help keep every transition smooth.
4. Fear of Missing Out
One of the issues with being a single parent is having to deal with the fact that your children will experience things with the absent parent that you will not be able to be a part of. It is important to remember that it is good and healthy for your child to experience new things with both parents and these experiences will not replace the bond you have with your child.
5. Being Dad and Mom
When dad is not present in the child’s life, mom has to step up to act as both mom and dad. This is not an easy skill to develop but is one that every single mother has to deal with when she has to step up and act as both mom and dad from an emotional and disciplinary standpoint. This will be especially hard for mom as she naturally wants to nurture her children, but she will have to put those emotions aside to be the “bad cop” for a bit while she is giving her child a valuable life lesson. This also calls moms to be exceptionally strong.
6. Money may be tight
Often a single mother is in a situation where she is tight on money because she went from two salaries to one or never had the support of her child’s father. On average, raising a child costs $245,000. That is a lot of money that will require the single mother to stretch her budget to meet the needs of her children and herself. This also means that she will often put the needs of her children above herself.
7. Mother’s Day is always an adventure
Along the lines of having to buy birthday presents, Mother’s Day will consist of helping children make/buy their gifts for Mother’s Day. This will eliminate any surprises possible, but the joy that children show when they pick out the gift is something not every mother will experience. Making the gift also brings with it the possibility of making a lifetime of memories with the children.
Being a mother is one of the biggest blessings a woman can experience in this world, and whether she is a single mother or a co-parent, she will be the biggest role model for her children.