There are lots of different types of moms out there. We read about them every day in the mommy blogs we all enjoy and relate to so much. There are the SAHM’s. Sancti-mommies. Working moms. Crunchy moms. New age moms (whatever the hell that means?). You name it, us moms will find a way to label it and own it. Over the last few years I have gone through many phases of motherhood. I’ve had weeks of feeding my daughter only organic foods and cutting out her “screen time” for more nourishing activities. Other times I send her to bed with no bath and a belly full of pizza rolls. Regardless what type of mom you identify as, I think we can all agree on one thing – This shit is HARD.
It wasn’t until about 6 months ago I entered the hardest phase of motherhood for myself yet. Single motherhood. It’s still new and unreal. I considered myself “essentially a single mom” when I was married. Not. Even. Close. Although the support from my counterpart wasn’t great, it was something. Two incomes and two sets of hands beats one any day. However, a healthy and clean environment for my daughter trumps all.
When I first became a single mom I was devastated. Parenting with a broken heart is unimaginably harder than expected. Mundane activities like daycare drop off and packing lunches became excruciating daily reminders that these were things I would be doing alone from now on. It’s hard to make a peanut butter and jelly when you can barely pick yourself up off the kitchen floor. Just like every other mom, I learned to be emotionally strong when everything seemed to be falling apart around me.
Being a single mom has taught me patience, selflessness, and perseverance. It has also taught me that it’s ok to be tired, and it’s ok to ask for help. As I watch my little girl grow, the prospect of seeing her succeed and be happy far outweighs any anger I can have for the situation. I’ve laid awake many of nights trying to figure out how I will make this up to her. I’ve spent hours analyzing the effects of having an absent parent. The countless moments of feeling guilty for just momentarily wanting to be released from this never ending responsibility that her father traded for his own freedom.
I think about mine and my daughter’s future differently as a single mom. It’s an ongoing conversation in my own head that never stops. How will I pay for college? Who will take her to sporting events or music lessons if I’m sick? How in the world will I ever have a social or love life again? Will I be able to find a man who accepts me AND my daughter? Will he accept that I lived an entire life before I met him, or that the scars and stretch marks that stain my body are from a child that is not his own?
Just like any other mom I am tired, frustrated, and weary. I make mistakes and I often don’t give myself any credit for my triumphs. As a single mom I am sometimes bitter and resentful that I am also a father. But despite the extra work, I never doubt that it’s worth it. Her love is the purest thing I’ve ever known. Even at my worst, I am still the entire world to my little girl. She is growing into a smart, beautiful, and kind little person. And I am proud to be her (single, crunchy, whatever!) mom.
Danielle is a 27 year old accounting clerk who enjoys Umphrey’s McGee couch tours and trying every different flavor of LaCroix. When she isn’t doing mom stuff you can find her dabbling in yoga or binge watching Netflix. She is a dog person and her favorite color is green.
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