Being a single mom can be like living life in a pressure cooker. All the cares and concerns of a household push down on them from all sides, eveything from preparing meals to seeing their kids through fever and chills. There isn’t anyone running interference when the world comes knocking hard at their front door. And all that responsibility is enough to change a woman from a carefree young adult to a sour matron with permanent frown lines. So it’s not just being a single mom a challenge, but also doing it with joy and style. That can seem nearly impossible!
But is your mom still staying cool through the years? Breeze through the checklist. She may have been so cool about things, you haven’t even noticed how cool she really is.
1. She makes time to pay attention just to you!
In a world full of responsibilities, demands, chores, and distractions, your mom puts away the phone, closes the laptop, turns off the TV, and listens to what you have to say. She isn’t waiting to talk about herself, or zoning out, but wanting to know what you are doing and how it is going.
2. She seldom criticizes you.
While other parents might try to tell their kids they are not up to their standards, your mom asks thoughtful questions that make you think. You might even rethink what you thought you had already decided because she allowed you to consider things from another viewpoint. She doesn’t want you stuck in a box. She wants you to think outside of the box and see things for what they are.
3. She is smiling in all your selfies together!
Before they were even called selfies, you and your mom were smiling together from the beach or just the park around the corner. She didn’t fuss about her hair or makeup, but just put on her best smile with you. She was loving being with you and it still shows!
4. She doesn’t fat talk or body shame herself.
Some women talk about their bodies in negative ways and about how they feel fat. They are always dieting or going to diet. But your mom might have just went walking or jogging or maybe did kickboxing or yoga in front of the TV. She bought clothes that flattered her whatever her shape and didn’t pick on herself. By example, she helped you understand that you being beautiful is about you being healthy.
5. She tells you her life is better because you are in it!
You weren’t an inconvenience or a bother or a burden. You were and are the light of her life. You make her feel whole. She learned to love deeper and better because she had you. She might have discovered what real love was because she had you to inspire it. She can’t imagine her life without you and she never wants to! She told you this over pancakes or cocoa. She may have developed a secrete hand squeeze that meant I-LOVE-YOU.
6. She never sweats the small stuff!
Single moms do it all, except when they just can’t. Sure, there were messy beds and unwashed laundry, but you always were taken care of and had clean clothes. The pantry was messy, but she knew where your favorite foods were and you shared them together. Her fingernails were sometime chipped or she missed a spot shaving her legs, but she never missed picking you up from school or seeing you in a play or a game. You lost your lunch money or a library book? It was a lesson moment, but she made it clear, nothing was so critical to ruin a day or ruin a relationship.
7. She knew what to make a priority!
She never got caught up in the drama of other mothers or got hung up on what she missed out when she was younger, but instead she made her children her priority and her joy. She didn’t self indulge in creating drama or making things about herself because she was busy with more important things like you and your siblings. Being a single mom gave her clarity of purpose. She was raising you and that was important. Enough said.
8. She makes time to dance with you!
Sometimes it was a house party, with just you and your mom in your pajamas, dancing and eating frosting out of the tub. Maybe it was even a Wednesday night and just time to kick up your heels together after the work of the day was done. Fun was not just permitted, it was welcomed! Being a single mom is challenging, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t fun.
9. She is endlessly creative and has always encouraged yours!
A single mom doesn’t get much help, but your mom goes above and beyond when it comes to being creative. Maybe it would have been easier to just buy a costume for halloween, but she indulged your creativity because you wanted to be a ballerina dinosaur or a soccer playing butterfly. Maybe she turned a whole wall into a chalkboard to keep track of ideas or just to let you draw. Oh, and you had buckets and tackle boxes of art and craft supplies, and a single mom armed with a high temperature glue gun who knew how to use it!
10. She loves you for you!
Your mom never second guessed who she was because she was a single mom. She was your mother and she never wanted you to second guess yourself either. She loves you for you, inside and out, curves and edges. She saw what made you sparkle and nurtured it. She understood your flaws were there for a reason and would lead you to deeper understanding. They even lead her to a deeper understanding of herself. So how could any of it be wrong?
11. She is tough!
She might not win an arm wrestling competition, but she is tough on the inside! There hasn’t been a time that you felt she wasn’t there to protect you. In the sand box or stepping off the bus, your momma bear was there to first wipe away the tears, then get involved. There wasn’t a bully big or small she couldn’t handle. And as far as disasters went, she could keep her cool whether the car died on the busy interstate or you broke your arm on the playground. Mom was always the first responder you could rely on.
12. She was always prepared.
She never lost her cool in part because she was always prepared. Fire escape plan? Check! Emergency speed dial? Check! First Aid kits? Check? She tested the fire detectors. She check if the doors were locked. And most of all, she kept you prepared. You knew your name, her full name, your address, your phone number. You learned how to dial 911 before kindergarten. You knew who the safe people were and what the safe word was. She even played what if games with you and took you to the fire station’s open house so you could see what the firemen would look and sound like if they ever had to come and rescue you. It was all just ADVENTURES. And because she was prepared and confident, you felt safe and secure.
13. She has always had outside interests and hobbies that set her apart.
Maybe other mom’s were Pinteresting or Facebooking, but your mom was making and doing. As a single mom, she didn’t have all the time in the world, but you saw her set up a painting corner in your home or you watched her scour thrift stores and used book stores to create her own library. She made a flower box out of anything and grew vegetables, herbs and flowers. She kept journals of inspiration and ideas. She kept travel magazines around and pinned pictures of places she’d like to visit with you on the wall. She had dreams before you and now you are welcomed into those, too.
14. She is timeless!
Your mom has never slowed down and has stayed bright like a diamond. She doesn’t act age inappropriate or dress to get attention, but she stays fresh and timeless. No one would think she is your sister, but a young cool aunt would be a possibility. She just carries herself well. Nothing has kept her down.
15. She is becoming your biggest confidant and friend.
Your mom drew a line in the sand that she was your mom and you were the kid when you were young, but lately, you feel less like the kid because she talks and looks at you differently. You want to tell her everything because you know she respects you and you want to hear what she has to say if you need advice. You know she can just listen too without going into protective momma mode. She recognizes that you are the independent adult she was always aiming to create, so it might be time to take her out and treat her to dinner and tell her, “Thank you. I am grateful that I got you for my mom.”
Featured photo credit: Mother and daughter in the park. Mother and her child enjoy the early spring. Happiness – mother with her child.Young mother with child outside on a summer day. mother playing with her son in the park via shutterstock.com