Sunday, October 01, 2006

Embracing Single Motherhood

I was a single mother with two sons for about nine years. Unfortunately, during that time, I spent most of my days pining for a relationship (and going through plenty of bad ones), hating to do everything by myself, resenting my limited financial means, and feeling lonely. But now that I'm remarried and have two more children, I find myself telling my single-mother friends all the things I liked about being a single mother. I could paint my bedroom rose, and nobody would complain. I could make fish sticks or frozen pizza for dinner, and everybody liked it. I could sit up in bed with a cup of hot cocoa and watch TV Land reruns, not crime shows or sports. My kids and I could spend Friday nights cozily on the couch, munching on popcorn in the dark as we enjoyed a good comedy. I could take a nap on a Sunday afternoon and not feel guilty about it. I could clean the house whenever I liked. I could do what I wanted with my money. I could raise my kids the way that I thought was best. I'm not saying I wish I hadn't remarried or that being a single mother is wonderful. Being married certainly has its advantages, and being single with kids poses many challenges. But I do want to say to those single moms who are wasting these years wishing for something else, take time to appreciate the freedoms that you now have, the independence to "do your own thing" without criticism or regret. Have confidence in yourself and your abilities to handle things on your own. Embrace this time in your life as an opportunity to get to know what's important to you before jumping into another relationship. Hopefully, I'll never find myself becoming a single parent again, but if I do, I know this time that I'll savor the good things and not wish the days away. I'll be more comfortable in my own skin and not yearn for someone else to "complete" me. I'll be the best "me" that I can be and live in the moment.


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