After many years of single motherhood I reached a point where I felt I could no longer take the weight. All the responsibility and struggles that come with being a single parent head of household became too much to bare.
This was reflected in a constant mood of of nonconformity and unfairness, I kept asking myself why do I have to struggle so much? Will it always be like this? I felt it wasn’t fair and I was mentally and physically exhausted. Inhabiting this state all the time kept me strictly focused on what I lacked and had lost instead of what I had and was able to do. Ingeniously and gracefully by the way.
We assume that we are not prepared to raise a family on our own, neither are we trained to do so because we expect to work with a team, a team of two. That of course, is not the case of many of us who have found ourselves shortsighted by a mist of uncertainty when facing the scary and unavoidable reality of having to make it on our own and not knowing the way, with our children by the hands.
This is the moment where fear settles in, all our previous beliefs are challenged and so is our self confidence. We don’t believe we can make it but we have no choice.
So we jump in ready to do whatever it takes for our children, hoping to learn as we go without realizing that everything we do is under that “no choice” umbrella, that perspective that makes all our efforts and accomplishments as single mothers feel like sacrifice.
From the moment we wake up we are in a constant doing, planning, rushing, timing, stressing, running and worrying that we feel never ends but at the same time, we are getting things done. The problem is we are not focused on our ability to do things and our strength, we are in the “no choice” mindset and when you have no choice but to do something that means LAST RESOURCE. Is living our every day lives with our children a last resource?
This never ending story is also nurtured by how we take in social constructs and other people’s perceptions of us as single mothers. For example, think about that moment in a conversation you outer the words “I’m a single mother”. A very popular reaction in most people I’ve personally encountered (after an awkward pause) is an expression that lives between “I’m so sorry” and “I admire you, you must be strong”. In the other hand, how do you feel when you say these words? I’ve honestly always felt a certain amount of fear of embarrassment and a sense of failure and guilt, but why? I wanted to change that.
Asking all these questions made me look back and observe my journey as a single mom. I got to the conclusion that despite who comes into my life or what happens, I will always be a single mother, I will always do whatever humanly possible to take care of me and my children. The question is why does it have to be like this? What if I accept single motherhood not as a condition or a temporary state but as part of who I am? What if I believe that I can do it?
How many times have we heard from others “I have no idea how you do it” or “It’s amazing how you are able to do all that on your own”, how can others see what we are able to accomplish but we don’t? This is the FIRST step, lets start seeing what others see, lets start observing ourselves and focus on HOW and HOW WELL we do things.
The truth is that although we have not been aware of it we have learned, we have found many different ways to take those things that represent challenge and made them work for us. We’ve been doing it ALL ALONG but we weren’t aware of it. We are still getting better every day and we will for as long as we are mothers and raise our children. We have become masters of our single motherhood.
Single motherhood is not a condition or a terrible state from which we have to get out of. As it presents many challenges, it also offers many blessings: motivation, courage, strength, persistence, purpose, self-worth, responsibility, a very special bond with your children and immeasurable love to give.
Our goal here is to discover and love these gifts and find the joy and extraordinary in what we do and who WE ARE. As we strive to raise our children we will also become much healthier, stronger and happier women.
Sending love to all Master Single Moms out there!