Being a single mother has so many advantages. Being a mother, period is a huge blessing. I know this. There are so many out there who want to be parents but aren't or can't. So, I know I am lucky.
To be shallow, the main advantages of being a single one are obviously financial. I'd be lying if I said any different. I would not get the tax return nor the financial aid to attend college if I weren't a single mom.
But beyond those things - being a single mom - to a little girl - is a gift. We are buddies, we are partners in crime and we are best friends. Thankfully, my little girl has a wonderful father in her life too and for that, I am grateful.
The downside? The first would be - feeling alone. Feeling tired, discouraged, overwhelmed, stressed and misunderstood. Trying to be both parents to a child is the most exhausting thing I can imagine. Having to make all of the decisions, all of the appointments, deal with all of the tantrums, illnesses, etc is sometimes more than I can handle. But I do - because I have to and I need to. And, it's worth it.
The other thing? Having friends and family who aren't parents that misunderstand you or judge you. I know it is easy to do. I make plans with friends and have to cancel. It happens a lot more than I wish it did. But the truth is, I am a parent first and foremost. That is my number one priority. I am no longer able to do as I please, stay out all night, make plans on the spur of a moment or even plan for events because something will inevitably come up. It sucks. It makes me look like a flake and like I am unreliable and can't be counted on. But it is the nature of parenthood. Nothing is predictable; everything changes. Daily. Sometimes, hourly. I never know what I will be doing, where I will be or what catastrophe will surface after I make said plans. I hate that it makes people doubt me but I see now that sometimes being a single parent, or a parent at all, you need to have other friends who are in the same boat. Because, they get it. It's not something I can try to explain to anyone who isn't a parent. You have to be in those shoes.
I hope one day to not be a single parent. I dream of meeting a sweet, funny, handsome, fantastic guy who accepts me, Berlyn and all of the hiccups that go along with us both. I would love that. But I can't count on that. I have to have that "plan B" and maybe accept that I might be alone for the rest of my life. The truth is - I am okay with this. I am an independent woman, I have hobbies, I have goals and I don't feel I need a partner to make my life complete. But, it would be nice.
So, the moral? None really. I just felt like I needed to put my thoughts out there. It's very crucial to walk in someone else's shoes before you judge them. I have learned this myself. What you see on the surface is not always how it actually "is".