During this time of the year, as we turn toward gratitude, I want to offer my appreciation to all the solo moms out there.
You are a MF-ing spiritual warrior.
I see you reading all the books about divorce, helping your children through divorce, healing after divorce.
I see you planning and preparing for holidays, making each one special in its own way.
I see you keeping your energy tame around your ex in front of the children.
I see you diligently crafting those emails, staying in your power, not inciting your ex even when he blatantly disrespects you.
I see you waking up earlier than your kids to enjoy your five minutes of coffee and peace.
I see you meal prepping, grocery shopping, doing the dishes and laundry, all to provide a loving home.
I see you turning off the cable to free up some funds for your kid’s soccer uniform.
I see you googling ways to start a side hustle so you can still be at home with your children as much as possible.
I see you supporting other mamas through online groups, offering playdates, sending care packages.
I see you learning from your anger, disregarding your ex’s attacks on your feelings, and channeling it into setting clearer boundaries.
I see you struggling at bath time, exhausted from work, the work of mothering, the weight of the world, and that mom guilt that says you aren’t doing enough.
I see you feeling powerless in a society that does not value “women’s work” or the work of caretaking.
I see you sculpting the best story that highlights how much your ex loves your children when he doesn’t show up for his parenting time.
I see you mentally wrestling with the higher ideals of fairness and justice and how you strive to implement those in your life.
I see you surrendering to the belief that “at least they are good to my children” when your ex brings home a new person.
I see you trying to find time to nurture yourself, finding what feels nourishing to yourself, seeking out things that make you feel you again.
I see you fighting back the tears when sadness suddenly hits you because your child says, “I miss daddy.”
I see you scrambling to find quality child care just so you can take a well-deserved break from mothering but still feeling guilty about it.
I see you breaking out of the myth of the “perfect mother” and standing tall in your ability to be real.
I see you praying that your children are safe with they are without you.
I see you grappling with your ex’s accountability, yet it breaks your heart to not be the primary parent in some ways.
I see you straining to find the words to tell the world about your experiences, about the paradoxes of being a single mother, about your struggles to be a mom while holding your own unique identity beyond mother.
I see you embodying your personal power, knowing that seeking out your worth is messy and unnerving, yet you keep coming back to it.
I see you and your work.
I see you and your energy.
I see you and your heart.
May you see it and unburden yourself from all the heaviness of doing it all alone.
May you revel in all that you do, holding your hand to your heart, saying a little prayer of gratitude toward yourself.
May we all see you.