Single motherhood is becoming more and more of a commonplace situation but being a single mom is still a stressful and challenging situation.
It’s easy to look at your single mom friend as just another mom, but her experience is far different from yours and she is facing some serious struggles.
All mothers have a hard time, but single moms have a whole lot more on their plate. Having the support of their friends can make all the difference for a single mom facing overwhelm and burning out.
If you have a single mama friend, you should consider reaching out to her because, in all honesty, she needs you.
The Best Reasons to Reach Out to Your Single Mom Friends:
1. We Won’t Ask for Help
However we ended up in this situation, we take too much responsibility for it. Therefore, we believe that we deserve to handle the situation on our own.
Unlike the old TLC song, we are too proud to beg. We want to be able to do it alone – if not for our kids then to satisfy the guilt for being a single parent in the first place.
2. We Feel Lonely
Burdened by all of this responsibility, we feel isolated from the outside world. Remember when Ariel the mermaid woefully sang, “I want to be where the people are”? Yeah, that’s us.
Sure, we can leave our kids in the care of someone else but then we just feel guilty about it. We could also pay a babysitter but what single mother has the money?
3. We Are Exhausted
Even if we wanted to share the responsibility of raising our kids, we have no one to share it with. Therefore, we are physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.
We know you have a busy life and are tired too, but single mother tired is a whole new level of exhausted. We’re not sure where the energy we do have comes from, but we have to make it happen on a daily basis.
4. We Feel Guilty All of the Time
Not only do we feel guilty about pawning our kids off on someone else so we can have a little fun, but we feel guilty ABOUT EVERYTHING.
We feel bad about the family situation. We feel like we’re not doing a good enough job as a mother. We feel like crap because we can’t give our children everything that we want to.
5. We Feel Judged
As single moms, we take more responsibility for our situation than we should, we feel really guilty about it but, worst of all, we feel judged because of it.
In a perfect world, two people are supposed to fall and love and commit to each before having children. We messed that up somehow and we can’t help but feel the world’s judgment because of it.
6. We Compare Ourselves to You
We envy your life. You have a partner, which means you have more opportunity to live your own life. We wish we had your freedom.
Not that we are completely ignorant to your struggles – we know that being a mother in any situation is stressful.
But we would love to have just a little bit of what you do.
7. We Feel Like We Have No Right to Complain
Not only do we feel guilty about putting ourselves in this situation, but we also feel because we “choose” this life, we have no right to complain about it.
We are perfectly capable of sitting down with you and lamenting the challenges of motherhood, but we probably won’t complain about being a single mom.
It’s hard for us not to vent these struggles to you but we feel like we don’t have the right to.
8. We Have No Time to Ourselves
Our children’s needs take up ALL of our time and we have no one in house to alleviate those responsibilities.
There’s no one to keep an eye on the kids while we take a bath or even go to the grocery store by ourselves (what a luxury!).
Everything we do, and everywhere we go, has to in some way involve our little ones.
9. We Don’t Know Who We Are Anymore
We are so consumed by our mothering responsibilities that we have come to identity ourselves only as “mom”.
We have lost our sense of self and have forgotten who we were before our children were born.
This is because we don’t have many opportunities to go out in the world and pursue our interests and be who we truly are.
10. We Miss You
Even if we turn down play dates and coffee dates or if we suck at responding to your messages and texts, we do miss you.
It’s so easy for single moms to get lost in mom life that we don’t even realize how much time has passed since we last saw you.
We feel like crap friends and we worry that you’re going to give up on us.
How to Support Your Single Mama Friends
We’re not expecting you to bend over backwards for us – that is not at all your responsibility as our friend.
We just need a little extra help and we want you, our dearest friends, to be by our sides as we face the challenges of single motherhood.
It doesn’t take a lot, but there are a few things you can do to help us feel supported.
Offer Us Some Help
Remember, we won’t ask for help, so it is always appreciated when you offer.
If you’re not sure how to help, ask us what we need.
It doesn’t have to be an offer to help with a huge task. Watching our little ones for 20 minutes so we can have a proper shower goes a long way.
Take Our Kids Out
The best gift you can give a single mother is time to herself. Even taking our kids out for one hour would be magical.
We won’t ask you to do it, so offering to give us some kid-free time is such a deeply appreciated gesture of friendship.
We are not going to look for approval or feedback on our parenting skills, so letting us know we are a good mom and a good friend is monumental.
Hearing it from you will so much to us.
Just Show Up
You are not our friend because of what you can do for us – we love you because of the connection we share.
Just showing up means more to us than what you can provide to us. A friendly face (and another adult to have a conversation with) does so much for our mental health.
Your presence is a present and your time is valuable to us.
Offer Your Support and Care
If you have a single mama friend, you should seriously think about reaching out to her.
She needs you more than you know.