Those who approve of stereotypes often defend their words with the phrase: “Stereotypes are rooted in truth.” While this may be true to a small degree, the stigma surrounding single motherhood goes far beyond stereotypes.
It hurts single moms who think they are weak, broken, and that their voice doesn’t matter. Quite the opposite is true. In fact, we are here to remind you that single mothers are resilientstrong and influential.
Resilience is a hallmark of single mothers
Some people are more resistant than others. But if she’s a single mom, her resilience training started from the moment she started parenting alone. The struggle is real. Running a household, working, taking care of children, and solving problems are as exhausting as they are rewarding.
The days come when you feel like you have nothing left to give. A cranky baby, a difficult teenager, loads of dirty laundry, and lack of sleep are just some of the things that make you want to climb into a hole and never come out. Yet you don’t. Because? Your resilience comes from loving your children and realizing that you have no choice but to move on. No matter how difficult your day, week, month, or year is, you can get back up and keep going.
Strength comes in many forms for single moms
Have you been asked where the father is at a school function? Have you felt the pitying looks from teachers and other parents as you participate alone in sporting events, school concerts, and parent nights? If you doubt your strength, stop and think about how much determination it takes to act gracefully when unpleasant people judge you, write you off, and make the wrong assumptions about your situation.
Even when well-meaning people make comments about how difficult your job must be. life as a single mother or that you have the most difficult job in the world, reinforce negative messages about single motherhood that limit your potential.
Disciplinarian and cheerleader
Clear, Being a single mom has its challenges. But strength comes organically when you take charge of your life and that of your children. As the primary caregiver, you can’t afford to hand the responsibility over to dad or take a break when the going gets tough. You have to be the strong one when your kids fall down, figuratively and literally, which means being their disciplinarian and cheerleader.
Guess what? You can also fully experience your successes and give positive rewards for a job well done. You are the one they turn to when they are excited about something. You’re the one who knows when they get a good grade on a test, excel at sports, or simply show kindness and empathy to others. The central role single mothers play in the lives of her children feeds their overall strength.
Single moms don’t need to be celebrities to influence others
Society places single mothers in different boxes based on their income, race, and how they became single mothers. When the media tries to inspire others, they often fall into the traps of these boxes. They show rich or famous single mothers who are usually white.
While the intent may come from a good place, these stories reinforce the idea that unless you’re a wealthy, white, famous single mom, you can’t be an influential power in anyone else’s life.
The influence you have on your children and how you interact with them radiates to those around you. Sometimes you know who is watching you and other times your admirers may be invisible.
they are ingenious
The Single mothers, by necessity, are resourceful. She gets into a routine that works for her family and finds creative ways to stretch time and money. Even when it’s impossible to be in three places at once, you find a way to make it work. Regardless of your income, you know how to feed your kids a healthy meal without breaking the bank.
Others around you watch and learn, and some may even ask. Your influence is a direct byproduct of your resilience and strength. When you can pass your good vibes on to others, especially other single moms, you help them gain confidence to grow and learn.
However, you know, how the saying goes: you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.
Self-care is the key to resilience, strength and influence
The struggle is real. No matter how hard you try to do everything right and keep all the balls in the air, you always seem to drop a ball or two. This is normal and expected for all parents, but especially for single mothers. However, some single moms take these little failures to heart, creating an endless cycle of guilt and depression.
You feel guilty and depressed, so you can’t sleep or concentrate. You make more mistakes the harder you try. You feel guilty and depressed again, and so on.
Self-care breaks you out of that limiting and harmful cycle of mother guilt that promotes feelings of self-hatred. It’s okay if you missed a baseball game because you’re taking classes to earn your degree. It’s okay if your car broke down and you missed a parent-teacher conference. It’s okay that you ordered a pizza because you were too tired to make dinner.
Forgiving yourself first step to take care of yourself
The first step in taking care of yourself is to forgive yourself for mistakes. Your children forgive you because they know you love them and are doing the best you can with the resources you have.
Beyond forgiveness, you also need to rest when necessary, not only physically but also mentally. Maintaining strong mental health will allow you to remain a rock star. That could mean relying on a support system, such as friends, family, people from your church, or a support group for single moms.
Ultimately, when you maintain your mental health, engage in personal development, and ask for help when you need it, you can raise amazing kids, contribute to your community, and be happy with the person you see in the mirror.