11. Sometimes single mothers have to be the one to walk away from an emotionally unfulfilling or abusive relationship. This is a huge lesson to teach their kids. When a mom walks away from an abusive spouse, the kids see that she is setting boundaries for herself and respecting herself enough to not let anyone break those boundaries. Happy and alone is far better than abused and married: her children will internalize that message and take it into their future relationships.
12. Single mothers are super creative and crafty. A single income definitely creates a bit of burden, but that doesn't mean a single-parent home can't be happy and fulfilling. It just pushes her to do a little creative management. Instead of going out and buying a sheep costume for the school play, she and the kids get a pillow case and sew on some cotton balls to make one. Single mothers are also masterful at "staycations." They make snow cones at home, construct tents for camping in the living room, roast marshmallows over the grill and tell ghost stories by flashlight. They become brilliant pastry chefs, creating masterpieces with Twinkies and frosting in a can, and a thrift store find easily becomes a specially designed, reworked prom dress. Seriously, Martha Stewart should be wary.
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13. Here's the big one: They have no mothers-in-law! Yet, some still have a built in babysitter — their exes. If that isn't news enough to make you do a happy dance, I don't know what is.
14. This one is a little bit selfish, but understandably so. They don't have to share their kids with anyone on a daily basis. They get ultimate quality time, and unlike their married counterparts, don't have to split their attention or time with anyone unless they want to. Single mothers can put all their focus into their kiddos without dealing with "jealous daddy syndrome," (It's a thing.) and they get to hog every single "first" and growing process their kids are going through. Lucky them!
15. Let's be honest. Single mothers inspire the heck out of us. They discover and tackle things they didn't know they had the strength to do. This quietly gives the rest of us permission to try things we've secretly always wanted to. We think, "Hey, if Joan can have a job, raise three kids and go back to school, I can try out for the derby team, start a couture cupcake company, run a marathon..." They show us where to find our driving force, that power that pushes us to keep going even when things are difficult.
There has always been a stigma that comes along with single motherhood, but in my opinion single mothers are stronger than most people because they have to work their proverbial parenting muscles more. So finally, we can all tuck away our "Oh, that's a shame there's no father around" pities and start shouting "I don't know how you do it. Because as I see it, single mothers are single-handedly taking over the world!"
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So cheers to you mom, Murphy Brown and single mothers everywhere! You are the epitome of a natural woman!