I’m not a single mother but I was raised by one, and from everything I’ve learned from her and all the other mothers doing it solo that I know, it’s the toughest job in the world. It takes a special kind of woman to raise tiny humans all by herself and I’m pretty sure those who do it are the toughest around.
They have no day-to-day support but still kick butt. Doing everything on your own can be tough. Cooking, cleaning, working, and taking care of yourself without children can be exhausting. Throw even one child into the mix and it’s downright miraculous that single moms can get anything done. They’re practically superhuman.
They have no back-up. In the instance when their kids are being a real pain and so obviously acting like they weren’t raised by Wonder Woman herself, disciplining a rebel child with no back-up can be tough. So tough, in fact, that it can be next to impossible if that kid decides one parent isn’t enough to make them listen. Single moms do it with finesse and grace and I just don’t understand how that’s even possible.
Everything is on them all the time. Single mothers don’t have the luxury of delegating responsibilities to anyone else. If there’s a parent-teacher meeting on the night before a big presentation at work is due, they have to manage both. If they’re helping customers at work and a call comes in that their kid is sick at school, they have to somehow keep their boss happy and take care of their baby. Managing both is nothing short of impressive.
They have no time for themselves. Everybody deserves to treat themselves or just take a night off from their hectic life. Single moms don’t even know what that means, though, because their night off includes watching the same episode of their kids’ favorite show over and over again until they fall asleep. That doesn’t count and yet they still manage to smash every single day without a break.
They sacrifice their lives for their children. Being able to put someone else’s needs ahead of your own is pure strength. Sure, single moms love their children more than life itself and are completely happy to do whatever it takes to make their kid smile, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not sheer emotional power involved in the simple act of doing it.
Single income in this economy? Gone are the days when houses were affordable and minimum wage jobs were actually livable. Even jobs that require countless degrees and years of education often pay too little to get by because of high living costs. Single moms have to get by on one salary, and even if it’s a generous salary with benefits and a pension, it’s still hard not having a second income to fall back on. Handling financial stress alone while still trying to give your child everything they want is vigor most people don’t have.
They have to be everything. Single moms have to be the nurse, the teacher, the mechanic, the plumber, the chef, the maid, the chauffeur, and the sole bread-winner. How one person can wear so many hats and not go completely insane isn’t just will and biological drive–that’s some next-level strength right there.
Even when they struggle, they do it with a smile. Sure, single moms are human and the struggle can get the best of them. But their not human like the rest of us. They could be holding back tears and trying to curb a mental breakdown and they’ll still be racing from work to their kid’s soccer game or ballet recital to cheer as loud as they possibly can. Even when they’re miserable and want to crawl into a dark hole, they show up.
They’re underappreciated. Anyone who’s ever been undervalued knows how bad it can feel emotionally. But, single moms are constantly underappreciated for everything they do and yet continue to thrive. They’re creating the future generation and they’re doing it all by themselves. They need more recognition—and some time off every now and again.
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