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Single Mom Truths (and Challenges)

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As much as I feel privileged to have time alone with my daughter after a long day of work and school, I dread walking through the door to an empty home.

As much as I am proud that I can financially and practically care for her on my own, I am often just as resentful that I have to sacrifice being with her to make it possible.

As much as I feel giddiness and purpose in seeing her dimpled-smile, I feel emptiness experiencing it alone.

As much as I am proud that she is adaptive, I feel guilty that she is because she has had to be so many times.

As much as I want to cook and clean and nest as mothers do, I don’t feel the kind of gratification and happiness I think I would if I were also doing it for and with a lover whose mutual love for our family makes us stronger.

As much as it makes me proud and feels surreal to say “my daughter,” I want to say “our daughter.”

As much as I am fulfilled and at peace that she is so loved and loving, I am sad that she may never experience a father’s love.

As much as I look forward to spending time with her whenever possible, I am terrified of the weekends when I will most feel the void of not having a partner to lean into as she hits milestones, plays in the backyard at barbeques, or sees the ocean for the first time.

As much as I know I can handle this on my own with God’s grace and our village of support, there isn’t a single day that passes when I don’t choke on the loneliness, stress, and fears of raising a daughter by myself.

As much as I know I’ll one day look back at these years as that sacred time I bonded with my daughter without the added pressures of a relationship, I can’t stop the depression from paralyzing me every time I wake up.

As much as it is difficult to admit these feelings, it is necessary, because if my daughter doesn’t sometimes see the struggle, she can’t fully experience the depths of my love.

And as much as I don’t want to feel sorry for myself or teach her to do the same, I want her to see the healing that can come from being vulnerable — not just for herself, but for others who may feel the same way.

-Katie

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson July 17, 2012

    Great post, Katie. Your perfectly voice the highs…and lows of being a single mom but bottom line is your daughter is blessed to have you.

  • comment avatar Candace July 17, 2012

    I was a single mom for a really long time and I can so relate to this post. Though the circumstances for becoming one were beyond my control, I still felt guilty and like something was missing. Once I had an epiphany that though our situation wasn’t ideal and I *was* enough, everything changed.

    Thanks for this post.

  • comment avatar Tami July 17, 2012

    I have a close friend, single, expecting a baby next month. This is so heart-felt and helps me understand her fears as she moves forward. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability, your fears, and your authenticity. Beautifully written!

  • comment avatar Kendra July 17, 2012

    Your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you. I appreciate your honesty with the joys and struggles of being a single mom. I don’t know you but from what I read, you are doing a great job. All moms need to hear that as often as possible! Great post!

  • comment avatar Tami July 18, 2012

    I have a friend who is about to become a single mom. Thank you for helping me understand her fears. This article is so heart-felt and beautifully written! Everyone knows someone, works with someone who is a single parent. This will help readers find compassion for them.

  • comment avatar Tanja July 18, 2012

    What about when you can’t financially support 2 kids. No child support kids lost home and barely making it? No parenting time means 24/7 me all the time. I wouldn’t have it any other way but financially i struggle. I work full time and go to school. I do it by myself . I am tired of always struggling telling my kids no to vacation no to dinners out no to movies. And no one holds “him” accountable. His loss but dang …just feeling a little sorry for myself sometimes.

    • comment avatar Kendra July 18, 2012

      Tanja, you are doing a great job! In the end, the love of family is far more important that dinners out and fancy vacations. As long as your children’s needs are met, they are happy and they are loved than that is all they need! I know they probably don’t understand that, but someday they will. Hang in there and like I said… You are doing a great job!

  • comment avatar Boulder Moms July 18, 2012

    Oh Katie – hugs to you! I grew up most of my life with my mom as a single mother. I don’t speak with her now for a variety of reasons. It was hard to be put second to everything growing up. The “father’s love” was never really fulfilled in my home I would have wished that my mother focused more on me vs. trying to find a dad for me. I commend you for your sacrifice!

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