Earlier this summer, I wrote an article I titled 9 Qualities a Single Mom Embodies That Make Her a Real-Life Wonder Woman, which quickly took on a life of its own. Based on the thousands of readers who liked and commented on it, it appears that many single moms agree that similar to the comic book heroine, they are “wonder women” because of how expertly they manage themselves and their families utilizing their physical and mental strengths. As readers tagged their friends on social media and excitement spread, I realized how important it is for single moms like me to receive a reminder now and then of how powerful we are and the positive impact we can have on our families.
For those of us who never intended to become single moms, parenting solo can, at times, feel like a burden. As a single mom whose ex-husband lives in Asia, I have full physical custody of my three children, now 17, 15, and 12. As a result, I am always running in different directions to cater to their individual needs, only without a second pair of hands to help out even a little bit, not to mention, offer me the emotional support a true partner does. It is hard continually needing to be in two (or even three) places at once and then face falling asleep every night alone.
Still, as trying as it is, being a single mom can also be the inspiration women like me use to take control of our lives and thrive in a way we never did while we were married. By facing single parenting head on, single moms can grow in numerous ways. Single moms can become the parent they always wished they could. They can apply their child-rearing strategies, especially if they did not necessarily agree with their spouse’s, and share new points of view and values with their children.
For those moms who, after having kids, decided to stay at home and put their careers on hold, being a single mom can also mean an opportunity to develop a career, especially because she may now have to support or contribute to supporting her family as well as plan for her future. Before I was divorced from my husband, I was a stay-at-home mom and spent most of my time caring for my young children. Once divorced, I recognized that I needed to generate income. Being a single mom motivated me to start my career as a writer, editor, and business owner.
As single moms, we often fail to realize during the day-to-day drudgery how much we help others and ourselves. We are always doing everything we can for our kids and put them first. The truth is, this is healthy for us, too. With small gestures, we somehow figure out how to put back together with a family that suffered as a result of our divorce or the loss of a spouse. We discover how to take care of our kids and successfully move on and create a new life.
We often fail to realize during the day-to-day drudgery how much we help others and ourselves.
In spite of that achievement, for me, each day remains a balancing act. I am perpetually tired, always feel like I am chasing the ball, and still experience periods of depression. On some days, usually the days you see me on the street looking put together, I feel like I am kicking ass. On other days, the days when I avoid your phone calls or sound frazzled or down, you can pretty much bet that I am the one getting kicked in the ass, at least for the moment.
But then I look at the family I am raising, and I see that despite all of the bad experiences we have been through, together we have built a bond that is unbreakable. I see all that we have accomplished and the challenges we have overcome. Although single parenthood may have initially felt like a burden with its added responsibilities and stresses, I know now how many blessings can come from rising above such hardship. And these are the real wonders single mothers like me could have never anticipated but are proud to call our own.
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