Single mom bashing has been the norm of civilized society for like, forever. From pundits to politicians and often religious leaders, we all learn that the single mom life is not only less than ideal, it is downright shameful and inadequate. Yet, for the 12 million single moms in the USA who raise children alone, it is our norm.
Collectively we raise over 26 million children. We work, we dream, and we are most definitely raising the leaders of tomorrow. Along the way, so many of us have been pleasantly surprised to discover that there are indeed advantages to single momming. We have learned that while the single mom life is not perceived to be the most politically correct path, it is no less a fabulous and powerful path. Your single mom life does indeed rock!
Co-anything is challenging. It can be difficult to agree with another adult on the style and manner in which children should be raised. Each adult comes to the table with different experiences, different values, a different history, heritage, and faith, as well as different priorities, hopes, dreams, and energy levels. When you combine these elements with stress, worry, and concern, you easily end up with very passionate opinions on exactly how children should be raised, who should be doing what, and a giant gap in between when it comes to rules, structure, and discipline.
Single moms don't typically have much parental back-up or support, but they don't have much conflict either. With only one adult calling the shots there is less confusion, contradiction, or inconsistency. While the single mom is 100% responsible, she is also 100% free to fully execute her own preferences and priorities.
The number one reason couples fight and divorce is money.
I know so many couples where one partner spends to excess, one partner refuses to maintain employment, one partner manages the money and the other has no idea where the family financial information is, etc.
When you are single momming you don't have the benefit of an extra income, but you don't have the challenge of someone else dipping into the checking account either. You thrive and suffer by your own hand. You know where your money is or isn't, you learn about budgeting and long term investments, and you move forward as you rock your single mom life.
When you are in a relationship, you have the illusion and expectation of being able to depend on the other person. It is so easy to think that your partner will/should cover all your wants and needs, accommodate all your frustrations, and step up as you and the kids require. It's easy to believe that when you are unhappy, your partner must be doing something wrong. Unfortunately, another person can't even begin to meet all of your needs, and those of your children.
With no one else around you quickly find that God is your Source. God is your greatest, most dependable, and often only supporter. When you are alone you quickly learn that it is just God and you. Any illusions and expectations of others vanishes. You are free (and forced) to go really deep into your relationship with the All Knowing. The more you rely on God, the greater your sense of joy and peace. What single mom couldn’t use more joy and peace?
I hear all the time from my married friends that what they do and don't do is pretty heavily influenced by their partners. What they buy, when and what they make for dinner, when they clean the house, how the kids are disciplined, who controls the remote, etc.
When you are on your own, it's all your call. For better or worse it’s your schedule, your money, your rules, your priorities, your discipline, and your choice of what plays on the telly. You are free to spend your single mom minutes any way you choose. And that my friend, is powerful.
When you are in a relationship you have to make it a priority to meet the needs of the other person. When you add kids and a home to that mix there just isn’t a lot of time left over for your dreams. In fact, you may have kinda forgotten that you had dreams at all.
But when that isn’t your situation…when you are on your own...you have the opportunity to focus on you. Maybe you want to go to school, start a business, learn a language or two, or run for office. Truly, the sky is the limit, and you own the sky. You are free to pursue your dreams and create the rockin' single mom life you want to live. You are free to focus on what matters most to you.
The Dali Lama said, "The world will be saved by western women." I totally believe that to be true. At the front of that movement (like it or not) are single moms. Women who are stepping into their power and rocking their single mom lives, raising strong children, and moving the world forward.
Sara Sherman, founder of the powerful single mom movement, is an author, speaker, retreat leader, who has been single momming for over 20 years. Her book, The Single Mom's Guide to Getting a Degree is fast becoming the go-to resource for single moms pursuing an advanced education.