Hey, single mom. I see you. This road you are traveling on is rough. The burden can be heavy but I see you. I see you carrying it all with a smile as you go from social gathering to social gathering. I see you in the grocery store, at the mall, at school, at the birthday party. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you it will get better. It does get better!
I know because I’ve been there. Having been the first of my friends to venture through divorce and single mom-hood I can tell you that no amount of planning prepares you for the road ahead. Even if you are ecstatic to be free and divorced, or if the father of your child or children has never been involved, there will be some dark days. The day of my divorce, my best friend and I celebrated. The weight on my shoulders had been momentarily lifted. I was ecstatic yet terrified of the road ahead. The stress and pressure that comes with being the primary financial, physical and emotional provider of a small child can take its toll.
Being the single mom in the group isn’t always easy. At first you’re the center of attention in every room. If you’re introverted, like I am, this can be awkward and uncomfortable. Everyone wants to check in with you and hear all the latest gossip. They mean well when they encourage you or try to look out for you in their own way. Many of them might even whisper to you that they wish they had your life. They might confide in you that they are unhappy. The days turn to months, and sometimes years, and you look around and notice the majority of those who whispered to you in that crowded room are still in the same situation. The few who did divorce with small children, share a new secret language with you. They are the only ones who truly understand the highs and the lows. The risks and the rewards.
Although there were some truly low days, the five years I spent as a single mom were some of the best days of my life. I gained a strength I didn’t know I had. I gained a gratitude which hadn’t existed before. I learned who my true friends were. I discovered myself and who I was at my core. I learned to trust my instincts. I learned that I was a lot braver than I’d ever given myself credit for.
If you’re finding yourself struggling, reach out to your friends, family, community or a great therapist. You are not alone! There are so many moms and dads on the same journey as you. Keep pushing through the difficult days to get to the other side. I see you. You got this.
Pictured: Sara Lords + Skye
Photo Cred: D. Selbak Photography