The 4th of July conjures up thoughts of fireworks, hotdogs, and watermelon, and—of course—the American flag. But I’m lobbying for a tiny sliver of the holiday to go to single mothers.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m as patriotic as the next girl. God bless the USA! But when I think about everything July 4th represents, I can’t help but feel like it should be a single mothers’ holiday. Here’s why.
As a single mom, you’ve had to fight hard for your independence and freedom. And if you’ve been at this for a while, you know there are some things you will always be dependent on. And that’s OK. You should celebrate both.
This is a big one. No matter how you came to be a single mom, surviving on one income is hard. But financial independence doesn’t just look like being debt-free and having enough in your bank account to pay the bills every month.
Families with two incomes making seven figures are still not financially independent if their happiness hinges on buying the next thing that pops up in an Instagram ad. Single mothers can find financial freedom by breaking the chains that are created when possessions are given top priority. You have a unique perspective on what is truly important and what richness actually is.
Freedom from Pity
If you’ve been the guest of honor at a pity party, you know it’s usually not a very good time. Whether you’re feeling down about that single income we were just talking about, being alone on Valentine’s Day, or the circumstances that brought you to single motherhood, you know that once you declare independence from pity, the world looks different.
Leaving pity behind means financial struggles become challenges you can overcome. Nights alone become opportunities to meet new people or try a new activity. Sad circumstances that led to today’s reality are commanded to stay in the past.
If you’ve been the guest of honor at a pity party, you know it’s usually not a very good time.
Freedom from Self-Doubt
“What if I can’t?” I think all single moms have thought that at one time or another. Usually self-doubt has little basis in reality. We can blame it on that inner voice that likes to creep in and tell you you’re not enough, you’re not cut out for this, or you don’t have the strength.
Declare freedom from self-doubt by giving that inner voice a name and when she starts talking, tell her she’s not welcome. You are strong and capable. You’ve proven that more than you know.
What Single Mothers Will Always Depend On
OK. Depend is a strong word. Single mothers will always appreciate a helping hand. I’m not saying you need it, but even if it’s just for a moment of reprieve, that helping hand is a lifesaver. The grandparents watching your kids during spring break. An older man at church distracting your toddler with silly faces while you take a moment to pray. Even the bag boy at the grocery store pushing the cart out to your car. Being a single mom makes you realize how much helpers make a difference. And as nice as it is to be independent, sometimes a little dependence does the heart good.
Single moms, what do you depend on? Where have you had to fight the hardest for independence?