Being a single mom is a choice. Women can have children by themselves. It’s part of the women’s movement. At 36, I was not married and I wanted to have a child. So I went to the sperm bank and got pregnant.
My dad was happy that it was a boy. I was financially stable, and had lots of friends to support me. My friends even babysat for me. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
I don’t find it challenging being a single mom. I own my own house and have enough money. I think it’s easier when it’s one person making decisions, instead of two. Any child is lucky to have one loving parent. Sometimes, two parents don’t always get along.
For the single mom who gives more than just love. For the days that takes more strength and courage than you think you have, to overcome the struggles of making the right life decisions for your children. All those school events you attended alone without a partner, you always find joy in your children’s eyes that filled up your heart. And through the hardships, tears, and loneliness, you gave it all to build their dreams so that they can discover a future of hope and happiness. That is the reward that heals your soul of this broken family, it will make your heart whole again.
It’s hard, but I take it one day at a time. If you have family support, it is a blessing! I do what’s best for the kids because they always come first.
It was a unique set of emotional challenges that can, at times, feel overwhelming.
It’s like hiking the Mt. Rainier trail with a heavy backpack. The backpack has all the essential stuff in it and weighs you down sometimes.
But because it is essential stuff, you want to keep it for emotional reasons — we call it sweet burden.
I’ve never received any child support. I have to work extra hours and borrow money in emergencies.
Many times, I cannot sleep at night because there might be some expense that needs to be paid, and I don’t know where to find the money. I don’t want my kids to see those moments of weakness, because I didn’t want them to worry.
The biggest difference of being a mom and a single mom is we are expected to be superwoman. We spend the day working full-time, and then it’s mommy duty at home, it’s easy to forget about taking care of yourself. But those fade away when my kids smile and laugh!
As I thought about what to write for this Mother’s Day edition and what challenges I experience as a single mom, my curious 3-year-old blindsided me and asked, “Mama, why are you and baba separated?”
Oh boy …. Of all the never-ending “why” questions out of this inquisitive little monster, this was one I dreaded most. Tears I didn’t want him to see welled up in my eyes, as I figured out how to explain to my innocent child about a world so complicated. Single parenting is HARD. It’s exasperating, it’s exhausting, it’s overwhelming, and it’s just me. It’s surviving a full day of work on three hours of interrupted feet-in-my-face sleep. It’s mastering simultaneously putting on makeup while singing Chinese poems and searching for that lost microscopic Lego man’s head. It’s unclogging the toilet, bringing home the bacon, going to the gym, doing the laundry (for the fifth time that day, as he gets potty trained), and making the tough decisions by myself. It’s remembering all the doctor/dentist appointments, cleaning the house, chopping up organic kale into itty bitty pieces and getting it into a patty so no one knows its “choy,” and trying to be present while winding up the Hot Wheels, and thinking about what bills I forgot to pay, then feeling guilty for being preoccupied.
Actually, HARD is an understatement.
Yet the biggest challenge of being a single mom is seeing the shame and disgrace society has associated with the unconventional family structure. But in the end, I know in my heart that both my child and I will be just as strong, confident, motivated, capable, and humble.
And we have created a mother-son bond that is unique, unbreakable, and unbelievable!
“It doesn’t matter beebee,” I told my sweet child, kissing him softly, “because we are both happy and you are loved so very much.”
I missed a ton of firsts. The first time he walked or his first word. I worked so many hours that he was the first one at daycare and the last one to leave. The best part of being a single mom was and still is seeing him smile. The days where he said, “Mom, thank you,” were the best days ever!
*Stacia recently married.