Mom’s The Word: Single Mother Encouragement

A Note From The Editor: Mom’s The Word begins a new Darling series where we will be exploring one of the most cherished and unique facets of being a woman: being a mother. We’ll be sharing voices and perspectives from the different stages, struggles, trials and joys that raising a child can entail. We don’t need to have a village, but we can always benefit from the wisdom of a friend. May this series serve as such encouragement for you, whatever season you find yourself in.

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Lets be honest, asking for help is usually something that we as single mothers deeply struggle with — and for good reason. Not only are we dealing with the feelings and emotions of raising a child on our own, but at the end of the day there’s barely enough energy left to get dinner on the table and wrangle a child into their pajamas. The last thing we want to do with our one or two hours of solace before bed is pick up the phone, admit how run down we are and humble ourselves in asking for help.

Yet, the truth is that we absolutely must ask for help. Neither we nor our children are islands, therefore it’s important for them to witness us reaching out to others and receiving help. It’s good for children to spend an afternoon bonding with someone other than their mom. Likewise, it’s good for moms to get some alone time or social time that does not involve kiddos. First and foremost, we are human beings. We weren’t always mothers. We have to remember to treat ourselves in such a way that we are committed to valuing, respecting and honoring our humanness. By honoring that, we will also honor our womanhood and our motherhood. Over time, this practice of self-love and self-care will trickle down to the lives of our children. It will impact how they view themselves, their peers and the world around them.

Think of it this way, when you board an airplane and the flight attendant starts going through the pre-flight safety demonstration, what do you always hear? If you are traveling with a child, always adjust your oxygen mask first before helping others. But how many of us mothers actually do this? When I hear this guideline I think to myself, they can’t tell me what to do, of course I’m going to put the oxygen mask on my son first. However, how much help could I really offer him if I passed out while attempting to put his mask on?

Single motherhood can feel like a plane crash. It’s out of our control, chaotic and terrifying at times, but we must make it a priority to take care of ourselves in the midst of it. Ladies and mothers, this rule can apply to all sides of life. If we shirk away from filling ourselves up to the fullest, then there will be nothing left to give out in the end. We must make the conscious decision, every day, to put on our oxygen masks. Asking for help is a huge step in the right direction, so be encouraged! Through doing this we are setting healthy boundaries that will allow freedom to figure out how to strike the balance between caring for others and caring for ourselves.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to challenge the single moms today to reach out to a trusted friend or family member and ask for help. Go on that run. Window shop or wander around and get lost for an hour. Have a cup of coffee in silence or meet up with an old friend. See that movie you’ve been wanting to see. Take three hours for yourself this next week and fill yourself up to fullness.

Are you a single mother? What are your experiences with asking for help?

Image via Anna Naphtali

Lover of craft food, Jane Austen and "You've Got Mail", Stephanie has an insatiable curiosity to uncover more about her humanity, the beauty of the English language and the art of conversation. She is a singer-songwriter, cook and mother. When she's not writing, cooking or enjoying her son, you can find her getting lost in composition at her piano. Find more insights and original music from Stephanie through her website and blog.

9 COMMENTS
  • Sad momma April 10, 2017

    I have been a single mom for two years and I am struggling so bad with time spent away from him. These last few days he has been spending the night at my sister’s house because I had to work overtime at work and I know that once I get him I am just going to drop him off again like I do everyday and then pick him up when he is sleeping and I just want to cry. I want to spend more time with him but I have to pay the bills. It didn’t help when he got sick and I had to give instructions form work. I just feel like a terrible mother who can’t even take care of her child properly. I really just want to quit working and be gone with him but unfortunately life is not fear. I just don’t know how to balance this and I miss him so much. I hate only really having him when he is sleeping or just waking up.

  • Mommyof4 January 6, 2015

    This morning I woke really early and as much as I didn’t want to get out of bed I made the choice to just get up and get my day started. I leaned over and gave my youngest daughter a hug and I slowly made my way to the kitchen. I began counting my blessings and thanking God for another day and after I dropped my kids to my parents for the day I began my drive to work trying to figure out so many things – see I am a single mother to 4 kids and I have been doing this on my own for almost 4 years and yes as the years go by it has gotten easier but it has also been rough – they are no longer toddlers or young children my kids are now much older and I am like wow I have done this and I have done this through encouraging words I found on the internet – I took a short drive this morning through the city starring at the mountains and when I got to work I realized that once again I needed some sort of encouragement to get me through the day, and that is when I goggled single mom encouragement and came across your page – THANK YOU!

    • Anonymous August 14, 2015

      I’m pretty new at this my love bug is 29 mo’s.. In the last 22 mo’s his dad relapsed(had I only known???? but had I known I wouldn’t have this most amazing beautiful little boy) I was self employed living in an amazing apartment in San Francisco with a decent savings.. All of which was lost or stolen. Talk about a serious crisis a new mom not working at the time $ stolen from the father the man she loved and chose to have a child with. Really? Did this happen? Yes as I sit in my little Santa Fe NM Adobe casita I can barely afford to rent which is still in complete complete shambles 14 days after moving in because being a conscious present working mama doesn’t leave a ton of time to unpack and organize effectively.. My financial struggle is one thing but feeling alone and tribeless when all of my people are in San Francisco is a whole other animal I deal with daily.. It’s been a crazy year!! Our move to NM was by train we moved in with my very negative older brother who clearly never made us feel comfortable. It took 9mos to find work & 5mo’s to find a space to live. Toddlers are tough and I have a degree in child development and I struggle. I am now just starting to feel a real sense of grief I haven’t had time to focus on and I only have 1 beautiful toddler. You are pretty amazing doing this with 4????????

  • Caitlyn Nicole April 24, 2014

    I’m a single mother to my darling Charlotte. It’s been her and I against the world from the time she was born until now. It’s been quite the adventure. And though there are inevitable struggles as a single mother, there’s also so much beauty in the love we share with our children. I have such a hard time asking for help. We all want to be super mom and tackle our tasks in one hand while we juggle our sanity in the other. But at the end of the day when we nestle our little darlings into bed, the only thing they ask of us is to give our love to them. I whole heartedly believe that we’re super mommy in our children’s eyes. (in our yoga pants and all)

    • Stephanie Ault April 24, 2014

      Thank you for sharing Caitlyn. I’m right there with you, I struggle so much with asking for help too! But you are right, there is so much beauty in the love that we share with our children and it is such a gift that we have them in our lives. What a wonderful reminder. Thank you!

  • ARR January 29, 2014

    I wept lookin at the photos of the moms, their children and the little lamb. I crave and miss the sweet friendship of raising kids with others. Life today is an island for my little and myself, and my hard working husband.

    • Stephanie Ault April 24, 2014

      Thank you so much for your comment, ARR. I too know how it feels to be an island and to feel alone. I hope that soon a door will open for you and your family and you will be surrounded by others again. Thank you again for sharing 🙂

  • Mr. N. N. January 29, 2014

    Well said!
    We really do need mothers, single or not, who are willing to care for themselves. It sets a wonderful example for the children and it also helps the mothers rest up, and then go back into the game with more strength and energy!

    • Stephanie Ault April 24, 2014

      Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts! You’re right, it does take a conscious effort and willingness for moms (and dads) to take time to care for themselves. Thank you for being so encouraging and reminding us to rest and recoup.

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