Today I have a guest post for you by Amanda from The Philosophy Mom.
Amanda is the mother to three cute kids, Jack, Tyler, and Elise. As she says on her blog, “I’m Amanda. I live in northeast Ohio (ironically called “The Heart of it All”). I have three kiddos, no husband, one dog, one guinea pig – not by choice, and one degree in philosophy from The University of Texas at Arlington.”
If you haven’t yet had a chance, go check out her blog. Her stories are a great combination of humor, honesty, and wisdom. She doesn’t have too much published yet, but I think you’ll enjoy it.
Philosophy: I wouldn’t trade the resilience I’ve gained from being a single mom for anything.
Every now and then, I have a moment when I feel like I need a partner. Usually, it’s when the grocery bags are lined up to my elbows on my third trip into the house or when I just want ten minutes to sit on the couch, but I know the dog needs to go out and laundry needs to go in the dryer. It would be close to heavenly to have someone else there to be the bad guy and enforce time out for once. Then I come to my senses and realize doing all those things is a small price to pay for freedom.
I choose what we do – and when we do it
If we want to spend a day at the flea market or swimming, there is no one there to tell us it’s too hot or too crowded. If we want to stay home and make a bunch of noise, no one is there to tell us to be quiet.
No more in-laws/other grandparents
I don’t have to deal with the judgment and parenting advice of my husband’s family. I don’t have to take an entire Sunday and spend it tolerating company and pretending to be a perfectly-put-together version of me. I don’t have to pretend that I don’t sometimes let them drink Dr. Pepper or that they’ve gone two nights without a bath.
My money is our money
It takes very little to keep me happy and sustain us. Being a single mom means I have to budget, and a single-parent household is expensive regardless of whether or not there’s financial help from the other parent. But, because I’m a single-parent household, I get to decide where the extra money goes. That means I can wait another summer to buy a new lawnmower and replace the patio furniture instead and no one can tell me not to.
Mealtime can be a free-for-all
No elaborate meal planning and cooking if I don’t feel like it that week. No having to do dishes because he cooked, and I get to clean it up when I don’t feel like it. No one is there to make me feel like a failure if we decide we all want cereal for dinner.
Holidays are spent the way we want to spend them
No longer do I have to entertain guests all day on Christmas, get up for work the next day, and come to clean up the mess everyone left the night before. We don’t have to run from house to house on Thanksgiving and eat four different times or leave one side of the family out to avoid that disaster. If I don’t have the kids for a certain holiday, I can spend it however I want.
No more rushing to please someone else
Yes, having kids with me every time I go to a store or out to dinner is not always unfettered bliss, but it beats having to rush through everything I used to enjoy because they’re at home with their dad who’s texting every five minutes to ask when I’ll be back. The upside is that I use our time out all together to teach them about money and we’ve had some great adventures that otherwise wouldn’t have happened if they were at home with their dad while I ran errands alone.
I can look homeless
I hate to admit there are weekends when I’m constantly wearing baby spit up, or some other unidentified wet spot for far too long. Guess what? There’s no one there who really cares. I can look however I want. I can shower whenever I want or not at all if we’re not going anywhere.
Laundry is much less of a load
Laundry is my own clothes and the kids’ clothes. No longer do I have an extra four loads to do because someone else is the house changes three times a day.
I only have to share my bed with my babies
There’s no one there to make me feel guilty for letting kids in the bed because they had a bad dream. Listening to a little person snore and fighting them for a blanket is much cuter than doing the same with an adult.
I can make all the noise I want at any hour
I don’t have to try to be quiet and get ready for work in the dark because I’m up and out the door first. I don’t have to feel guilty for not wanting to go to bed at the same time as someone else because I can’t sleep. I can vacuum at midnight if the mood strikes me (for some reason, the kids always sleep through vacuuming).
No more waiting around on someone else to make plans and get stuff done
Like rushing to get home to someone, waiting around on them to get home from work before being able to make plans for the night or go out and do something doesn’t happen when you’re a single mom. I’ll have all three kids with me at 4:00 if I go somewhere or at 7:30, so I get to choose what works for us.
Cupboard space and closets are all mine
I can arrange the house the way I want. I can decorate it how I want. I can turn rooms into anything I want them to be. Every closet and cupboard is mine to fill.
There’s no one there to remind me of my limitations
There’s a place for practicality. Moms can’t always live with their head in the clouds, chasing silly dreams, but having something to do and look forward to outside of raising little humans gives me a challenge. I can set goals for myself that I don’t have to tell anyone else about. That’s the best part.
Every day is a new challenge and a new adventure
Most of all, I love being a single mom because it’s a learning experience I get to share with my kids that’s all our own. I’ve had no choice but to learn a whole bunch of new things I’d never thought I could do on my own.
It’s made me resilient and open. It’s taught me about what’s important. It’s survival mode in its purest form and it’s learning to swim by being pushed in the lake, but we’re making it. We’re making it just fine and the kids get to witness first-hand how to make sense out of senseless things. They get to learn alongside me what to do when you don’t know what to do.
And, when we don’t know what to do, we embrace it.
Here’s to all the single moms. May you persevere in spite of it all.
Hey guys, please visit Amanda’s blog, The Philosophy Mom, and show her some love. You can also follow her on social media: