I Always Wanted Kids But Never Planned On Being A Single Mom

Life has a funny way of proving to you that you’re never fully in control. Take mine, for example: I got married young and three years later I had a baby. I thought things would be uphill from there, but life threw me a curveball and I became a single parent when my son was six weeks old. Needless to say, that definitely wasn’t part of my plan.

  1. When I thought of being a mom, it was always as part of a traditional family. Looking back, it’s almost like my daydreams of being a parent looked something like those obnoxious stick figure families on the rear window of a random SUV. There is a mom, a dad, and a couple little ones trailing along. In the big picture of my future, I never saw myself raising kids without a partner, but that’s the road my life took me down.
  2. I was excited to share the fun times with a partner. When I’d think about having kids before I had any, of course, one of my main thoughts was sharing the fun with them and their dad. Zoo trips, board games, field trips, museums, everything that I see families do nowadays, but I’m doing it alone. It’s especially difficult once they start growing up and asking questions because I feel like I can never adequately express why they don’t have the same kind of traditional family that their friends have. Maybe it won’t be like this forever.
  3. I was hoping for backup. I didn’t think I’d have to be equal parts disciplinarian, friend, enforcer, and comforter all at once—and all without help or backup. It’s tough to enforce rules sometimes without help, and that’s not how I pictured things going. I also secretly wanted to be one half of the type of parenting duo that stays up late cuddling on the couch, bonding over a late night snack and high-fiving over who manipulated the kids into cleaning their room the quickest.
  4. The holidays are especially tough. Set aside the loneliness that sometimes comes along with being single in general—the holidays are especially tough when you’re raising kids alone. I always envisioned forming family traditions with my husband and kids and doing holiday-themed activities and experiences. As a single parent, I’m struggling harder to make traditions and financially providing for those experiences.
  5. I feel financially drained. Every parent wants to be able to not only provide for their child in the present but set something up for their future as well. Raising kids with a partner cuts costs of everything, making it a bit easier at least to save for the future while still providing financially day to day. As a single parent, the budget is that much tighter because there’s only one adult income instead of two to draw from.
  6. It’s depressing AF. I went through a six month period of depression after I lost my “family.” It was one of my worst fears come true, and something I never thought would happen to me. The hardest part of raising kids alone is not having someone else to lean on. Sure, you may have a helping hand here and there from a strong support community, but sometimes that leaves you feeling sad that you have to ask for help in the first place because you would’ve already had the help if you had a partner around to share it with.
  7. It’s better this way than in a dysfunctional relationship. As difficult as it is to raise kids alone, it beats the heck out of having to co-parent during a relationship that is unstable and unhappy. However, I originally thought that I’d stick it out with my partner no matter what so that we could raise a family together. Looking at it now, I wouldn’t trade parenthood alone for parenthood with the wrong person in a toxic environment for anything.
  8. It’s made me a better person. Being a single mom has certainly taken its toll on my stress levels, my dating life, and my sanity at times, but it has also contributed to making me a better person as a whole. I’ve had to become independent in an unprecedented way, humbled beyond belief, and I’ve learned how to love unconditionally and unapologetically.
  9. I didn’t plan on it but if I’m being honest, I saw it coming. I guess that’s why I never fully felt “ready” to be a parent, specifically with my ex-husband. The feeling of not being secure in our relationship always loomed, and I knew that wouldn’t make for good co-parenting. When I got pregnant, it was unplanned and terrifying, but I knew that deep down I always wanted to be a parent and things would work out accordingly. I just never fully believed I’d end up doing it solo.
  10. I’m embracing it anyway. It’s not like I have a choice; the reality is that I’m a single parent raising my kid alone, but even though it was never my ideal situation, I’m embracing it. Kids have a special way of making you appreciate every little thing in life and getting to be in the moment as a parent, whether alone or with a partner, you realize that nothing in life should be taken for granted.
Mix 1 part momma + 1 part writer + 1 part hairstylist. Add the love of laughter, adventure, and caffeine. Blend well with a passion for country music and hockey. Sprinkle with sass, and that's me.