The term "Single Mother" has always had a certain scrutiny attached to it. Automatically the brain is pulled towards the image of a bedraggled woman holding a crying infant whilst being in a sad and weakened state. But hold that thought; though there are definitely sad times, the great times more than tip the scale. Think about it, single Mom’s carry the entire load of being both parent’s and on that journey truly find out how strong they are. We not only find and hone that strength and utter badassery, we wear it proudly! To carry a family all on your own and succeed, sure it can be a fight sometimes but at the end of the day...you are proud! Own it ladies! For my fellow single Mom’s out there I have come up with a list of signs that show just how awesome we are:
1. You've Learned to Laugh Instead of Cry
Remember those sad times I mentioned? They definitely happen. Whether it is your car breaking down when you don’t have the money to fix it or your child asking where their father is; these are times when there is an opportunity for growth. It is either sink or swim. Sure it would be nice to lie in bed and have a good ugly cry while bemoaning your situation...pity party for one? But what does that solve? Nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely give myself a minute to truly feel my emotions, it is never good to bottle things up, but then you have to move on. I promise, if you meet your problems head on and dominate them, you will not only come out on top, but you will hold your head just a little higher each time.
2. You Have Achieved a Healthy Balance
Let’s face it, as a single Mom you have about 101 things going on at any given time. Not only do you knock out that To-Do List, you do it with style. You are the master of multi-tasking and have learned to take things in your stride. Routine is key, and you know that. You start at the foundation and work your way up, ensuring a stable and balanced lifestyle. Sure, sometimes the house is a mess and you are starting to drool and look like a mental patient; but then you pull yourself together and go back to being the awesome Super Mom we all know you are.
3. You Take Care of Business but Still Have Time for Ice Cream
Every day you go out there and dominate. Taking care of your family is your business and business is good. You have a plan (for the most part) and you stick to it. You wrangle those crazy kids and get them ready for the day, wipe the oatmeal out of your hair, don cat eyes and lipstick then get out the door in a timely-ish fashion. You go to work and/or school and keep your eyes on the prize, plan the meals and get groceries, cram in a good workout...basically divide and conquer. But after a hectic, yet productive day, when you pick up your kids you know how to relax and have fun with them. You have learned to differentiate between work and home and darlin’- you’re doing amazing at it!
4. You Are 100% Proud of Who You Are
Throw those single Mom stereotypes to the wayside. Yes, you’re a single parent, and PROUD OF IT!!! You are the epitome of strength and perseverance. You have had your limits tested time and time again, and have not only survived...you have thrived! Instead of looking at the downsides you focus on the upsides. You CHOOSE to be happy and work hard no matter what you are going up against. After everything you have been through you can still smile and mean it. For all of these reasons you dance to your own music and love who you have fought to become.
5. Your Little One(s) Are Happy
If your children are happy, that is all that matters. When life is difficult you shoulder it and put on a smile for them. They always come first. As long as they are taken care of and have smiling eyes you are doing well. You are the sole parent; you are teaching them how to be independent and strong while leading by example. That’s right; you’ve hit role model status.
6. You Don't Look for Anyone's Approval
Everyone is going to have people trying to bring them down; it’s a fact of life. Single Mom’s seem to deal with it on a daily basis, whether it’s the person at work passive aggressively saying that there should always be two parents in the home or a date automatically assuming you’re easy or just looking for someone to take care of you and your children. Whatever the case may be, you don’t let it get to you. You know who you are and you stand by your decisions. You’ve fought hard to be the person you are today and no one is going to tear you down with their ignorance. Get it girl!
7. You Have a Happy Home with Laughter to Spare
Sure you might not have a top-of-the-line appliance collection or an obscene display of Pottery Barn decorations, but your house and life are still pretty great. You always have food on the table, money to pay your bills, a secret stash of wine and bubble bath, and enough toys for your kids to be spoiled. The most important thing to remember is that happiness is about relationships and making good memories, not possessions. You don’t look at your home and see it as lacking, you see it as the amazing environment you have built it to be. There may be paint stains where your kids had arts and crafts time and got a little carried away or you have had to flip the couch cushions because someone decided to open their tippy cup and spill grape juice everywhere...but you wouldn’t have it any other way. This is home and you are proud to call it thus. It may not be perfect, but it is full of laughter and harmony.
8. When You Lay Your Head Down at Night You Are Grateful
Life will never be completely perfect, but as long as you get up and try your best each day you have everything to be proud of. As you lay there at the end of a long day, if you can let out a long sigh and smile, you are doing something right. Instead of concentrating on the things that didn’t go your way you look at what did. You are grateful to be where you are. You love your babies and go to bed each night with the knowledge that you are leading an awesome life.
You are a thriver, not just a survivor. You go out into the world and show it whose boss on a daily basis. Single Mom is a badge you wear proudly and my dear, you wear it well. When you are feeling down think on what the great Elizabeth Taylor had to say, "Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together". So go on balancing this crazy beautiful life and know that you are recognized and appreciated.