Apparently in 2017, being a single mom provides such enlightenment to oneself. I have been a single mom since day one, that was 4 years ago. I have had ups and downs of course as any parent does, but being a single mom is something that no one can possibly understand unless they were or are a single mom themselves. Even for single dads, it’s a whole different ball game. But, for those of you who would like a little peak into what a single mom has to deal with, read on!
- The Dad (or sperm donor)- That is everyone’s #1 question. “Where’s her dad?”, “Does he see her often?”, “Does he pay child support?”. I cannot even imagine if I had two kids, because then the #1 question would be “Do they have the same dad?”. For one, when did it become anybody else’s damn business who/if/when my child sees her dad or if he pays child support. Are you paying my bills? Then why do you care if he is paying child support? When you have a child, single parent or not, everyone and their great grandmother LOVES to tell you what to do with YOUR child. I forgot that they helped me make this baby, so obviously they get a say in how I raise her. Another thing about “the dad”, is when you do tell people the truth, because you really don’t have anything to hide and say that he isn’t around or simply doesn’t see your child, their entire vision of you changes. All of sudden, their demeanor changes and they feel sorry for you. I do not need you to feel sorry for me, instead look at it as I don’t have argue with someone about my parenting, or I don’t get confused if my husband is picking up my daughter or if I am, it’s me..every single time.
2. The Career- I absolutely would love to spend more time with my child (depends on what day and if she’s being an asshole or not), but I have to work. I have to pay my bills, I have to support myself and my child. But, for some reason people always wonder “How do you work AND raise a child, all by yourself?”. Ummmm….because I have to! Last time I checked, my parents don’t pay my bills and I don’t think my mailman will agree to support my child and I, therefore, I must work. People love to think that I have this fairy godmother taking care of my finances, well I don’t. Yes, I do miss my child but sometimes I actually look forward to going to work and seeing other adults, and yes I am always running around like a chicken with its head cut off. But, I also like working. I didn’t spend thousands of dollars on my degree to do nothing with it. Which brings me to my next point…
3. Education- There is this huge stereotype that single moms are not educated. I have met many single moms that are more educated than I am! It is very refreshing to meet a single mom who says that they do work, because there are a few that are not educated and do live off of the government or their parents. This is what people said when I told them I’m going back to school to get my 2nd degree, “So, are you going to leave work?”, “How will you work, take care of your daughter AND go to school?”, just like every other parent who does all 3, we just do it.
4. Marriage- “But don’t you want to get married and have more kids?”. Well yes, but I also want a million dollars, a pony and a castle in Ireland. Do I think that one day I’ll get married, ehhh maybe, but I’m not holding my breathe or anything. My mother once said when my daughter was only a few months old, “You better find a man before she turns 3, you don’t want men coming in and out of her life ya know”. My daughter is 4 and I still don’t have a man. “Don’t you ever get lonely?” Yes, of course. I really would love to have a partner that I could laugh with and fight with and who will love my daughter as his own, but if it doesn’t happen I know that I am perfectly happy and so is my daughter.
- Marriage- I would rather be a single mom doing it by myself than be married and in a toxic relationship. It’s actually healthier for my child as well. She doesn’t hear me fight with anyone about finances or trust issues. It’s just me, my daughter and my dog. I also, make 100% of the parenting decisions. There is no confusion on what the rules are in my household. I can sprawl out on the bed without anyone stealing my covers or complaining that I hog the bed. (Sometimes I wish I had someone bitching at me sometimes, it means they care). Don’t even get me started on how difficult dating as a single mom is.
2. Undivided Attention- this can be a pro and a con. My daughter gets ALL the attention. She is the only one I have to focus on, besides our dog. She is the only one I have to take to school or dance or double gulp, hockey (my daughter was convinced to try hockey this year-wish me good luck). She doesn’t have to share her toys with her siblings, she doesn’t have to share my attention with my husband, it’s just her and I. Now, Lord help me when I do meet someone and she has to share me or I want to have another baby. We also share a special bond that if I do have more children, it’s something that they will never have. My other child will never have gone on the adventures that my daughter and I have, or have movie nights with me. There are special exceptions that I make for my daughter since I am a single mom, for one we have stayed up until midnight on a Saturday binge watching movies and stuffing our faces.
3. Finances- A couple years ago a group of my friends and I went out to the bar, as we get to the bar a friend of mine started panicking. She realized she had to call her husband to put money into her bank account, because he controls the finances. I never ever ever want to be in that situation. That may work for some people, but that will not work for me. If I’m out, I do not want to panic because I don’t have any money. I also never have to justify my spending habits, because if I did I would be in trouble for my online shopping addiction. Would I love to have 2 incomes? DUH, but I don’t, so I work with what I have.
3. Self-Worth- Because I am a single mom, I am incredibly motivated. I have to work 10x as hard at life. It’s a life I honestly do not want my daughter to have, I want her to have a partner to help her and that she can bitch at about life when it sucks. Granted, I do have help. I have great family and friends that I can call and they would come and help my daughter and I. I am very lucky to have those people in my life. But, I am also very stubborn and I am not the greatest person at accepting help, sometimes I make my life harder than it has to be and I’m working on that. But, being a single mom makes me want to be better as a mom and as a person. I always will want to better myself for as long as I live. I want to be better for my daughter and maybe just maybe one day for my husband and my other children too.
When it comes to being a mom in general, it is never easy and I applaud every mom for what they do everyday, because you are amazing! If you’re dating a single mom, just know that you are a lucky person, because single moms have the whole package in my opinion.
Did I miss any pros and cons for being a single mom? Let me know!