Be Proud To Be A Single Mom

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By Autumn Barney

I remember the night I found out I was pregnant. I was terrified. I went through a lot during that pregnancy, but when my daughter came, she changed my life. She was the most beautiful little baby and has always had such a tender heart. She is almost 5 now and I can’t imagine my life without her. I’ve been a single mom most of her life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

As a single mom, I’ve been judged, looked at as “weak,” irresponsible, etc. I’ve had family and friends say hurtful things to me. But what I’ve learned over these past five years is something only a single parent gets to learn. It’s hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it, but my daughter and I have a special bond. It’s just her and me. She’s my biggest priority. I don’t have a spouse to help me or to give my heart and energy to. My biggest motivation is her. She is the reason I do everything I do, and it’s a special kind of love.

Being a single mom isn’t as unique as it used to be. Life happens, but from hard times come positive rewards. I’m not trying to take anything from parents who are in a relationship. What I’m saying is as a single mom I think I’ve become a better person today than I would have been if I was in a relationship her whole life. I’ve learned to work harder than ever. I’ve learned to be okay alone and appreciate and take care of myself. I’ve learned that I’m capable of more than I thought I ever could be.

I remember a few months ago I was taking 24 credits, going through a lot in my personal life, and I was trying to be the best mom I could. I was exhausted. I thought I was failing as a mother. One day I picked up my daughter from school. We got home and I laid down on the couch. My daughter came up to me and gave me a big hug and said, “Mommy, you’re the best mommy. I can’t wait to go to a big school like you. I love you.” Of course, it brought tears to my eyes. She saw me. She knows we always have each other. In that moment, I realized how much my daughter looks up to me and how much I look up to her too. Our bond will never die because of these years we get together. She is my best friend and I know I wouldn’t have the same kind of relationship I do with her now if things were different. I’m so lucky.

My daughter has saved me, and I know there are thousands of other single mom’s whose children have saved them as well. She has made me better. She has made me more patient and kind. She has opened my heart to a kind of love I never knew was possible. I wouldn’t trade these single-mom years for anything. I love my life with the two of us together. Being a single mom is something to be proud of. It takes a lot of love to be two parents, to provide for two (or more), to be an example to them, to be patient. Some days are easier than others, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s also the most rewarding.

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