Single motherhood is definitely on the rise and has become an accepted norm in the United States. And, although divorce is one of the main events that leads to single parenting, there is also a majority of cases in the US stemming from pregnancy outside of wedlock.
There are many people who get married, have children, get divorced, and then split custody. In essence, they become single parents because they are caring for their children without support on the days that they have them. This can be really hard, especially when you are used to co-parenting. In addition, there is the element of the inconsistency as well as unresolved feelings from the marital separation that will leave everyone with heartache and pain.
Another situation involving single parenting is when a parent dies, leaving the other parent alone to raise the child. Or, perhaps the most common is when there was never a marriage and the mother became pregnant unexpectedly. These situations almost always involve the mother raising the child completely on her own.
When you think of the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”, your heart will go out to any woman doing this job alone. We are meant to raise our children in community, and when a woman is left with little support (such as the absence of a father or family) she will encounter one of the most challenging and selfless journeys of her life.
Raising a child on your own is filled with intense emotions. There is such a profound love and connection present, however, the fears are equal in intensity. The financial worries, lack of time, neglect for your own needs, and constant energy are a very real part of this process. Many single mothers also suffer from a lot of anxiety. After all, they are solely responsible for taking on the greatest job of mankind. And, knowing a love so great and being solely responsible for nurturing and protecting it, can be terrifying. The “what if” thoughts can be all consuming and many single mothers will second guess their parental abilities.
Everything changes when you become a mother and if you are doing it alone, your entire life will revolve around what’s best for your child. The moments that are solely yours, become a distant memory, and your days and nights get engulfed by thoughts of someone else. Yet, in all of it’s pain, there is a reward so great that many mothers are able to carry on. The bond between a child and a single mother is one of the strongest bonds that a human can experience. They become symbiotic--growing, surviving, and benefiting from each other. And this connection will be there forever.
Are you a single mother? Are you raising your child completely alone? Are you involved in a custody arrangement where you are at times solely responsible for your child? If this is the case, you may have a hard time adjusting to the sudden absence of your child. And being able to let go of your child when they are with the father will be a constant practice.
If you are a part-time or full-time single mother, you have most likely experienced moments where you feel as though you can’t possibly go on. These are the moments that bring you to the floor begging to some higher power for a way out of the intense demands of single parenting. Please know that there is support! I can help you discover the benefits of self-care and personal time. We can talk about your dreams for yourself and your children and work on making those happen! You can find acceptance with your situation and turn it around so that it becomes the most empowering experience of your life. It may feel like you are alone, but I promise, you are not! Contact me today to schedule an appointment in my Longmont or Boulder, CO office.