The past few decades have shown a rapid increase in single-parent homes. In the United States, 24 million children live in single-parent homes. Though it probably isn't surprising to hear that 86% of single-parent homes are headed by mothers. While single-parenting is becoming more common and socially accepted than it was in past generations, it hasn't gotten any easier to do. In fact, single-mothers dealing with the aftermath of a global pandemic and rising prices due to inflation, it's incredibly stressful to be a single-parent today. Single mothers face:
- Shouldering the cost of childcare,
- Typically, spend more than half of their income on housing,
- Being responsible for providing health care and getting children to appointments,
- Though many single-mothers have low-wage jobs with no paid time off,
- Needing to hold children accountable for their academic responsibilities,
- Shuttling children to extracurricular activities, and
- Being solely responsible for housework
To say that single-mothers have a lot on their plate is a large understatement; it's common for single-moms to have to work more than one job to be able to take care of everyone adequately. It's easy to feel guilty with so many priorities tugging you in different directions. With an ever-growing list of responsibilities, it may feel impossible, maybe even silly, to take a moment to pat yourself on the back.
Here are just a few reasons why single mothers deserve praise.
Whether a single parent by choice (left a bad partnership) or not (widowed), single mothers step up and do what they have to do to raise their children. Single mothers accept their parental duties and obligations with love, even when it's unimaginably difficult. They bend over backwards to take care of their children, and always put so much effort into managing everything to the best of their ability. It's astounding.
Single Moms Are Problem-Solvers
If there's anyone who can come up with a creative solution to a problem, it's a single mother. You have to be resourceful to manage raising and providing for children. Aspects of daily life as a single mom include resolving things like:
- Scheduling conflicts,
- Parent-teacher conferences,
- Sibling conflict, and/or
- Budget discrepancies.
Single mothers are the type of solutions-driven managers that any Fortune 500 company would be lucky to have on their roster.
Vast amounts of mental and physical fortitude are required to raise children. How many times have you heard childless friends say, "I don't know how you do it!"
Sleepless nights don't stop after the newborn phase, and kids well over 20lbs still want to be carried by their mothers. As important, if not more so, is the mental strength that is required of being a single parent. It's scary to be solely responsible for a child's well-being, especially in an unpredictable world.
But single-mothers take on the challenge, without batting an eye. The resilience, independence, and strength required to take on the challenge of solo-parenting deserves rounds and rounds of standing ovations.
Why It's Important To Give Yourself Praise
Children aren't emotionally mature enough to fully appreciate the sacrifices that you're making, but it can sometimes feel like all you want is someone to fully appreciate what you've taken on and to validate your feelings. It's very common for kids of single parents to grow up and realize the dedication and commitment it took for their mother to raise them. But that "thank you" might not come until they're old enough to truly understand and appreciate what their mom endured for their sake. But what about until then?
Recognizing your own strengths can help keep you going on your darkest, most exhausting days. It can give you motivation to keep going when it feels like there's no gas left in the tank.
No one can be strong all the time. Sometimes you just want someone to take care of you for a change. That's perfectly normal. Keeping a support system around you that you can go to for help when you need it is essential to maintain your sanity.
So, it's important to recognize how much is on your plate, give yourself some grace, and take a moment to be truly impressed by yourself. If you're having a difficult time praising yourself, remember:
- You're tough,
- You're committed and dedicated to your children in a way that is incredibly admirable,
- You have the managerial skills of a CEO,
- You don't have to have it together 100% of the time to be a good mom,
- You are exactly the perfect mom for your child, you are fully capable of giving them the love they need,
- You are worthy of being acknowledged and praised, and
- You've got this, mama!