Have you ever noticed that your hardest journey is always one that blindsides you and one that you wouldn’t’ change for anything?? I have to say that 85% of my life has not gone by any path I would have envisioned ever, and honestly, I wouldn’t change a moment of it! Thank you to the Motherhood and Angel Soft for sponsoring this post for me to share my journey as a single mother.
Growing up all I ever wanted to be a mom, I loved to babysit for side money and volunteer at the local Boys and Girls Club on the base while in high school and middle school. Fast forward on to college I was 20 and I found myself facing an unexpected pregnancy. At the time I was less than 1 year and a half from finishing my bachelors. I buckled down on schooling and graduated 6 months later with an Associates hoping for the best for a future for my unborn daughter. While her father and I had discussed marriage but it never panned out for us, and then when she was a month old I realized it was in both our best interest to move closer to my family.
Being a young single mom I grew up quick and missed out on a lot of experiences but you know what totally worth it! We flew cross country on two days notice to live with my family. Before being a single mom I thought before then I knew thought I knew the meaning of hard work. I quickly realized after moving I wasn’t going to get far with my degree and no experience so I jumped right into the fast food industry to have a paycheck to pay the bills. I worked hard to become an assistant manager for a store working 60 hours weeks while balancing out life with Kylie, her daycare schedule, and my family that helped to take care of her. I was proud of how fast I was able to get on my feet getting my own apartment and moving out of my parent’s house.
I was ecstatic and over the moon when I meet a man who loved us both and we were married when she was 18 months, and he raised her as if she was his own daughter. Fast forward almost 10 years and two more kids later we parted ways and Kylie no longer had her “daddy” her life. Her biological father made a couple of visits early in her life but hasn’t been to see her since she was 5 years old, and though they talk it’s just not the same thing for her. Even though I am a single mom to all my kids the, the singleness of it all is different with Kylie she doesn’t go to dad’s house every other weekend and holidays.
The struggle this time around is different as a single mom then when it was just Kylie and I. Now I live two hours from family so the kids can be close to dad and the kids are just BUSY with their school and extracurricular activities. Since I had taken off most my married life to stay at home while my ex-husband provided the main income my job skills were lacking facing the job market. I have been blessed that I have been able that I was able to grow a career online and provide my family at home. It’s been a tough road to get this far but it’s worth it.
Kylie turned twelve this week and it made me realize how far she and I have come and how the kids have been the only constant in my life! She has matured a lot faster than I would have liked due to our situation but it has made her very strong even at the age of 12. She understands all too much conditional love and how easy people can walk in and out of your life, and also how our family is always going to be a changing situation week to week. We have moved twice in the past year and a half and she is always the cheerleader with the other two kids as our lives are changing and moving forward. Plus she is like a built in travel and adventure buddy, thankfully we have very similar taste in activities!
Life Lessons I Learned As A Single Mom:
Humility– There is no shame in reaching out for help when situations come up, while it’s hard to admit you aren’t a superwoman you do what you have to do for your kids. I have had to go to my parents twice now to tell them things didn’t work out and each time they have loved me and supported me.
You Can Be Mom And Dad– Yes as a mom you can bust out power tools to help complete projects, you can be at all the functions, you can teach them everything they need to know, and while you make mistakes they will still love you.
Total State of Exhaustion– This is a different state of exhaustion then going through newborns. Your brain just never stops with the bills, the chores, the kids schooling, appointments, activities, family balance, and trying to take care of yourself as well!
You Will Provide– There have been times I have hung my head and said it’s hopeless when bills are coming due, but somehow I manage to balance it out and everything gets paid, with a roof over our heads.
Living With Constant Guilt– This is one I struggle with the most and as a single parent you hope one day they will look and understand how hard you tried to be everything, do everything, and provide the best you could for them.
Did you know that National Single Parent day is on March 21? I encourage you to take that day to reach out to any single parents that you know and give them some support! I know sometimes just getting to talk to an adult during the day is a treat for me! You can see their amazing video on “Be Soft. Be Strong” in recognition of single parents ->here on their site and also see more on their facebook page -> here.
Some Single Parenting Facts from the US Census Bureau and Singlemotherguide.com:
- There are 12 million single parent families in the U.S
- Eighty-four percent (9.8 million) of single parent households are single mother families and 16 percent are single father families
The 2013 median income for families led by a single mother was about $26,000, one-third the median for married couple families ($84,000). Nearly half of single mother households have an annual income less than $25,0003. Thirty-nine percent of single dads have an annual family income of $50,000 or more
- The annual cost of center-based infant care averaged more than 40 percent of the state median income for a single mother
Are you a single parent? What is one thing you learned from being a single parent?