”Now that I know how much being a mother means to me, I will gladly arrange the rest of my life around it.”
Beth Wilson Saavedra
Whether you are a single mother by choice (SMBC) or a single unwed mother, or as the result of a divorce, you are raising your children alone, my bonnet goes off to you. I realized the other day how much I rely on my husband on this journey raising four children. I cannot imagine not having that partner there to bounce questions off of or to vent when you are just about as angry as you can get. It is hard enough being an “older” parent and physically not having the energy anymore. (However, your tolerance does improve.) But to do this alone with little or no support is no doubt difficult. A single mother must feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of juggling the caring for the children, maintaining a job and keeping up with the bills and household chores. And my heart goes out to those mothers who are raising children while facing tough issues under arduous conditions and going at it alone. (I am not intentionally excluded single Dads, it is just easier speaking about my “sisters in motherhood”.)
In the past week I have had two cases of bronchitis, one case of pneumonia, a vomiting virus and sore throats for all. The barn is not finished, winter is approaching and the rabbit died. No really, the rabbit died. I cannot imagine single-handedly caring for my children and working outside of my home. I NEED to be here. They NEED me to be here. Mind you – the career was great. However, for me, I prefer this lifestyle. And yes, I am very fortunate to have a supportive husband making it possible for me to stay at home.
22% of family households now are either single parent, divorced or fall under some other category that has redefined the notion of a “nuclear family”. More and more families are living away from family support – the grandparents next door or the aunt and uncle from one town over. And, so, what it boils down to whether or not you have a support system close by. People to rely on - to lean on. But a rose is a rose is a rose. It is what it is. And for whatever reason a woman ends up raising a child alone, she is first and foremost a mother and despite the consequences, she will keep moving forward to provide for her children under any circumstance.
Therefore, in tribute to those loving mothers raising children alone I salute you, I pray for you, and if I am ever in your presence I will no doubt approach you and extend my hand.