OK, OK…disclaimer: I do not LOVE being a single mom. I wanted it all: the handsome husband, morning yoga, the beautiful home, and matching kiddos (aka: both pure chaos and bliss). I guess I do have all of it, minus the handsome husband, but, by far, my biggest heartache in the universe is that I am missing half of my daughter’s life. Since I have always been a half cup full, sunshine in the rain, and light through the dark type of chick, I do try my best to focus on the positives though.
So, here I am. All alone. I am poised at my laptop, inhaling a vanilla candle and the fresh-cut roses that are in the center of my dining room table. I’m blaring “Breakup Songs Essentials” on Apple music, aka: Katy Perry songs. My glass is full (half full!) of this very fancy Trader Joe’s Rose in a can. My daughter’s toys are littered on the living room floor, her pictures adorn the walls. I threw on a pair of my ex-boyfriend’s sweatpants and a “Mom Game Strong” baseball t-shirt for inspiration.
So, how do you turn a less-than-what-you-dreamed-of situation into something amazing? Perspective, my friends. What do I love about being a single mom? I thought long and hard and composed the following:
My time with my daughter is 100% mine.
Our time together is limited, and I honor every single second of it. The laughter, the tears, the highs, the lows, the ups, and the downs. I get all of the kisses and all of the love. I get one-on-one quality time, just my girl and me. My time is completely devoted to her when she is home. I have zero demands or expectations from anyone…no spouse, no siblings, not even a pet! It is just the two of us.
Our home is our home; our traditions are our traditions.
I have managed to create an incredible environment that is just for the two of us. Taco Tuesday, Pizza Fridays, and Cinnamon Roll Sundays. Over the top holiday blowouts, crazy kitchen dance parties, pajama days, everything being celebratory. Candlelit baths, bath bombs, and warm towels straight out of the dryer, every single night. An entire hallway dedicated solely to her artwork. Every other weekend when she is at her dad’s? She returns to find fresh-cut flowers (TJ’s again: $3.99!) and a special treat from Mama on the table. These are OUR things. Just US.
I have complete financial freedom.
I work very hard, and I hold two jobs to make ends meet. Everything that I earn provides for my daughter and me. My income, my budget, my choices. Not a single person to consult with…just me! My most recent indulgence was a giant, fluffy, pink heart-shaped fur pillow that I found at Target. I also purchased several wine glasses with silver hearts emblazoned on them. Obnoxious? Possibly. But…my money, my house, my décor. I may not have loads of cash, but I can do whatever I please with my salary.
I never have to pay a babysitter.
My ex-husband and I share custody of our little one. I have to handle ALL of the things on my own; no family, no help…just me. Anything that I need to handle? I do it when she is with her father. Groceries? Check! Dentist appointment? Check. Oil change? Check-check. Anything fun that I want to have? Concert? Girls trip? Free babysitting!
I have more free/me-time than I ever anticipated. No one signs up for this mommy gig expecting to have freedom, am I right? I have learned in the past three years to utilize my time wisely and to be the very best Candice that I can be. The better “me” I am, the better mom I am. It took me a VERY long time to accept this aspect of my life, and now I live it to the very fullest. I surround myself with people and things that are good for my soul. I go out with girlfriends. I read. I look for crafts on Pinterest. I shop on Amazon. I workout…occasionally. And I express my gratitude. All day, every day.
I get to date again!
Oh yes, it sounds horrifying. 30-something mother, divorced, works two jobs, has student loan debt, and still cries at 5 p.m. every other weekend…who would want to date that? Hm. I thought that for a while. I really did. And then I realized that I am quite a bad ass for holding it all together. This Mama might fall 700 times, but she will most definitely still be standing at number 701. And who wouldn’t find that desirable? I may have failed with my daughter’s father. But if I learned anything, it is that I have so much love to give! I now get a chance at love, the real deal. And at this age? I am close to forever (dead), right? I must have much better chances this time around. I can’t wait to meet the one who sets my soul on fire.
Being a mom is tough, regardless of your marital status. Sometimes being a single mom can make a girl feel very, very alone. But, if you dig just a little deeper, you will see what an amazing opportunity it actually is. Another perk: I get to show my daughter what independence and self-sufficiency look like. And if I am really, really lucky, I will get to show her what true love and respect between a man and a woman looks like.
I love life. I love family. I love love. And when you just stop to see the bright side, you realize that being single isn’t really so bad. For now, at least.
If you’re a single mom, what do you love about it?