Being a single mom, whether you have a good support system or not, can be tough. While motherhood in itself brings about many joys, there can also be the phase of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. Although it was my decision that brought about my season of single motherhood, I still faced some challenges, all of which have helped make me into the woman and mother I am today. Constantly feeling stressed, worried, and down, I finally discovered some important things that would get me through this time and help me keep moving forward.
1. Your happiness matters.
When you become a mother, your sole focus becomes your child and making sure that they are always okay. You would give anything to make sure of this, even foregoing your own wants and needs because that’s what mothers do right? Well yes, but it’s not that simple. Although your little one’s happiness is extremely important and is the driving factor of your actions, if you aren’t happy, how can they be? From the time your child is an infant, they are in tune with your emotions and can sense when things are wrong. That intuitiveness doesn’t go away just because they grow older. That’s why if you aren’t happy, then you can’t give your child a positive, healthy environment; all things crucial to them thriving.
2. You can’t please everyone.
Learning that your happiness matters brings peace as well as some challenges along the way. More than likely there was a plan put in place before you became parents. You may have thought things were set and stone and that this was how your life was going to be. Then something changed and you decided to do things differently or that wasn’t ideal to some. As hard and sometimes discouraging as it was for me, I had to be okay with the fact that the decision I made wasn’t going to always be received in the light that I intended it to. That even though the opinions and advice may be coming from family and people that cared about the wellbeing of my son, I had to do what I knew was best and that not everyone would agree with it.
3. Nothing worth having comes easy.
With the realization that everyone wasn’t going to be happy with my decision, I still had to stick with it and accept what could come. Having those close to you and who’s opinions you may value disagree with you, it can make coming to a decision even harder. But we all know the saying “nothing worth having comes easy” right? Not to sound cliche, but it’s so true! Your peace of mind, happiness, and overall mental health is a necessity. It’s so worth it and worth the fight that may come your way! If what you’re doing is best for you and your child, then that’s what matters.
4. You + your child = Package Deal
Time has passed and you’re finally ready to start dating again! As we’ve all noticed whether we’re still in the dating pool or married, dating in this day and age has become a lot. Worrying about what social media agrees or disagrees with, living up to these #relationshipgoals, etc. all can play a huge part. It’s easy to get caught up in it, but the most important thing to know is that your priorities have changed from when you first started dating. Now it’s not just you, but your child as well. When you care about the wellbeing of your child, that makes you even more selective because you can’t just bring anyone around them. I knew my husband from college and got the chance to see him interact with kids of people that were on campus, but even still it was important and at the very top of my list that he loved, respected, and cared for my son in the same way that I did. That he realized that he would be adding to my child’s life, being his bonus dad. It would have been a dealbreaker if he didn’t. So yes, dating after becoming a mom can be scary because what if I fall for a guy that doesn’t want to be a bonus dad or doesn’t connect with my child the way he or she needs? Although it may hurt to walk away if this happens, it’s okay! Because the right one will come along and will already know that he’s getting a package deal.
You got this mama!
No matter what chapter of motherhood you are in, regardless of if you’re a single mom or married, always remember that you are strong and can do this. There may be times where you want to just lay in bed all day or even feel like giving up, but remember your priorities. You have someone looking to you for guidance and that’s more aware of things than you think. You may not see the light at the end of the tunnel but things will eventually get better. You just have to keep faith and persevering.