I was a stay at home mother when my daughter was born, all the way up until her father and I started the divorce process. I immediately went out and got myself a job and a place for us to live and have been doing so ever since. Even if my single income isn't as grand as a two adult household, I have managed just fine financially, having learned how to properly budget so that we can live comfortably so in these difficult economic times. Not once have I pleaded with a partner to help pay any of my bills or expect any of them to take care of my daughter and I so I could stop working. Somehow, men still believe that it is a hidden agenda of ALL single mothers. The idea is laughable yet, incredibly offensive to a parent like myself who is determined to set the best example for my daughter of how important it is to be able to take care of yourself, just as it is to take care of others (who genuinely need it).
4) You're going to be alone. A lot.
Getting the kids ready in the morning. Shuttling the kids to and from school or child care and miscellaneous activities. Driving to and from work. Family friendly weekend outings. The madness of a single parents schedule is enough to make anyone cringe. The privacy you had before becoming a mother seems like a distant memory until you put your little ones to bed and finally have a few minutes to yourself. But then it hits you in the dead of night...a cold, heartbreaking reminder that you're doing this alone. Even in a committed relationship, unless you're at the point of living under the same roof, you are still very much on your own in the grand scheme of things. Some days, this is easier to accept than others, but it is one of the biggest reality checks you encounter when you become divorced/single until, if you're lucky enough, you find the right partner.
5) You're cohabiting and/or married friends will never truly understand what you're going through unless they've been there as well.
I have a great deal of wonderful people in my life who managed to get their personal life right, right from the beginning and have never had to endure the challenges of single parenting. I have friends who have become single parents, yet immediately turn around and manage find the perfect relationship. I also have friends in the same boat as myself, some with multiple children, and some with deadbeat exes making their single motherhood even more straining. I don't like to lay out my personal frustrations on anyone, and if I do, I don't at all go to my married/coupled up friends who don't know what it truly is to be going it alone. These friends will always insist that things will get better, someone amazing is right around the corner, or that you're Wonder Woman for undertaking it all and will reap the benefits of your labors one day... (good karma exists, right)? It's always easy to assume when you've never been faced with the hardship yourself.
6) Being a good woman and mother will not guarantee you a happy ending, but it doesn't hurt anyway to be hopeful that you just might.
That sentence reads like such a downer, I know, but it's a point that just has to be made. I don't want or feel the need to gloat, but I am an incredibly hard working individual. I put everyone before myself from the moment I get out of bed in the morning, to the last minutes I have before calling it a night.