Every day I look at my daughter and the thought that comes to mind is, “wow, I’m her mom.” It’s almost like an outer-body experience for me to really grasp the fact that I brought someone else into this world, with God’s permission of course, especially when most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing and medically it shouldn’t have been in the cards for me (read more about that here). It’s all trial and error, and when you’re a single mom it can feel like the trial and error is even more critical because all of the weight is on your shoulders since you’re the one spending the money, making the decisions, giving advice, making the food, helping with homework, hosting friends, buying clothes, being the shuttle bus, alarm clock, hair stylist, clothes stylist, disciplinarian, sports cheerleader and more. In between all of those things you still have to work and maintain a life for yourself outside of parenting. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think “If I mess this parenting thing up, I only have myself to blame.” But what exactly constitutes a parental mess-up? The answer to that question brings me to the source and reminds me that God allowed me to be a mom therefore most of my position is inherent and divinely planned. If He allowed me to have her he will give me the wisdom to raise her. This is the notion that has brought me through many days over the past 12 years and it’s a fact that becomes more and more relevant now as we enter into the thrusts and throws of middle school, a middle world that extends beyond the school hours; a state somewhere between girl and teen. Her emotions, as well as the emotions of her little friends are running wild – one minute they are friends the next they are fighting over a lollipop. Most mornings she’s mad at me for rushing her so she won’t be late and she hurls insults at me, but by the time I pick her up from school she’s telling me I’m the best mom ever and she’s so glad I’m her mom. It’s a constant tug of war, up and down, in and out, and hot and cold world I’m living in. But we are figuring it out sans blueprint and I, like most other moms, think I’m doing a pretty decent job at the end of the day.
When girls turn 12, a know-it-allness kicks in. Something else I’ve noticed is since it’s just her and me, she thinks she’s my friend and can provide me with her 12 year-old unsolicited advice on my adult life. The funny thing is sometimes what she says makes total sense or is comical, and I’ll tell her “that’s a good observation”. Although funny as it might be, when it comes to her sticking her nose in my affairs I tell her to stay in her lane and don’t worry herself with adult issues as she will have plenty of time for that in her own life. As a single mom of a growing girl it’s easy to get the lines of parent vs. friend crossed but I believe there will be many more disciplinary incidents to come. Therefore, allowing her to think we are “peers” or “friends” will make my job more challenging in those times of necessary discipline. So I do my best to keep the lines clear within reason, for the both of us.
Raising a girl is not easy. They are so impressionable and let’s just call it what it is, little girls are nosy. You have to be on the lookout to see what they are on the lookout for, which is you. Over the past few years I’ve had to tell people on the other end of my phone that I’m in front of my daughter to put them on notice as to the types of conversations I’m limited to, tell them she’s in the car, especially when the Bluetooth is on, and go behind closed doors when I have a burning desire to talk about something that I don’t want her to hear. Dating has been interesting as well. I haven’t dated seriously very much during her lifetime and the last person I dated seriously (before now) was when she was very young. Dating and single motherhood is a post within itself but I’ll say having a child certainly puts a spin on the types of people you’ll choose to spend your time with. I’ve forced myself to not waste time on men that I know are not potential because to keep it real, I don’t want to waste money on a babysitter for no reason. As wack as that reason may be, it’s true! I can’t waste my good babysitting money on you sir. Thanks, but no thanks! I’ll just save my little money, eat at home, and hang out doing homework until someone comes along with more potential. Toodles!
A positive aspect of dating as a single mom is, you find out who a person is a lot sooner. Can you really find a man who will respect you as a woman, take you out on dates, believe dating you is fun, treat you like a friend knowing that your time is probably limited and your priorities different from a woman without kids? It’s a lot to answer yes to these questions and, it’s a lot of work for a man to do if they want to be serious about you. But having said that, a man who can help you answer these questions affirmatively might be a keeper. You have less time and less babysitting money to waste when you are a mom so it’s easier to cut to the chase when weeding out a potential partner, if that’s what you’re interested in. Someone who isn’t good for you isn’t good for your child and trust me, if you have a daughter like mine, weed carefully because they will be sitting on the steps waiting in anticipation to give you their little pre-teen opinion!
My time as a mother has been fun and it’s really flying by. It’s all trial and error as I said before, but with solid guidance from your innermost being there are no mistakes, well no life shattering ones anyway. And just as there are no two kids alike, there are no two parents alike so we all will end up figuring out what works best for us and our household. The only difference is that many of us don’t have the two parent aspect, but those of us who are single tracking it, life still works out fine and the “Kids are All Right”! Life is good.
For outfit information, click the photo link below. To see last year’s post click here: Single Mother Style
For all of the mom’s out there, single and not single, Happy Mother’s Day every day!
Embrace where you are in life and K.I.S.S. ~ Keep it Style Stamped!
xoxo ~ Yana B.
Photo and Creative Direction Credit: Harley Morgan of ROE: The Agency