The Joys and Challenges of Being a Single Mom
When I got pregnant and realized I was going to be a single mother, my whole world seemed upside down. I could barely take care of myself, how was I supposed to properly care for a whole other being by myself? On the other hand, I always wanted to be a mother and there was not a doubt in my mind that I would do everything in my power to keep my little bean safe and happy. What I’ve learned so far is that motherhood is full of challenges. I am constantly being tested and trialled. More importantly, it’s full of inexplicable joys, too. The thrill of hearing “Mommy, I love you” and knowing you’re doing your job well is intoxicating.
One of the biggest cons of being a single parent is having to worry about money all the time. Of course, this would still be an issue if I were married, but then we’d at least have two paychecks to rely on. I have to work twice as hard and save money months in advance if I want to do something special for my kid.
We’re far off from poor, but I’d still like to give her some of the things she wants. We can’t be spontaneous either, and she doesn’t have all the new toys and gadgets that her classmates do. On the other hand, this makes her value and appreciate things more when she gets them. It also teaches her to work hard for what she wants and save up for it.
2. No arguing!
I thought that being a single mother would be twice as hard as being married with a kid. Seeing how most of the marriages of my friends work, I had it backwards. My friends first need to spend hours arguing with their husbands about who does what around the kids. It’s impossible to synchronize schedules, and he always seems to forget to do something.
In my house, we don’t have that problem. I come up with a weekly plan and we stick to it. I know I have just myself to count on, and that helps me keep things organized and in order. As my daughter grows, she’s even able to help out around the house. I found that chores are a great way to teach her responsibility. Making her involved in household errands also makes her feel like she’s an equal part of the household. The best part is, we do all of this without a single argument.
3. Behavior issues
One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced together were her behavior issues. At some point, I noticed that she was too worried about things for such a young age. My kid shouldn’t be worried about our finances or how she’s going to handle school tomorrow. She should be able to enjoy just being a kid, and let me take care of her. I did a little research online, and it seems that anxiety issues are more common for kids who only have one parent.
After all, when you express concerns about your finances or say how tired you are, your kid starts getting worried. As there is no one to take care of you, they want to take on that role themselves. As well as that, when there’s only one parent involved, the emotional bond tends to be stronger which can lead to some insecurities and codependency issues. These are big things to swallow for such a small person. To find a solution, I asked around and found out about a firm that specializes in this sort of thing. Thanks to their positive behavior strategies, my little princess deals with behavior problems no more and she’s able to enjoy being just a kid.
4. Better relationships
Because it’s just the two of us, my daughter and I have a great relationship. I’m always there to talk to her about anything she needs, and she’s always there to cheer me up with her bright smile after a long day. We do most things together and this forms a very strong bond.
Of course, she has friends her age as well, because I want her to grow up to be independent. But we both also know we’ll always have someone to talk to and someone to turn to when the going gets tough. She’s my daughter, but I think we’ll even become friends as she grows older.
Sharing my experiences here made me realize once again how lucky I am. I may not be a perfect mother, but knowing that my child is growing up to be a good person tells me I’m doing something right. The pride and joy I feel when I look at her are worth every challenge we face along the way. Because, well, whatever comes at us, we’ll face it together.
by Stella Ryne
Stella is a Mom, Traveler and Writer.