Hey there, awesome reader!
There’s no denying it. Single moms are a force to be reckoned with. Ultimate multitaskers, budgeting queens, and tellers of the best dad jokes you’ll probably ever roll your eyes at, the funny thing is that single moms don’t see themselves as the superhero they really are. If anything, they feel guilty because they’re always tired, always overwhelmed, and always getting yelled at by laundry.
Looking back to when I became a single mom, I remember talking to my ceiling that first night, wondering, “How the hell did I get here?”
Of course, the ceiling didn’t talk back so I just continued asking it more questions.
“Where did I go wrong?”
“How am I going to manage?”
“Why did he do this to me?”
It’s only now, years later, that I can answer any of these questions.
Where did I go wrong?
My first mistake was in choosing the WRONG person to have children with. (I like to refer to him as Mr. What-Was-I-Thinking.) I ignored the red flags. They were all right in front of me, but I didn’t pay attention to any of them. And what happens when you don’t pay attention? You pay the piper!
(I wrote an entire chapter about this in my book, SUPERWOMAN: A Funny and Reflective Look at Single Motherhood. In fact, that’s the name of the chapter: If you don’t pay attention, you pay the piper.)
The point? Sometimes we make bad decisions. The good news is that there’s always a silver lining. In our case as single mothers, it’s our children.
How am I going to manage?
Although I had no clue at the time, it turns out that I’m stronger and more resilient than I thought. My kids are all young adults now and if I do say so myself, they turned out pretty, damn good. They’re all kind and compassionate human beings. They all have jobs. And none of them are serial killers.
Going back to those early years when
I thought my life was over life was hard, it turns out that “they” were right: everything really does always turn out!
Side note: I have no idea who they are, but I do feel it’s important to give credit where it’s due. During those early years, I felt very alone, and I always ran out of money between paycheques. I remember thinking, “is this it? Is this my life?”
Well, guess what? There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. But there’s an even more important takeaway here: There’s also light in the moment of where you are. No matter how dark life feels, please be present for your kids in the here and now. I can’t stress this enough. Before you know it, their little hands don’t fit in yours anymore and you’ll never get to hear them ask you to read Hop on Pop with them again. You’ll love them as adults, but you’ll miss them as children.
Why did he do this to me?
He didn’t do anything to me. I made a bad decision by hooking up with him. I made a great decision by kicking him to the curb. Once I got over the shock of my life turning out the way it did, I flourished.
Because now that the constant arguing and unhappiness were gone, I felt lighter. Life was hard but at least now I could look forward. I could just focus on my kids and myself.
It’s true. Disappointment can grow into a huge lump in your throat when you realize that the person you thought you were building a family with isn’t as committed as you are. But life has many paths and the best thing you can do when you realize that you’re on the wrong one, is immediately start walking on another. This is where your resilience comes in.
You’re stronger than you think!
I wish someone had told me this a gazillion years ago when I was a young, single mom. And so here I am saying it to you. You’re stronger than you think. You’re more resourceful than you realize. And you’re doing a great job. Even on those days when you feel like you’re failing at life. In fact – and I can’t say this loud enough – ESPECIALLY on those days when you feel like you’re failing at life. You’re tired. You’re overwhelmed. And you feel like you’ll never get on top of the laundry. Yet here you are, showing up anyway.
Kudos to you!
And of course, I can’t end this post without a dad joke gone momma:
Why did the tomato turn red?
Because it saw the salad dressing! 🤣
Mona Andrei is an award-winning humor blogger, columnist, and author. In her most recent book, SUPERWOMAN: A Funny and Reflective Look at Single Motherhood, she shares her challenges and triumphs as a single mother as well as stories from other single mothers.
Mona is also the host of the Single Moms with Moxie podcast.
When Mona isn’t writing or elevating other single mothers, you can probably find her dancing. As a member of a competitive hip-hop team, she likes to think that she’ll stay young and cool forever. She may be delusional.