It's not easy being a single mom. But Mary M., who is raising two teens alone, says she's learned to ratchet up the blessings factor since divorcing four years ago. The best part of being a single mom, she says, is the closeness she now has with her boys, 12 and 15.
Here, Mary and other Circle of Moms members describe the upside of single motherhood — the special gifts that emerge from the experience of raising your kids alone.
1. A Closer Bond With Your Kids
Though many moms have close relationships with their kids, a Circle of Moms member named Jean agrees with Mary that parenting solo has helped her forge a closer relationship with her children.
“I'm lucky to have that close relationship with my children. “My daughter, 4, and I are so very close to one another. . . . she knows wholeheartedly she can trust me and depend on me and that's a wonderful feeling."
Jillian T. also feels the best part of being a single mom is being there 24/7 for her child. "The best part for me is the close bond I'm building with my daughter. She's two and she is so intelligent. I can be proud because I know I taught her everything she knows. I was there for her first smile, words, steps, etc., and those are things you can't relive. She also calls me 'mommy and daddy' for some reason.”
2. Knowing You Can Triumph Over Adversity
For many Circle of Moms members who are single moms, simply surviving has given them a whole new perspective about themselves, say moms like Lindsey W.
“Being a single mom has changed my life and made me feel like super woman. I know now what I am truly capable of. Someone asked me once, ‘How do you do it?’ and my answer was, 'I just do!' I don't know any different. . . it's just my life. I've never been so happy and so self confident."
Michelle F. has also found that facing the challenge of going it alone "has been the biggest confidence boost of my life." As she explains, "I have made it happen for us. [In know that] my hard work, protection and love are enough because [my son] is a cheerful, healthy little boy."
Natasha T. shares how this feeling deepens over time: “When the kids were younger I thought it was the hardest job ever. But they are now 13 and 14 and now I think of the job as the most rewarding that anybody could have. Yes, there are good and bad times, but when you sit back and look at the work you have done and the children you have brought up, you can say I did that on my own and stand up and feel real proud."
3. Having a Tight Circle of Friends and Family
In going it alone, Kalle W. and other Circle of Moms members say they've built a close and reliable group of friends and family. “I don't really find it hard being a single mom because I have wonderful parents and friends that give me all the support I could need,” says Kalle W.
Charlene H. agrees. “My brother and my mom have been a great help to me and my son,” she says. “I sometimes cry at night and wonder how in the world am I going to make it. “But I get a lot of support, encouragement and unconditional love."
4. Not Having to Answer to Anyone Else
For single moms who aren’t in joint custody situations where the children's father is weighing in, being the sole decision maker offers a certain kind of freedom. As Nikki J. says, “I love the fact that I do not have to answer to anyone else about how I raise my son. It's always what mommy says, not ‘well mommy said this so I'll go ask daddy."
Leah W. also embraces her status as sole decision maker. “Not having to co-parent every day means I can do things my way and the kids know what to expect from me,” she says. “We have a routine and the kids and I have a great time. They aren't concerned with pleasing two adults with different moods.”
5. Knowing That Your Kids are Safe and Loved
The door to single motherhood is sometimes opens because a mom needs to protect herself and her children from an abusive or unhealthy home situation. So for moms like Julie J., the best part of being a single mother is that she can finally keep her children safe. As she explains, "I tell the children that no one is allowed to shout and hit in our house anymore and [I] mean it. Also, there are no more poker nights until 6 a.m. . . nor [anyone] drunkenly stumbling in at random hours during the night, waking us all up."
For all moms, whether partnered or not, knowing that your children feel they are loved is the most essential and greatest part of being a parent, says Kekua M. But being able to provide that emotional safety all by yourself, she points out, is immeasurable: "Knowing that I give them that security, what could be better than that?"
What do you like most about being a single mom?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.