The first moment I freaked out about my divorce, I cried and said the words, “But I can’t do anything!” I thought of how I couldn’t reach the smoke detector, even if I stood on a ladder. I really felt helpless, like I didn’t have any of the skills or abilities I would need to make it through life unmarried. It was true that I couldn’t change the batteries on the smoke detector. But what I lacked in skills I made up for in strength. I bet you’re a strong single mom, too.
How do I know? Well, because you’re here on iMOM, wanting to grow and be the best mom for your kids. And some days, not curling up and hiding under the covers takes some muscle. Here are 5 things a strong single mom does.
She does “Dad’s job.”
I taught my sons how to ride their bikes this summer. Running while hunched over does require strength (and ibuprofen), but the kind of flexing I’m talking about is when we do the things society says dads are supposed to do. When you play catch, mow the lawn, or pull out loose teeth, you’re putting on your big girl pants and stepping outside your comfort zone. A strong single mom says, “All right kids, I might not be Dad, but we can do this.”
She faces the middle of the night.
We’ve all been awoken at 1 a.m. by a child crying out for us. It’s always one of three things in my house and I’ll put them in order of my preference: Nightmare, wet bed, throw up. When my kids are sick in the middle of the night, my heart races and I start to think through the next day’s schedule with anxiety. Doing it alone is scary. Yet, every night, a strong single mom tucks the kids in, ready to face whatever the night brings.
She encourages her kids to love their father.
When you share time with Dad, there’s always going to be a creeping feeling of insecurity. It’s so easy for the insecurity to cause you to become possessive and defensive. But if Dad is present, what is best for your child is to experience his love as much as possible. It takes strength to remind your kids that Dad loves them, to pray for him with them, and to celebrate their time with him.
When you’re in a two-parent household and your teenager blows up at you saying you’re the worst mom ever, it stings. But you know they’ve got no choice but to deal with it. When you’re parenting alone, or if they spend time at their dad’s house, it can be very tempting to ease up on the discipline to ensure that your house is somewhere they want to be. But a strong single mom knows kids need boundaries and rules to feel safe and it’s worth it to enforce those rules, even if it means being awarded “World’s Meanest Mom.”
She keeps her head held high.
It’s easy to slide into a place of self-pity because of what you don’t have. Dwelling on the negative doesn’t require much strength. But focusing on your blessings, looking up, and working toward your goals—that takes muscle!
I hope you see yourself here. What do you do that shows your strength?