A recent post by one of our favorite bloggers, Issa Mas, the mom behind Single Mama NYC.
I know that as a single mom it often feels as if you are alone in your daily struggle to earn a living; raise your children into healthy, happy people; and to retain just a bit of what's left of your sanity. I know that sometimes it can feel like a hugely daunting task to do it all and not buckle under the immense weight. I know being a single mom is the most difficult job you have ever had and I also know that being a single mom is the one job that means the most to you, and the one that you are the most dedicated to. Please, hang in there, Sister.
Hang in there because your children need you. Hang in there because your friends and loved ones value you. Mostly though? Hang in there because you matter. The woman inside of the single mom. The scared, overwhelmed, exhausted, and uncertain woman in there deserves to be validated and nurtured and cared for. You matter. Without you there is no happy home for your little ones, and without you there is someone (probably several people) on this earth, whether you realize it or not, for whom a part of them would die if you were no longer here. So hang in there. If you feel sad, go ahead and feel it. If you feel angry, go ahead and feel that too. Whatever "negative" emotions you may be feeling, allow them. What you resist persists. Feel whatever it is that you are feeling fully, and then when it's time, let it go. Get up, shake it off, and let it go. Try to appreciate those feelings for what they are though; signals that you are in a place that does not suite you, a place from which you'd like to leave. That's okay. How would you know that your skin was burning if it didn't hurt when you put your hand in fire? Take those emotions and use them as a catalyst to change things for yourself, in whatever ways, large or small, that may make this journey of single parenthood a more enjoyable one for you--because whether you want to be a single mom or not, you are one, and there's no use in being miserable about it while you are here. There are too many things to enjoy about this journey, so do what you can to feel those magical moments. Can you call a friend or family member who is unfailingly supportive of you? Can you splurge on a massage or manicure/pedicure? Can you put the kids to bed a little early and watch that "guilty pleasure" on TV, or read a good book a few nights in a row? Whatever you need to do to recharge, do it. You deserve to feel good, even in the midst of a storm.
Also, please know that I am here. The irony of my life has been even when life feels its most bleak for me, I have always been able to help others through their dark times. It's a gift to be able to shore others up when I myself am hurting--often times it helps me hurt less. So reach out, to friends, to family, to me--to whomever you feel would offer comfort and understanding--but please, just know, you are never alone.
Issa M. Mas is a freelance writer who publishes the memoir-in-the-making, Single Mama NYC, as well as the resource site, Your Single Parenting. She lives in her native New York City with her son.