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Why Being a Single Mom is Something to Be Thankful For

A single mom is no stranger to challenges. In fact, every day seems to bring a new difficulty. There’s balancing work, childcare, housework, and everything in between with no support from a partner. Not only that, single mothers face judgment, from family members to complete strangers. Despite working to exhaustion every day, nights are plagued with doubts. “Am I a good enough parent?” 

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However, there are silver linings. Although they are often overlooked by the negatives, the positives of being a single mom are still there. As a new year begins, there’s no better time to reflect on the things to be grateful for. 

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As Regina King once said, “It’s difficult, but far from impossible and we smile more than we cry.”  

The Joy of Being a Single Mom

Researchers conducted interviews and use decades of data to determine the happiness levels of single moms in Poland. They chose Poland specifically because it “has the worst system of public childcare provision in the EU.” Also, “bearing a child out of wedlock is not socially accepted, and lone parenthood is not institutionally supported.” These mothers were truly on their own. 

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From the data of 7,633 mothers, 6,594 were married, 501 were previously married, and 538 were never married. Despite everything, the researchers made a remarkable discovery: The single moms were as happy as the married ones. 

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Our quantitative findings showed that, even if the positive aspects of motherhood did not outweigh the negative consequences, the positive aspects at least counterbalanced the negative ones...” the researchers wrote in the study published in the Journal of Happiness. “Depending on the specification of our models, we found that the arrival of a child either had no impact or even increased the happiness of single mothers. The findings for married women were similar.” 

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Many single mothers in the interviews said that raising a child alone is “stressful” and “very tiring.” However, they added that their child gives them energy, joy, and a drive to live. As one participant said, “A child’s love compensates for everything.” [1] 

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The following list might include some of the ways these single mothers found joy in their roles. 

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5 Reasons for a Single Mom to be Thankful 

Freedom and spontaneity 

You get the final say in everything. You’re serving cereal for dinner? The kids are happy and there’s no one else to answer to. You decide where to take the kids on an outing, and there’s no one to tell you to do laundry or make dinner for a certain time. You could add whatever fun activity — or spin to a boring one — and there’s no one to fight you on that. 

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Aside from having the final say, you don’t need to exert effort in creating a united front that married couples need to maintain. There’s no discussing, compromising, and agreeing on every decision. You can bypass this process and jump immediately to what you think is best. [2] 

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Kids learn resourcefulness and independence 

While moms feel guilty if they don’t take care of the children’s every need, this is actually beneficial for them in the long-term.

To keep order, single moms often have to teach young kids skills from washing dishes to packing their own lunches. Don’t feel bad for not having time to do everything! These kids will learn to become responsible and confidant in their abilities. They will not be the young adults who leave home with no clue how to do laundry or cook a basic meal. Instead, they will learn self-reliance — and appreciate you more for all the hard work you do. [3] 

Read: Mom Who Nurses Her 5-Year-Old Wants To Normalize Extended Breastfeeding

A close relationship with the kids 

You develop a deeper relationship with the children when you raise them on your own.

When you hold that baby for the first time, you know you’re going to spend the rest of your lives together. No matter what, you have each other. You become close because you are each other’s entire world. And that makes your connection strong. 

Yes, there will be terrible two’s and the rebellious teen years. There will be days when you are at odds. And there are days when you feel like your efforts at parenting are too minuscule to matter in the grand scheme of things. This is not true.  

Nothing you do for children is ever wasted,” said Garrison Keillor. And as time passes, your child will recognize all of those little acts of love and feel closer to you for them. 

Discovering inner strength 

As a single mom you’ll discover inner strengths and capabilities you never knew you had,” said Emma-Louise Smith 

You’ve been through many difficulties as a single mom. There are so many instances where you think you are at the end of your strength, but as a new crisis occurs, you find there is just a little bit more in you. After so many hard days, it doesn’t matter whether the future looks bright or bleak. You’ve already been through so much, you could take whatever life throws next. 

Throughout these challenges, you’ll learn more about yourself. You’ll learn that you are more capable than you once thought. After dark times, you will wake up and realize that you’ve grown as a mother and as a person. Despite the pain, you could feel grateful for the better person you are today.

Being a single mom is not a tragedy — despite what others will have you believe,” said author, consultant, and single mom Samantha A. Gregory on Healthline. “For me, it’s been the catalyst to finding myself and helping others by sharing my story. My experience is a lesson for other single moms to see: It’s possible to come out on the other side of this experience a better version of yourself.” [4] 

Well-deserved pride 

You’re doing this alone — be proud of that! It takes someone incredible to fill the role of a single mom and to power through all the hard times. And you’ve done it. For every one of your child’s achievements, you know without a doubt that it’s because of you. Your children know how to take care of themselves, how to be kind, and how to love. That’s all accredited to you.  

Even on days when you feel like you failed, know that you did not. No parent in any situation could win every challenge. However, despite the battles lost, you are winning the war. And that’s something to be extremely proud of. 

Keep Reading: Why More and More Women Have Stopped Shaving Nowadays

References

  1. “Does Lone Motherhood Decrease Women’s Happiness? Evidence from Qualitative and Quantitative Research.” The Journal of Happiness. Anna Baranowska-Rataj, Anna Matysiak & Monika Mynarska. December 17, 2013.
  2. Why I’m Grateful to be a Single Parent.” Patch. Carla Sameth. November 23, 2011.
  3. “How to Encourage Independence in Your Child.” Very Well. Family. Katherine Lee. June 5, 2019.
  4. Being a Single Mom Means Rising to New Challenges at Every Stage.” Healthline. Samantha A. Gregory. August 31, 2020.
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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