9.5 million single mothers in the U.S. alone
320 million single moms worlwide
11 million families in U.S. led by single moms (single dads lead 1.5 million)
Half of the families live in poverty.
As of 2016, these numbers tripled since 1960
I write my blog and books and record my podcasts with intensely personal stories so that I can tell single moms out there “I hear you”, “I know how hard it is for you”. It is so isolating to be a single parent. Really lonely. We are so busy that entire cultural shifts occur and we don’t even notice (I was lucky that a cultural thing I missed was karaoke- never saw it, did it, or understood it).
We are so busy trying to meet the nutritional, financial, emotional needs of our children that everything else simply falls below the line. Time to meet their spiritual, intellectual, developmental, and recreational needs is beyond Pluto. When the piano teacher told me I needed to have strict rules and set up consequences if my daughter didn’t practice piano, I knew it was over- I didn’t have it in me for her to take piano because I didn’t have time to do all that motivating and encouraging. Turning socks inside in before putting in laundry was also beyond my capabilities- we were lucky if they were washed at all! You know how I reacted when the dentist said “Now you can teach them to floss every day”. “Oh of course”.
The line between what we can figure out how to provide for and what has to fall off varies from mom to mom, and depends mostly on her ability to manage time, money, kids’ emotions, her own emotions, and her own career while blocking all else out- the dad if he isn’t helpful, the social media account that is most definitely not helping, and the emotional turmoil she might feel about how hard it really is to raise children alone.
It is hard to raise children alone. But I did it, and you can too. I messed up a lot, and had really big messes handed to me on a poopy platter that I had to handle (house foreclosure, kids’ dad in jail, unfaithful 2nd husband, etc.). I bounced more checks than I can count, which were my own messes to figure out. When my son had holes in his tennis shoes and I had no money and no credit card, not a snip of credit to buy him new ones for another week, “Wear thick socks!” I suggested.
It is important to reach the single moms out there. That is what I keep in front of my face while writing when I get kerfuffled with the vulnerability I have about publishing my truths.
I am “choosing courage over comfort” (Brene Brown). I am taking home TTFUBC (Toughen the F*&^ Up Buttercup). And I am listening when my friend Jim says “How selfish of you to keep this information for yourself and not help the people who really need it”.
We got this. If I can do it, anyone can raise 2 kids to be kind compassionate people who are positively contributing to society.
My book “21 Days to Some Inner Peace for Single Moms” is here. Podcast is currently here, and Twitter feed is still under construction (it fell below the line).