26 reasons being a single mom is AWESOME

The Health Hop 26 reasons being a single mom is AWESOME

Maybe you are going through a divorce, got pregnant during a casual relationship, are considering becoming a single mom by choice, by adoption or fostering, or any of the other countless scenarios you can find yourself a single mom.

This can be terrifying. After all, all that responsibility of caring for and paying for a human will likely fall on you.

A while ago a member of our Millionaire Single Moms Facebook group said: “I’m a new mom, expecting in a few months. What POSITIVES can you tell me about single motherhood?” I responded with a few points, and invited other members to share about being single moms. Collectively, we all came to the same conclusion:

Single motherhood might be daunting, but it can also be exhilarating.

In this article, I’ll show you all of the reasons why being a single mom is AWESOME:

How to accept being a single mom

If you’re new to this single motherhood thing, I first want to say welcome to the club. I won’t pretend this won’t be a major transition in your life, but I know once the dust settles, you’re going to love it.

If you recently divorced or separated from a partner — or even if you’re entering single motherhood by choice — check out my advice on how to move on and accept a new life as a single mom.

“I love being a single mom.”

When my ex husband left me pregnant, I could not imagine how I would survive. Now, I struggle to imagine a life as a partnered mom. Like many single mothers, I enjoy the autonomy of parenting solo, I cherish my financial and sexual freedom, and I am really proud of what I have accomplished. 

Most of all, I realize how resilient I am — and how resilient we are as humans. Also, it is impossible to know what will make us happy.

What are the benefits of being a single mom? Here are our top 5 tips:

  • You can do what you want as a single mom. Especially if you are a solo parent, you don’t have to negotiate about much at all.
  • You can date!
  • Sex is better after motherhood. New relationship with your body + not giving a shit anymore = AWESOME SEX. [Best dating apps and sites for single parents]
  • You can have a great perception of life that you will model for your child. You’ve gone through it. You know that all those ‘perfect’ families are secretly quirky at best, probably disintegrating, and your friends all confide in you their messed-up marriages, dysfunctional sex lives and all the other perfectly normally messy human foibles. [Are single-mom families whole families?]
  • You may find new and better ways to co-parent with your ex. So many women report being stunned by how much better of a father their kids’ dad is after divorce, and how they find new and improved ways to co-parent with their ex. A co-parenting app may help.

4 tips on how to be a good single mom

  • “You don’t have the expectation of how the other person will act/behave so don’t have to face the disappointment when it doesn’t look/feel like you thought it would. I don’t say that to be cynical, I appreciate that I already know that I have to do it all and can prepare accordingly. Expectations of others can be a real bitch.” —Traci
  • “You will fall in love with your village and yourself. It might not happen right away, but when you look back a month, 6 months, a year out…you start to say to yourself, “Hey! I can do this!” You will learn that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but instead a sign of strength and in the asking you will learn how loved you are. I became a single mom without planning to do so and have been on my own from day 1. It was tough. There were a lot of tears and a lot self-doubt…but I have to say, once I let go of the life I thought I SHOULD have, I was able to start to fall in love with the one I never imagined.” —Ana
  • “You learn to talk to yourself, question yourself, your motives, your joys, what makes you happy, what makes you sad, you learn what works, what doesn’t – you know you need to make it work for you and your little one and in that process you go way out your comfort zone and you learn so much about yourself.You know your weak spots and how to handle them and you really get to know your strengths and how to handle them. For me its just like a big network of super exciting tunnels of depth and you learn every minute. Damn, you feel alive!” —Shana
  • My relationship with my kids is very personal since I became a single mom. In the years since the divorce, I feel like my kids know “me” beyond just who I am to them as a parent. When I was married, I was part of mom and dad. Now, they see me independently. We talk about my job, my goals, even my date prospects (my 8-year-old daughter likes to scrolling through e-dating prospects with me, identifying guys she think would be a good match.) Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed with the work of single parenting. But when I don’t, I feel a stronger connection to my kids than I ever did before.” —Tiffany

9 tips on how to be a happy single mom

  • “You can pick the name, the school, the clothes. If my kid wants to play wearing my bra and a sparkly hat (which he has done) he gets to play wearing my bra and a sparkly hat. I have the most INCREDIBLE bond with my son. We are a team. We have a wonderful village (many members of which we didn’t meet until after he was born, fyi, in case you are worried about your current village or lack thereof.) But we went through a lot in the beginning (prematurity, adoption complications, etc) and we are stronger for it.” —Laura
  • “It’s just FUN. Single mom often carries the image of a downtrodden woman struggling to make ends meet. And while there are certainly shades of that sometimes, it is FUN. I didn’t have to make dinner for anyone when he was a baby so I could sit on the couch or the floor and play with him and make faces to get him to laugh for HOURS if I wanted. Now that he’s older, we can take off when we want and go to the zoo, the children’s museum. We aren’t accountable to anyone but us. Becoming a solo parent was THE BEST thing I could have done with my life.” —Sharon
  • “And although there have been times where I’ve felt overwhelmed, he is so wonderfully awesome that he reminds me every day of my very important job as his mama. I have a tattoo with an anchor and his name. He’s the thing that has always motivated me to stay grounded, make the hard choices, and even if i slip up, knowing he needs me brings me back to reality to keep pushing on. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” —Roberta
  • “You certainly become a master at time management and this skill migrates to all areas of life. The motivation to work effectively skyrockets. And my self esteem went up. Not immediately, but really soon 🙂 .” —Stefanie
  • “You ‘know’ more about relationships once you’ve been on both sides of love.” —Shanice
  • “Knowing more + integrating the good of what you’ve learned = wisdom.” —Camilla
  • “When your little one is sleeping you can do what you want, watch what you want on TV (Bravo is my lame addiction that no straight man would understand), eat what you want, not shave your legs, burp, fart, etc. You decide how to parent- no arguments on religion, diet, schools, daycare, health, etc. YOU will be an excellent role model for your child – I love the idea of a 2-parent household – but it’s not always ideal – you can show your child how one person CAN do it all. Even in great relationships the person can still die – and leave you alone – so proving to your child that you can is amazing. No other person to clean up after.” —Briana
  • “You don’t have to share the closet or the bed.” —Christina
  • “Get a good group of friends you can count on to make you laugh and help you unwind. I recently downloaded a friendship app to make friends in my area.” —Leighann

8 tips on how to be a strong single mom

  • “I became a single mom when my oldest was 17 months and I was 5 months preggo with my second. There are struggles, to be sure, but there are so many positives too! I make the decisions and that means I get to take 100% credit for how wonderful my boys are. Proud mom here! Also, learning how to juggle, strategize, multi-task, and problem-solve makes me super confident and has extended into my work / career as well.” —Tia
  • “Travel is so much easier! Sure it’s a lot to juggle, but everyone goes out of their way to help you when traveling. Also, the two of you can conquer anything, that’s very empowering.” —Alex

Tips for taking a road trip with little kids as a single mom

  • “No matter what, you are always stronger than you think you are. You will be amazed at what you can do.” —Nicole
  • “If you move to a town where you thought your dreams would come true… and they don’t… you can pick up and try somewhere else!! There are so many positive things about being a single momma! I simply enjoy the small things, the times we share just her and I… each night after dinner when we cuddle on the couch together and talk about life… or the giggles when we’re sleepy right before she falls asleep… The bond we have is so strong, it is truly like no other. And to watch her grow and thrive! She is so full of love, so happy. My heart overflows with love watching her!” —Alma
  • “I am more confident than ever before. I now know that I can accomplish anything. I can fix a leaky sink, change a car tire, but together a bike and run my own business that I never ever thought would be possible. I love that I am showing my girls that they can do anything with confidence and grace. You will be amazing and cherish every moment. Even the 3am moments as they will just be a blip in time.” —Cassie

9 ways to feel confident when you feel old, gross and fat

  • “One of my married best friends said she was jealous that when I had to breastfeed in the middle of the night I could turn on the lights and watch Netflix while she would carry the baby down the hallway and feed her in the dark and quiet so she wouldn’t wake her husband up. A little thing but a perk! I also think as a single mom my friends and family really rally to make a community for my son when friends or family may not become as involved as much with married parents to avoid intruding or stepping on toes. I also think being a single mom gives me the incentive to make plans and do lots of activities with other people whereas my 4 married siblings seem to stay home with the kids and spouse. I feel like it has made my son really outgoing and open to new experiences and people.” —Sandra
  • “You and others will be awe-struck by your strength and perseverance.
  • “I wish I had known about all of this when I found out I was pregnant 13 years ago. I was so scared! No one had much positive to say to support me at all. Listen to the advice of these ladies! It may seem overwhelming, but you seriously can do this! You will have such a special bond with your child, that no one else will have or can replace! You get to what you want, how you want, when you want! You get to make the best choices for your child!!! All you need is some family and great girl friends to stand beside you, and you have all that you need!!!”

Emma’s takeaway on being a strong, happy and good single mom

I have been writing about single motherhood and interacting via this blog, social media, public speaking, email and other ways since 2012. Here is what I know to be true about life as a single mom:

  • Single motherhood really is what you make it. Mothers who try to win the misery olympics via assumptions and claims of their hardship just because they are single moms do win the misery olympics
  • That said, moms who build their community, including neighbors, friends, school parents, church family, family of origin and colleagues are really the happiest.
  • Moms who focus on building their own, fully life, modeling healthy dating and successful career fare the best — as do their children.
  • Kids thrive when they have both parents in their lives — and successful single moms know that. This can mean that they work hard to co-parent successfully, engage and give space to dads who are not involved, and acknowledge the hardship that it creates when kids do not have equally involved dads (as opposed to pretending that dads don’t matter).
  • Good single moms know that kids need a lot of love and attention — but also need independence, free time away from adults, caring relationships with loved ones who are not their moms and generally do not benefit from being helicoptered, coddled, or put in a position to emotionally or socially fulfill their mothers.
  • Money matters and successful single moms focus on growing their careers, earning and investing — opposed to focusing on getting more child support or relying on benefits.

Top highly-paid careers that are great for moms!

7 ways single moms can get their financial act together this year and beyond!

Being a single mom FAQs

If you are new to being a single mom — or thinking about becoming one — you have questions. We have answers!

Are single moms happier?

Another study published in the journal Demography found that single mothers did less housework and spent more time on leisure and sleeping than married mothers. Their explanation? Single mothers didn’t have the desire/need to please a partner, so they spent more time doing things that made themselves happy.

Is being a single parent difficult? Is it hard being a single mom? 

It can be difficult being a single mom, but not taking smart financial steps is going to make it a thousand times worse. Money affects your mental health, the stress level in your house, your access to health care, and your ability to make wise decisions about career / men / family / time.

If you feel really broke all the time, you make those decisions from a place of fear and a poverty mindset. If your bills are paid, your career is growing, you have a little extra money in the bank, your vision for your future includes security, financial wealth, your decisions are more likely to come from a place of abundance and confidence.

The good news is that, thanks to technology and troves of information from experts (like moi) it is easier than ever to get your financial act on track, and gain the confidence you need to build the foundation of an incredible, full life for yourself and your family.

Are all moms stressed out?

Are all moms stressed out? Yeah, pretty much. Washington University researchers found that women across the world found balancing child care with paid work to be stressful — and in the United States, that issue was especially pronounced, as we have the least amount of social support for working parents among developed countries.

Many studies find that single moms are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, isolation and suicide.

In other words: Everyone is stressed out, and you are not a bad mom for being burned out, anxious and angry.

Are all single moms broke?

The majority of single moms are poor and with low education.

A 2018 Pew Research Center analysis found the poverty rate by household head was:

  • 30% of solo mothers
  • 17% of solo fathers
  • 16% of families headed by a cohabiting couples
  • 8% of married couple families

Single motherhood is correlated with lower education and younger age, according to Johns Hopkins:

  • 71% of millennial moms with a four-year college degree were married, and typically were in their 20s when they first gave birth.
  • 74% of millennial moms without a bachelor’s degree were unmarried, and typically had children younger.

Also, the pay gap for single moms is greater than mothers overall, which is larger than for women overall.

Mothers overall suffer a pay gap of 29%, earning an average of 71 cents for every $1 earned by a dad — or an average of $16,000 less per year, according to the National Women’s Law Center. 

This motherhood penalty is dramatically worse for single mothers at 35%. According to Pew Research, single moms with a household of three earn just $26,000 per year on average, compared with $40,000 per year for single dads.

More single mom statistics.

These stories tell an important story, which is also about race, class, education, generational poverty and other issues.

Single mom struggles: How to overcome 9 stereotypes keeping you broke

What do single moms struggle with?

Are all moms stressed out? Yeah, pretty much. Washington University researchers found that women across the world found balancing child care with paid work to be stressful — and in the United States, that issue was especially pronounced, as we have the least amount of social support for working parents among developed countries.

Many studies find that single moms are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, isolation and suicide.

In other words: Everyone is stressed out, and you are not a bad mom for being burned out, anxious and angry.

Is it harder being a single mom or being a married mom?

Look, lots of single people want to get married. They have ideas of ‘the one,’ and/or and sanctified, traditional unions being superior to not having a sanctified traditional union. Or whatever. Everyone has their jam, and for some people, that is marriage.

But not everyone feels like that, and in fact, increasingly fewer people do. To wit:

  • One-in-five adults ages 25 and older have never married, up from 9 percent in 1960, while just 51 percent of adults ages 18 and older are married — marking record lows
  • A Pew / Time magazine survey of 2,691 Americans in association found that nearly four in 10 Americans think marriage is becoming obsolete.
  • That’s an 11 percent spike since 1978
  • Forty-four percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 saw marriage as obsolete, compared to 32 percent of those 65 and older
  • 57 percent of Millennial moms are unmarried
  • Divorce rates have hovered around the 50 percent mark for four decades

Divorce and remarriage — stats, facts and the hard truth

Per the divorce stat, assuring a divorced person that marriage is right around the corner is absurd. That person has been married, and at least that marriage wasn’t so great for them.

And chances are, marriage wasn’t so great for the condescending married person, either. They just assume that being a single mom is so hard, and they want it not to be hard for you. Or, they are miserable in their marriage and want some company so they stop feeling so torn about whether to leave.

I know.

By nature of my public work around family and romance, and the fact that I’m a single, divorced mom unabashedly out in the world, I am perhaps especially likely to hear, via clandestine emails, murmurs by the booze table when the husband is on the other side of the party, about how so many married people really feel about their sanctimonious union.

“He does absolutely nothing around the house  — and I make all the money!”

“He hasn’t showed interest in sex in years.”

“I am living vicariously through your dating life.”

“I hate him and have been trying to divorce him for years.”

“I really, really want to get back to work. But he won’t let me.”

“She has zero sex drive, and we haven’t had a night without one of the fucking kids in our bed in eight years.”

“We fight all the time.”

“She shops and goes to yoga every day, and acts like she is so exhausted after I get home from 12 hours at the office.”

“We’re miserable. Have been for years. We’re waiting for the kids to go to college.”

“That tank top is so pretty on you. Really. No, really. What’s your number?”

And any number of other confessions about the dissatisfaction and/or horrors of marriage.

All of which highlights the hypocrisy and self-denial that is inherent in so many married people — an institution, along with the nuclear family, that is still upheld as a gleaming ideal, despite the fact that both models are waning in practice or sustainability.

In fact, the majority of families today are NOT nuclear families, thanks to the increases in single-parent households, gay partnership and marriage, multi-generational families and any number of configurations in which people define “family” — whether by choice, circumstance, desperation or because, well, stuff happens, both beautiful and ugly.

All of which is really beside the point.

The point is: My experience as a single person, whether I’m happy or not, whether I’m looking for a spouse, partner, date, lay, adult conversation, to work out my daddy issues, to not be lonely when my kids are with their dad, for professional gain or find someone to pay my bills, is zero commentary on your life, spouse or marriage. 

[Best dating apps for single parents]

You are on your own path, and I am, too — and maybe there is a shimmering pot of ever-after matrimony at the end of your trip, or maybe you just enjoy the ride, and understand that everyone’s journey — married, single, partnered, dating, celibate, open relationship, serial monogamous, whatever — is full of heartbreak and joy, fun and misery, and ultimately, thankfully for those of us who live in a free and Western world, one of your own making.

Bottom line: Being a single mom can be more rewarding than you imagine

Shit happens, and a full, happy life can be composed of experiences and people and situations that you never imagined. Be open-minded, forgiving, flexible.

As I mentioned, I love being a single mom. How would you answer this question: Why do I like being a single mom? I hope you have more reasons now.

Here are some of our top resources for single moms:

What are the benefits of being a single mom?

You can do what you want as a single mom, especially if you are a solo parent, you don’t have to negotiation about much at all.

Is being a single parent difficult?

It can be difficult being a single parent, but not taking smart financial steps is going to make it a thousand times worse. Money affects your mental health, the stress level in your house, your access to health care, and your ability to make wise decisions.

Is it hard being a single mom?

t can be hard being a single mom, but not taking smart financial steps is going to make it a thousand times worse.

Are all single moms broke?

The majority of single moms are poor and with low education. Single motherhood is correlated with lower education and younger age, according to Johns Hopkins.

Source link