5 truths about being a single mother

There are numerous things that make being a single mother difficult yet rewarding. At the end of the day, I am the only one who can provide my son with a happy mother. Whether you're a new parent or expecting your fourth child, parenting is overall a learning day-to-day experience and there is always room to grow in raising a child.

Some days, I feel like I’ve got it all together as a mom. Waking up every morning getting my son ready for school, realizing how far I've gotten. Acknowledging how much Isaiah knows, he was reading sight words since the age of 2, now by 6 he's a fluent reader.

But in an instant, I can feel like I'm never doing enough and I'm full of doubt. The overwhelming realization that I can’t do it all, that I am not doing enough —hits me like a ton of bricks.

No one plans to be a single mom. Life simply has its own way of unfolding itself placing us in situations we learn to settle in and prosper.

It was such an unfortunate event that happened in our life to lose my son's father. Isaiah was only 2 years old and was just diagnosed with autism when this tragedy occurred.

Although we weren't on the greatest of terms, we were trying to figure everything out towards the end to be the best parents we could be for Isaiah even if it was not as a couple. Unfortunately, we weren't given the luxury of time, God had other plans.

Whatever circumstances lead you to be a single mother, it is OKAY. You are not the first nor the last and you will make it through. Also know you are doing what is best for your child(ren)!

People consider it a broken home when a child is raised by single parents but in reality: a broken home is a home where love isn't properly demonstrated. Couples who stay together only for the kids can cause a broken home showing their children a toxic environment.

Being a single mom for the past few years, here are 5 truths I've realized:

It is exhausting...PERIOD.

Being the only adult in the home is overall exhausting. You aren't given the time to grieve or go through the motions of life in peace because you have a child(ren) to be physically and mentally present for every single day.

Every day I need to show up as if my mind isn't constantly running over what feels like a million things I need to accomplish. We need to face reality. As a mom, daughter, niece, coworker, and friend, it is sometimes draining to show up for everyone. I always try my best to be a functioning, single working mom to simply make it through the day.

You have no control over how the world will treat you on top of it all. What you can control, as always, is how you respond.

No one will understand or care about what is on your plate. Therefore don't take people seriously because that can add to your mental exhaustion.

If you are given the offer of help from family or friends, it is OKAY. You don't need to prove that you can master everything on your own. It is a blessing to have a support system in your life to help out every once in a while.

Don’t do things that benefit you, at the expense of others. From one working mother to another, If you feel sick, stay at home. Stay at home even if you don’t feel sick but need a mental break. Do your part.

You realize how capable you are

Taking on this responsibility may feel like the most challenging task in the world. Whatever you want in life you need to work double at all times and trust me it is the most rewarding feeling as you realize how much you can accomplish!

It is hard to find a balance on how to simply begin. The best advice I've received is:

focus on what you can accomplish at the moment. the rest can wait!

Looking back at what I thought I would NEVER accomplish, makes me feel so grateful how far I've come so far. I don't have everything figured out but buying my first home was a goal and I made it happen over a year of sacrifice and patience.

As you make things happen, even the smallest accomplishment should be celebrated. success is overall series of small wins. Everyone has a different journey in motherhood and the worst thing you can do is compare yours to anybody else. Yours is unique and what is meant for you cannot be taken! It will happen when the time is right. YOU ARE CAPABLE.

Self Care Matters

Between house chores, work life, and being present for Isaiah, sometimes I neglect my well-being up until I'm burnt out.

We as single moms tend to forget to prioritize ourselves. We are so busy with our daily routines that it is easy to get lost in simply not making time or feeling guilty to do so.

It’s essential to nurture yourself, your needs, and your desires, especially as a single mom.

I constantly am trying to find time in the day for me, whether it is lighting up a candle and catching up on a show in my pj's, doing a workout, grabbing dinner with a friend, and even choosing who to have access to in my life! My mental health is important not only for myself but for my son as well because he feels the energy I bring home.

I've let go of people in my life who constantly had me in a negative mindset or simply weren't adding on anything good. We as single moms don't have the luxury of energy and time to give therefore we need to protect it with care.

Dating is challenging

On top of raising a child on our own and balancing out life, it makes it difficult to try and figure out where dating fits in between.

If dating without children can be a messy combination of fun and frustrating, dating WITH a child(ren) poses its own unique challenges.

I remember growing up watching the movie Are We There Yet, with Ice Cube, and always thought to myself, WOW, that guy loves that woman to put up with those kids. Now as a mom myself with a kid, I see how it is a challenge on both ends to enter the dating world with a child(ten) involved.

There are so many truths to unfold about welcoming a person into your life... and your child's life, on top of simply enjoying the moment and even finding TIME to make it happen.

I have yet to figure this out but I know it is worth the wait and it's OK not to tolerate less than what you and your child deserve!

Having faith is key

How I see faith may not be the same way you do and that is OK. We all follow a religion that works best for us.

Faith played an essential role in my life because I found it when I needed it the most.

When I lost my son's Dad, I was only 20 years old. Luckily, I was introduced to a new church around the same time where I met amazing people who helped me grow my faith and make it through.

Having faith and following a religion doesn't equal perfection. It is a personal journey between YOU and God (Whichever religion you may follow) and leaning on an ongoing learning experience out of your own comfort.

As a Christian, keeping my faith and having God as my foundation has helped me tremendously on the days I simply can't keep myself sane as a woman and mother.

There are times I neglect realizing that which is when my anxiety kicks in and I feel a lack of control over anything in my life especially when it comes to raising Isaiah.

In the end, despite these truths, I constantly remind myself:

You will learn that as each day passes, you are stronger than the day before. You will learn to let the wall you've built so strong and so tall down a little when needed. You will learn to love again, trust again, and truly believe that you are where you're meant to be and that everything happens for a reason.