I have been a single mom for 9 years now.
Nine years of paying for the roof over our heads, the food in the fridge and the gas in the car, alone.
Nine years of driving to gymnastics, dance camp, baseball games, swim classes and volleyball tournaments, alone.
Nine years of doing the errands, shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry, alone.
Nine years of going to Christmas concerts and parent-teacher meetings, alone.
Nine years of holding her hair back when she was sick, checking her hair for lice and holding her trembling hand in the doctors office, alone.
Nine years of celebrating her report card, alone.
Nine years that I wouldn’t take back for the world…or change a thing.
Being a single-parent is the best thing that ever happened to me.
I love that it is just Haley and me.
I love how we laugh together, talk about our days together and sit read together.
I love our friendship.
I love our bond.
I love our mother-daughter nights. Our games nights. Our movie nights.
Our vacations, our shopping sprees, our spa days.
I love that my daughter tells me her secrets.
I love that she tells me all about her day.
I love that we share a home.
My daughter is my best friend in the whole world and I am extremely proud to be her single-mom!
More about my story:
When I became a single mom, I felt alone, desperately trying to keep myself and my 6-year old daughter afloat. I had never imagined my future would hold a failed marriage, along with losing my house and my full-time job as a designer, all within a year. I felt very confused, and I felt very alone. My friends were all married and couldn’t comprehend. My family was disappointed in my dissolved marriage and our friends were being dispersed between myself and my ex-husband. There seemed to be a stigma attached to being a “single mom”. I suddenly felt like an outcast.
Everywhere I looked, I saw happy two-parent families. I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with me. Why did this happen to me and how was I going to make it alone? One of my lowest moments was waiting in line to pick up donated toys for my daughter at Christmas. I felt a deep sense of despair. Although I was deeply appreciative for the help, ultimately I felt horrified and like a failure because I couldn’t provide for my daughter.
That was five years ago. Since then, I have gone back to school, graduated with honours and have been working full time both as a designer and as an art teacher for children. This year, my daughter is 11 and we had the wonderful experience of volunteering at the same toy drive and gave out presents to other families in need. I felt a wonderful sense of balance.
When I look back at those first few years, I remember vividly the struggles, the sadness and anxiety and the stress. I needed emotional help, a support system, guidance, encouragement and direction. Since that time, I have been blessed with amazing women in my life. I have met and built wonderful friendships with other single moms. These women and their children are my extended family and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support.
About this guest blogger:
Beth Hudson is a local single mom who lives in Burlington with her daughter. She is one of the founders of INCITE – A Single Moms Support Group. All single parents are invited to a focus group with INCITE at the Ron Edwards YMCA, Wednesday March 30, 2011 from 7:00- 8:00 p.m. to share their stories and challenges. Visit the Incite website for more details.
Additional resources for single parents:
- Access Counselling and Family Services
- Halton Family Services
- Reach out Centre for Kids
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Because Life Goes On: Helping Children and Youth Live with Separation and Divorce
- Programs at EarlyON Child and Family Centres
Share your experience:
Raising a child as a single parent can present unique challenges. We would love to hear about your personal experience. Please feel free to:
- Leave us a comment below
- Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us to talk to one of our staff. Dial 311 or 905-825-6000
I can relate, I’ve been there, I know how hard it can be. Support groups are great, especially in the beginning. Thanks for sharing your story, Beth.
You story is very inspirational… and I could relate in every sense. The struggles of being a single mom are the stepping stones we see as crumbs… our strength and power can overcome all in our paths. I loved reading this and commend you for starting a great support system for those who, like us, at one point wished to have found a shoulder to lean on. 🙂
Incredible. I’m in the same boat. It gives me relief that there’s hope for me to do better for my son and myself.
This rings so true for me. I have always wanted to put together something like this to help out other moms like myself but had no clue how to do it. i applaud you Beth for getting this out there in our community-and she has us out there in full force…One for all and all for one!!
I have been a single mom for about 4 years. The toughest part for me next to finances has been feeling alone through it all. So much of what Beth wrote describes how I feel/felt. Why can’t I be part of a family with my soulmate? What did I do wrong? At times have felt like a failure as my son’s dad is not a part of his life. That truly breaks my heart as I want my son to know what a good man is all about. I would love for him to have that exposure in his life but sadly that is not the case currently (and his dad is clearly not a good role model for my child). I simply try the best I can being both mother/father to my child. I try to instill in him true moral values, independence and shower him with all the love I have to offer. We have endured some tough times along the way and have created some wonderful loving memories too. I sometimes wish I could give him more: extra-curricular activities, trips (I haven’t travelled in 10 years), new clothes etc but have been blessed with a woman at work who passes on her son’s clothes to us (every bit helps) and I am extremely appreciative for these blessings put in our lives. Becoming a part of Incite, founded by Beth, has been the best support and a huge turning point in this life as a single mom. I have my son 24/7 so getting out for ME time is extremely difficult. I have been lucky to have my parents and friends take my son sometimes so I can get out but I HATE to impose on others so I do try not to take advantage of this. I am so happy that Beth has organized events where I can bring my son out-he has other kids to play with and interact with (he constantly says he wants a sibling so this is perfect LOL) and I have other adults to be with. Such a precious thing to have another adult to confide in, trust in again (my trust has been through the trash and back again so this is huge for me) and simply have someone else who knows what it is like to be doing it alone.
It’s good to read their can be support some where close to home 🙂
*there can* grrr spell check