Life is never the same once you become a mom, being a single mom, brings even more change, and if you’ve got a toddler… well, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve forgotten what a social life even looked like.
With no one else to share the parenting load, you’re on the clock 24/7, and whether you’re cooking a meal with a tiny little hand tugging on your pants, trying to clean whatever-the-hell-that-is out of the carpet, or trying to take go to the bathroom by yourself, you could probably use an extra pair of hands sometimes. Actually, let’s make that 20 extra pairs of hands. And a good night’s sleep just for a change.
Sometimes being the single mom of a toddler feels like the most exhausting job in the world. Like during an ear-splitting, wailing tragedy of a tantrum, when you just wanna pass your precious bundle of joy onto TAFKAH (The Artist Formerly Known As Husband), crawl into a fortress of blankets and go “OH HELL NO.”
But then you see those cute smiles and those chubby cheeks, get super-excited hearing the latest song that they’ve learned to sing and get to watch them grow and thrive. And you get to cuddle them and rock them to sleep… and you realize that you’ve got the best job in the world.
But life has sure changed! So here’s some “yes, I totally get it!” signs that you’re a single mom of a wee little toddler full of adorable chaos.
1. You haven’t been to the bathroom alone for weeks. Maybe months.
Literally, the ultimate luxury would be going to the toilet without a teeny little hand trying to reach under the door, sit on your lap while you poop, or try to wrap themselves up in an entire roll of toilet paper while yelling “TP time! TP time!” It’s only cute the first hundred times and you’re quickly running out of TP.
2. You used to have a life; now you have pajama dance parties with a 2-year-old.
Life before your toddler? You before your toddler? You vaguely remember this being a thing. If you’ve got a nice, supportive ex, hopefully, you’re getting a bit of time to yourself… blissfully solo-pooping. Otherwise, nights out are few and far between, and sometimes you really miss catching up with the girls for cheap cocktails (and now that you’re available, maybe even dancing with a tall, dark, handsome stranger.)
But hey, the girls have no idea of the pure joy of pajama dance parties with a hyperactive toddler. So shake it, baby!
3. You don’t want no scrub. A scrub is a guy who can’t get no love from you.
Ah, the desperate single mom myth. It’s pervasive but totally unfounded: you’ve already gotten rid of one guy that wasn’t good for you, so why would you want another? It’s already hard to find the time to date, and you’re sure as hell not going to waste your free time with nogoodniks, let alone have any guy meet your little one unless you’ve sure that they’re 110% awesome.
4. You’ve suddenly become very frugal. Very, very, very frugal.
Let’s face it, raising a family on one income is tough. Even tougher if you’re only working part-time, and of course there’s that good ole’ gender pay gap *sigh*. With almost 40% of US single-mother families living below the poverty line, if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that hobo beans form a staple of your diet and your favorite extreme sport is extreme couponing.
5. Your mom sees your name come up on her cellphone and she’s like “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH”.
Now that you’re doing it alone, it’s great to have some help sometimes, especially if you’ve got a cold/a migraine/an overwhelming urge to hide in that blanket fort. If you’re lucky enough to have your parents living nearby, they’re torn between being very happy to see so much more of their grandkids, and wondering what happened to that cushy retirement they were so looking forward to. Sorry, Ma!
6. Your friends care about designer brands. You’re tempted to go to the supermarket just wrapped in a quilt.
Remember whiling away a whole day clothes shopping at the mall? Or squeezing into that tight little red dress, pre-pregnancy belly? Now there are days when you feel like you’re really doing the public a favor by putting pants on. Or wearing your shirt with the least food stains/finger-painting stains/what-on-earth-is-that stains. (The great thing about little kids is that you can blame pretty much any clothes stain on them. Once your kids are teenagers, heck, just blame the stains on them anyway. Your fellow shoppers don’t need to know.)
7. You’re creating a mini-me.
Odds are, you were already their primary attachment figure; now, you’re spending even more alone-time together, and you’re probably going to be the main influence on how they turn out. Which (hopefully!) means they’ll share your values and interests, and maybe even like your music if you’re lucky.
8. You’re basically Superwoman.
Changing lightbulbs? It’s that or you sit alone in the dark. Now that it’s all up to you, you’ve realized you can open that jam jar, reach that high shelf and assemble IKEA furniture. You’re a strong independent woman who don’t need no man!
You’re ready for anything now, and the people in your life are the right people for you. Remember, even at this tender age, your toddler is watching you handle adversity, and they’ll learn from it. You’re raising a kid who will grow up to be a great adult, with strength and resilience that you can be proud of. So many successful people credit their achievements, drive, and passion to their single moms, who worked hard juggling everything for their families. Who knows, maybe your toddler will be all-grown-up and talking about their inspirational mom from the President’s chair one day.