Don’t you hate how there is only one day of the year when moms are finally recognized for all the sh*t we put up with? Your day of appreciation, celebration and rest is finally here.
Oh that’s right, we are single mothers.
There is no one there to serve you breakfast in bed. No homemade pancakes or hashbrowns with “I heart Mom” scribbled in red ketchup.
There is no one to orchestrate the construction paper card in backwards letters made with strawberry scented markers.
There is no one there to watch the kids during your spa day or girls night.
Without a partner to create a special day for us, we can feel forgotten.
The Single Mom Mothers Day
Mother’s Day for the single mom is, to put it nicely, a big fat F*CK YOU from the card companies for doing the job of two parents. It’s a punch in the face reminder that no one is celebrating you, no one is applauding you for keeping your spawn alive. No one is acknowledging you for the indescribable stress you face and the insurmountable tasks you complete. No one is validating your loneliness and the incessant internal battle of wanting to rest versus wanting to be there for your children.
And sure, you could buy yourself a gift and be content with the tissue paper flowers they made at school. I’m not saying it can’t be done. But it sucks. It’s lame. And downright sad.
It’s much easier to ugly cry and scroll through pictures on social media of married mothers sipping mimosas and kissing their complete and happy families. Vomit.
Yet Life As A Single Mom is The Happiest I have EVER Been
I have always been a single mom. I raised my infant while in residency (a rigorous post-medical school training), working 80-100 hours a week in a cut-throat environment, fighting a custody battle, caring for very sick patients and caring for my daughter when I could barely care for myself. Not to anyone’s surprise, the system burned me out, my baby drained what was left, and dealing with my ex filled me with rage, fear and despair. I collapsed into a deep depression, devoid of hope.
In the darkest time I have ever experienced, I learned a crucial lesson:
No one was going to solve my problems for me. Only I could.
I wasn’t sure I could solve them, but I was going to try, and be happy – no, euphoric – while doing it.
How did I do it? I worked on MYSELF. I decided to be “selfish.” I put myself first, like everyone always tells you to do, yet shames you when you do it. I practiced radical and sacred self-care, even if that meant spending less time with my kid and more time with myself.
And guess what. I was thriving AND having the time of my life!
I got better at my job. I went out dancing (so what if it was on a Tuesday night?) Hosted parties, traveled, lost 40 pounds, dated good men. I was full of energy. I made lifelong friends. I grew as a mother. Despite everything that had happened (and was still happening), I stopped resisting single motherhood and instead embraced it .
And that’s just it – it’s not about what was done TO me. It’s about what I did NOT do for MYSELF in those times of darkness.
What are you not doing for yourself? Why not? Are you not deserving? Not good enough? Unlucky? Unattractive? Your ex gets in the way? Your job, your kids, your finances stopping you?
Shut that negative self-talk up RIGHT NOW.
You are a wonderful person deserving of everything you want. You are a FABULOUS mother (take this quiz to prove it). You know when other parents remark, “I don’t know how you do it on your own”?
Well, YOU’RE DOING IT. Congrats to you. You are a WARRIOR and you look amazing doing it. You make that shit look easy. I’m so impressed by you. Damn.
Make Mother’s Day Your BEST Day This Year
Spending time with your children is great and all. I’ve read the other blogs. You get “twice the kisses, twice the snuggles, and twice the love.” No. Just no. You need time to yourself and ALONE for once.
This is YOUR DAY TOO. Someone’s not taking responsibility for it? Guess what, you will. When you accept responsibility for yourself you have the power to do something about it. You have the power to feel good about it. Yes, it sucks. DO IT ANYWAY. It’s mommy’s day.
I know you need it. You know you need it. So demand it.
A few ideas to recapture your day (and life!) and feel like a Goddess
- Reach out to other single moms. Watch her kids half the day then switch. Connect with other single moms in our community
- Get a sitter if you can afford it. If you can’t afford it, suck it up and ask family, friends or neighbors. Offer them dinner in return. People want to help you! Ask. Then get out alone and have fun. In the words of Tom Haverford, “TREAT YO SELF.”
- Search the web for “Single Mom Events.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 23% of children’s homes are of single mothers. If 23% of mothers are single, I guarantee someone out there (even if it’s a stranger) wants to celebrate you.
- Don’t look at social media! Just don’t. Even if you think you can feel happy for them, it does no good to compare yourself to others. Remember that everything isn’t always what it seems on social media. Behind those “public displays of affection” on Facebook there are multitudes of problems lying beneath the surface. Trust me.
- When the kids are asleep, savor the silence. Breathe. Finish with a toast to yourself for all that you have done and will continue to accomplish.
Reflect on your not-ideal circumstances and have gratitude for the gift single motherhood has given you. Yep. You read that correctly.
- Tell yourself that no matter what happens, you will choose to be completely happy, to feel good, to embrace the challenges and feel energized.
Now, if one of your trusted friends reads this and offers you free childcare – TAKE IT AND RUN AND NEVER LOOK BACK. I don’t want to hear about your guilt or how the kids will cry. They will be fine. GO.
You deserve a break, and you will demand it. And it doesn’t have to be on Mother’s Day. It can be on ANY day. It can be once a week if you wanted. Woah. Now we’re talking.
Remember, you’ve been through it all. Childbirth and c-sections. Diapers. Poop. So much poop. Temper tantrums in public (by children and the other grown up). Break ups, divorce battles, custody battles. Awkward parent-teacher conferences, shame when submitting the family photo at their school, child support nonsense, and reading bedtime stories about Mommy, Baby, and…Uncle Joe?
You are STRONG and UNSTOPPABLE. And you are NOT alone.
Remember, NO ONE ELSE is going to “make” you happy. No one is going to solve your problems for you.
But you can build resilience, become UNBREAKABLE, connect with other single moms, show up for them and SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF.
Waiting for others to help you, waiting until you have enough money, enough time, the court case closes, your kids are older, waiting for the right partner – IT DOESN’T WORK.
You need to be happy and fulfilled NOW. And you can be. Your life depends on it. Your kids depend on it.
I’ve been through it. I’ve lived it. I’ve suffered. And I’ve come out the other side as unbreakable and as happy as ever. I still struggle immensely, but with a f*ucking smile on my face.
Life is so so good.
Become an UNBREAKABLE MOM.
It will change your life.
And for the rest of you who read this and are not a single mom – please – share with a single mother and take care of ALL mothers this Mother’s Day.Click to join our inspirational support group