In Praise of Solo Mamas:
15 Ways They Amaze Me
Recently I was seated among a handful of Moms whom are home schooling their children. I find myself in these social circles a couple times a week, and per usual, I never find any kindred spirit in any life situation that remotely resembles mine. These women are by all knowledge in good marriages, managing in tact, complete, secure Christian homes and raising their children in healthy partnerships with their husbands, tag teaming like champions to properly rear their little flock. Yet, despite all of this, some of these women are exhausted. Burned out, tired, longing to have conversation with grown ups. They are ready for a break, or a nap, or a good cry just to release all their stress and frustration.
Motherhood, even in the best of circumstances, the best of marriages, and the best of families is still a tremendous challenge & responsibility.
It involves constant self-sacrifice. It requires unending patience. It demands unconditional love. It drains every ounce of energy. Its rewards are tremendous and are well worth every sacrifice we make, yet as Moms we don’t often see the fruits of our labors immediately. We pour out our hearts. We give and we give.
But what about the precious women, who are mothering in the worst of circumstances?
The women with abusive husbands, ex-husbands, or no husbands. What about the women like me and so many of you whom follow these blogs who had great marriages, wonderful husbands, whose children had amazing, devoted fathers, but no longer have the gift of these things because the sting of death has upended the life they once cherished.
What about the women who are parenting solo because there is absolutely no other option?
If motherhood is incredibly challenging when life is at it’s best, then how much more AMAZING are the solo- Moms whom continue to persevere in purposefully, devotedly, and carefully raising their children while grieving. While widowed. Solo. Solo can make a person feel SO LOW. So depressed. So discouraged. Yet, a solo-Mom keeps going. Her children inspire her to keep pressing on, even if the only forward movement she is capable of on a given day is crawling forward, slowly, inch by inch.
So this one is for you Solo-Mom. The Moms who deserve the status of super-hero.
The Moms who will never again hear their husbands say “thanks for all you do babe.” or “I’ll take the kids for a few minutes so you can go have a nap.”
The Moms who have the full responsibility of making every single decision regarding the welfare and development of their children, all day, every day, alone.
The Moms who are raising boys and feel like fish out of water in their attempts to teach or understand “guy stuff.” The Moms raising girls who fear how their daughters will turn out without a loving father figure to protect them.
The Moms who have to handle ALL the child discipline all by themselves. They set the boundaries and when those boundaries are inevitably tested by their children, guess who has to be the strong one? The firm one? The one who enforces the consequences despite how it breaks her heart. It is you, the amazing solo Mom.
The Moms who do all the heavy lifting for their families, both literally and figuratively. Little one on the hip, older one holding her hand while a bunch grocery bags, baby bags, and who knows what are slung over her shoulder. Lugging the stroller, lifting the heavy boxes in the basement. No one is there to share the load of this responsibility with her anymore.
God bless the solo Mamas.
The Moms on 24-7 parenting duty. Scared kids in the night, sick kids in the night, sleepless nights with crying infants, you are on your own. No one is there to tag you out and to sub in for the night shift when you are at the breaking point.
The Moms who don’t have the safety net of leadership over them that a good husband can provide, who end up going back to work to make ends meet while simultaneously raising their children, managing their finances, cleaning and maintaining their vehicles, lawns, and homes, snow, repairs, schedules, cooking. The list goes on and on.
The Moms who don’t parent as a team. There is no husband involved that wants to help you to decide on and teach the core values of your family and home to your children. The Moms who have to come up with the visions, goals, hopes and dreams for their children now all by herself.
The Moms who sit alone after the children finally fall asleep, with no grown up to vent to, confide in, or to snuggle up with on the couch.
Those precious Moms who can’t laugh and reminisce with their husbands about the adorable and hilarious things their children did in the past. The Moms who can’t joke with their hubbies and say “our son gets that from you, you know.”
The Moms that try to act brave and strong whenever their children need protecting, even though she is as terrified as a child on the inside.
The Moms who rarely have a private moment to themselves to shower, or just to breath, think, reflect or seek healing for her own wounds.
The Moms who carry the tremendous weight of being the primary example and role model in their children’s lives.
The Moms who show outward strength in front of their children each day so that they can believe that everything is ok, and then privately fall apart into sobs because deep down they fear that nothing will ever truly feel ok again.
The Moms who every day sacrificially & generously pour out their love on their “littles” but no longer have a husband who can pour any replenishing love into her own life.
Solo Moms, you are all of this and so much more. Deserving of such honor, appreciation and praise. You are amazing!
In Hope & Prayers,
~This Widow Mama~