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10 Things You May Not Know About Single Moms

10 Things You May Not Know About Single Moms

When I got married and had children and stepped into the world of parenthood and being a mommy, I never thought that one day I would be handling the majority of the parenting responsibilities on my own. I never imagined I would have primary custody of my children and that I would be living under the ‘single mom’ label.

I lived 3 years as a single mom and it was never easy but it was always rewarding. Some days I didn’t know how I would pay the bills or be able to provide everything for my children but by being blessed with great family and friends, we were always taken care of.

I was very blessed to have their father involved in their lives, so I did get breaks every other weekend and during holidays. Single moms who cope with no feedback or help from the father of their children are the true heroes. They are doing the work of two parents emotionally, financially and in every other way they can. Single moms and dads doing it alone deserve great respect.

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The photo accompanying this article is of myself and my two beautiful kiddos and they are the reason I was able to get up every day, and do the right thing. They helped me to support them, even when some days I just wanted to crawl into bed and go to sleep after a full day of work and caring for them.

Here are 10 things you may not know about single moms:

1. We are resilient

We have experienced divorce or separation and watched our children go through the pain of a broken family. We have experienced hardships and situations we did not want or ever expect to have to go through. We continue to experience negative and challenging situations one after the other, and we just keep going with the main focus being our children. We know that it is our responsibility to do the right thing for them. Our motivation is driven by the fact that we are living for others now, not just ourselves.

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2. We love to snuggle

We have children that love us unconditionally and we love them back. We sometimes just snuggle in bed with our kids and we love giving them kisses and hugs. Our moments spent together are precious, especially if we lose every other weekend with them while they visit their father. We love our kids as much as we can and those special times are the reasons we do what we do: it’s for them. The other awesome thing is that it is also for us as our children provide us with so much love it makes it all worthwhile.

3. We want relationships with others

Just because we have children doesn’t mean we don’t like to have friends or our own lives apart from our kids. We want to have relationships with adults, especially when more than half of our time is spent watching reruns of Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, playing games, or doing crafts with children. We still like to have fun and we really don’t want to spend every single waking moment with our kids. We still need quality time with friends and others outside of our relationships with our children so we don’t feel isolated.

4. We deeply value family

We know what it was like to feel like a complete family. We lost that, but we still long for it. We look at other friends or family members who have issues within their relationships and we wonder how on earth they can be unhappy – they have a stable home, beautiful children and no real drama or issues like the ones we experienced. We hope for, and desire to be a part of a healthy, and strong family once again. We would be so thankful and grateful to have another chance.

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5. We want the best environment for our children

I could have stayed in my relationship to ensure that my children still had their father around. It would have been easier financially and easier for the kids to have their father around. But it was not the best environment for either of us, or the children. Single moms make hard decisions that many times will change our finances in a negative way. We choose the safest and healthiest environment for our children and we make decisions to protect our children as much as we can. Each and every situation is different but we truly want the most healthy environment for our children, and sometimes that includes hard decisions like ending the marriage if all avenues for working things out have been exhausted.

6. We don’t want pity

We do not want sympathy or pity for our situation. We accept where we are in our life as single moms, (even though we don’t love it), and we don’t want special treatment or for others to think that our lives are of lesser value. We do have a complete family, it just looks different than the traditional one. We just want love and acceptance. So, if you know a single parent that has no family nearby and you want to make their day, just offer to watch their kids for an hour so they can go to the grocery store in peace.

7. We wish we were always on time

We really do not like being late or want to be late. But when you have yourself and one or two children that need to be somewhere at a specific time, sometimes stuff just happens. We deal with scenarios like this: we’re about to walk out the front door but our son can’t find his other shoe, or, our daughter has to take that one special Barbie with her that she can’t find (rather than the 23 others she has in her toy box). Due to last minute issues like this, we get delayed. We sometimes need a little grace if we’re late. Just know that we really try and sometimes it just doesn’t work out like we planned.

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8. We have lots of patience

We don’t have a person with us to reinforce boundaries or rules when our children are testing us. Often times we are disciplining on our own and it’s hard to keep rules in place every single time. We pick our battles to keep from losing our temper and we try as hard as we can to have an extra reserve of patience for those days that no matter what we do, we feel that the kids have won and we are completely defeated. However, one more day of self control and patience is a victory, and we need to celebrate that instead of beating ourselves up.

9. We have no problem being alone

We love our kids deeply, we really do. If you give a single mom a choice of staying with her kids or spending some quality time with herself, 90% of the time they are going to take the time to just recharge for a bit without their children. We would be so excited to go see a movie alone that is not animated and has a higher rating than G or PG. We would love to just drive around with OUR music on the radio LOUD because we can. I encourage the other 10% that might feel they need to be with their children every single moment they have them to just try this. We all need time for ourselves so that we can better care for our children. Let go of the mom guilt- it’s not a bad thing to take care of yourself as well.

10. We wish we had a clone

Single moms often wish they could have a carbon copy of themselves made just to accomplish simple tasks easily, like getting the weekly groceries. Or as another example, if we had a clone we could then work out in the morning before work, when the kids are still sleeping. Many single moms work 40+ hours a week and still come home to feed, care for, and nurture their children on a daily basis. Having a clone would just make it so much easier to do the small things involved with taking care of an entire household.

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Wendy Redden

Digital Advertising Account Manager, Music Blogger, Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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