You love being a single mom although, hey, you certainly wouldn't mind an able and willing partner to help you out with the kids now and then. Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts of life, but sometimes, it can feel like a thankless job. Of course, not many moms would admit that! When you are on the clock for mom duty alone, 24/7, it can feel really exhausting and you wonder if you're doing a good job. Most likely, you're not doing a good job though — you're doing a damn great job!
Here are six signs that there is no doubt you are a single mother.
1. Every Person Could be a Romantic Interest
Your child thinks anyone of the opposite sex, or perhaps your own sex if you identify as LGBTQ, is your partner. It doesn't matter who the person is or how little you know them. It could be the cashier at Target or the barista at Starbucks — apparently your child is setting you up on date after date after date . . . in his or her own vivid imagination. My daughter believes wholeheartedly that the local coffee guy is my boyfriend. Meanwhile, I have no clue what his last name is. Your kids just want to be like Chuck Woolery from Love Connection and set you up with everyone. Unfortunately, my daughter is too young to master dating apps like Bumble; if not, I would have her pick the next love of my life. It can't be any worse than meandering mindlessly on OkCupid or Tinder.
2. You Could Have Left Them Home
The other day I brought my daughter to the office supply store for copying because, guess what? I had no one to watch her. A random stranger saw me trying to keep my girl in line as I paid for numerous copies, and said to me, "I left my kids at home with my husband." You know you're a single mom when you laugh and think, "Is your husband available to babysit my kid too?" Probably not. The chances are, you can't leave them at home, and you know what? The world needs to be a little more forgiving of parents. Without children, there won't be an adults to take care of you all later on in life!
3. Your Child Is YOU
Kids parrot their parents. Kids of a single mom? They become you in the most amazing and freakiest of ways. All that one-on-one time you get with your kids, sans another partner, is exhausting and also means you're creating yourself. Stop and listen to your kids one day. They sound like you years before they're supposed to. Thankfully, you're a damn good mom! The other day during an argument with my daughter, I walked away, thinking, "Jeez! It's like arguing with myself."
4. The Relief
There is no greater sign that you are a happy single mom than that big sigh of relief you get when you watch couples fighting and you're so glad that that's not you! Instead, you watch and flinch, knowing that when those two people go home tonight, it's going to be a Cold War. You might miss being in love or having someone to be with you and the kids, but you certainly don't miss the hassle of arguments!
5. The Conflict Inside
When you're with your children sometimes, you just wish you could lock yourself in the closet and wait for the other parent to show up (which never happens), but then when it comes time for your kids to head off with a coparent or, on occasion, a baby sitter, you feel so bad you wanted to be alone and miss them so much, you begin to wonder if being a mom equals being insane. You sometimes feel when your kids are not around that you are living a double life: Mom and then that other human being you started out in the world as. You know — "yourself, without kids."
6. The Pride
When people ask about the kids' dad or other parent and you say, "We're divorced" or "He or she split," you feel a great pride knowing that despite what that person might think about your single mom life or the odds of divorce and single parenthood in general, your kids are amazing and not a sad statistic. You feel good about the job you do and know that one day, your kids will truly realize all you have done for them. You know you are showing them how amazing and strong women and mothers can be.