Maybe it’s because my mom was one or maybe it’s because I know how much work it takes to be a mom with help from a husband – let alone by yourself. Whatever it is, my heart goes out to the single mommas.
I remember when my mom was single… We lived in a one bedroom duplex, and at five years old I was thrilled to share a bed with my mom. I would have had no idea it was because she couldn’t afford a place with two bedrooms.
I remember my mom making me scrambled eggs to eat. And now I wonder if I was eating eggs, because they’re cheap or because it was easy and she was tired from working all day. The memories I have I see in a different light now that I’m older and also a mom.
I remember grocery shopping and not being allowed to buy squeeze-its. You know, those sugary-sweet, brightly-colored drinks in squeezable plastic bottles with faces on them. I’m a 90s kid! They were too expensive to pack in my lunches. But I remember how excited I was when my mom bought them as a special treat for me!
I remember when it was my turn to bring in snack at preschool and she made Jello-jigglers – Jello cut out in the shapes of letters. If it were me, I’d be buying the cheapest packaged snack that required no time or effort. How much more did it require for her to go the extra mile without a partner to help?
I remember the pool and the patio we shared with the Brazilian family next door, and how I’d eat their delicious black beans and rice at a kids table with their little girl. I remember playing in that pool out back for too many hours and ending up in the emergency room with an asthma attack late that night. Who was there to support my mom while she was scared for her child who couldn’t breathe? Who did she turn to and ask, “Should we go to the ER?”
I remember when I stole two crayons from preschool because I thought they were the prettiest colors, and I didn’t have them at home. I stuck them in my pocket and forgot about them. Until my mom pulled me aside one day and asked about those crayons. They’d gone through the washer, ruining our clothes including a white pant suit of my mom’s and some favorite piece of my own clothing. Oh how I cried. And oh how my mom probably cried …or fumed. I don’t know, but I know she couldn’t say to anyone, “You take care of this kid. I’m too upset.”
Who was there to help my single mom? Girlfriends? Our church? We didn’t live near family.
Who do you know that’s a single mom? Are we all just passing these women by not recognizing the extraordinary amount of work it takes to do what they do. every. single. day? At the very least, those of us with husbands should be thanking the good lord above that we aren’t doing this parenting thing on our own.
This Mother’s Day I encourage you to reach out to a single mom. Maybe you can offer babysitting or grocery money or kids clothes. Or maybe you can just grab coffee – because all moms need friends.