Running the Single-Mom Race

Jenbyrum 130 001

I love being a mom. I don’t know what my life would be like if it weren’t for my kids. They are my joy and my purpose.

I am divorced. We have joint custody. Some days my life is a race to the finish and I am literally out of breath for 14 hours straight, panicked that I haven’t gotten everything done. Other days I go to work then come home to sit on my couch, wondering why my house is so quiet. My life is the antithesis of itself.

I used to tell my stories of motherhood on the radio. That was nearly 4 years ago. It was always such a great relief to hear from other moms who were equally joyful and exasperated. They identified with my crazy stories and we bonded over the insanity of it all. I hope we can develop the same bond with this blog.

I am overly honest. It’s both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m not going to lie to you… Being a single mom is TOUGH.

None of us ever planned to be this. But knowing there are other amazing women out there who are juggling this same adventure too…it’s what gives me the strength to laugh instead of cry.

It takes a sense of humor to survive Single Mom-agement. It’s all on your shoulders. Every last detail. It’s overwhelming. In sports you can tag out. When you are married, it’s a high five in the hall. When you are a single momma, it’s all you.

I am lucky that my ex is a willing father. My own dad was not like this, so I definitely have my own issues. I have my complaints with my ex, but that comes naturally with having an ex.

We do things very differently. We have very different methods at our own homes and respect each other’s authority in that. We communicate often. It’s very friendly and all about the well-being of our children. For that I am grateful.

My home is the safe place to fall for my kids and I love that. It also comes with its complications. We are cuddly and relaxed here. I can actually see them exhale when they arrive at my house. But it also means there is always a certain amount of chaos. Daddy’s house is very strict. I’m a rebel without applause.

I remember when I was young, my mother would have HAD IT with my sister and me. She would say the words that all kids dreaded, “Wait until your Father gets home”! It struck fear into us like nothing else.

As a single mom, this is not an option. I am both their friend and their foe…depending upon what day it is. I want to hold them tight and have them respect me at the same time.

Sometimes they look shocked when I raise my voice. It’s a delicate balance of handling everything without losing your mind, that we single moms constantly struggle with.

There is no handbook for raising kids by yourself. There is no pausing a situation to calmly debate with your partner the appropriate next move. You go with your gut. Often I make mistakes and have to apologize to my kids for acting in frustration.

I don’t claim to be any sort of expert. I’m a mess most of the time. I question everything…. Unfinished meals without desert, TV time, responsibilities, boundaries and lessons of life.

Without a doubt, it takes a village. That’s what this blog is about. It’s as much for me as it is for you. I want us to support each other in the struggle.

I promise to try to make you smile. I want to be your high five in the hall… Even if it’s just for a moment. I hope you will feel loved and supported.

And I want you to cheer for yourself. Pat yourself on the back for surviving the day. Feel peace and accomplishment when you sleep tonight. You are NOT alone.

Sending you strength and love,