Recently, I met with a friend to assist in re-wording my biography for a more authentic feel. Ideas and words were flowing to include my schooling, hobbies, our mission statement and all the typical words found in a biography. Then we got to the part about my personal life, she suggested I to mention I was a single mom. I paused and hesitated and rejected the label “single mom”. As a yogi and life coach she questioned me as to why I didn’t want to put that information in there. This wasn’t something I had really given any thought to, but certainly I wasn’t a single mother. My children have a father and I have family and friends who have always been there when I needed them the most. In my subconscious mind I know that I am a single mom, but to acknowledge and wear that label was another story. It required me to take ownership of my failed relationships. It also felt like I was taking away the appreciation for those who are there for me.
My ego characterized a single mom as someone who does it all 24 hours 7 days a week with a rare break. There were times in my marriage I had felt more like a single mom than I do now, so how could I label myself as such.
Of course, I put off finishing my biography because I could not identify with the label. I couldn’t feel why I loathed being called a single mom until I had one of those single mom moments or at least I thought it was a single mom moment.
One morning after waking up my children for school I realized my youngest son had stayed up all night playing a video game. He was struggling to get ready for school and I was angry. We were going to be late and I had to sign him in and give a reason as to why he was late. I had failed! I didn’t know my own child was up all night paying a video game when he should have been sleeping. If I only has someone there to help I would have known he was up all night (my perception). It was one of those moments I felt defeated by motherhood, but certainly this wasn’t the fist time I had that feeling.
It was then I realized why I struggle with being labeled as a single mom. Underneath failure was shame and guilt. I had failed at a marriage and I have been determined to not fail at being a mom. Doing everything I do within my control. Making sure I get up early to take the kids to school, provide them with warm meals, shelter and their wants, arranging my schedule to make sure I was there to pick them up from school, attend their after school functions, do laundry and the list goes on. All the while building a business and somehow fitting in a social life. There have been many days that started at 6am and ended at 2am.
I realized I have been running myself ragged trying to keep it all together having many moments when all I want is to unscrew the cap and let the tears flow, but that would mean I failed. When I shared the story about my son I realized that other mom’s (with partners) have similar stories and feelings and emotions and their kids do the same things.
Being a parent is tough, no matter if there is one or two parents in a home. I needed to change my perspective on being labeled a single mom. After identifying the real feeling and aversions I could see being labeled a single mom doesn’t have to a stigma. Releasing the feelings of shame and guilt has allowed me to accept being labeled a single mom. Even though my children are split between homes they are happy and healthy. They have equal time with the both of us and their father and I get a little break to reset allowing us to be more present and cherish the time more that we have with our kids.