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.
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