Kristina Paukshtite

6 Things You Learn When You Become A Single Mother

We grew up in a generation starting to see our mothers, grandmothers, and friends raising their children single. You don’t really understand it until you get a little older and realize just how titanium they are. How they left situations regardless of what society told them in spite of their unhappiness. How they’re holding up two jobs or even more while they juggle being a mom or even going back to school. You grow up thinking Wonder Woman is a fictional superhero until you realize you’ve had her right at home.

It wasn’t until years later I started to see a repetitive pattern in the men my mother chose and how I chose my partners. Our parents shape the way we view love, which shapes who we choose to be our partners. Instead of staying in a situation that was making me unhappy, I chose to break the cycle. Unfortunately, I was pregnant at the time, and the realization of my poor decisions hit me full force. The weight on my shoulders was unbearable as I realized the father could no longer be the foundation my soon-to-be child and I needed.

Sometimes we need things to slap us in the face hard in order to realize this cycle we’ve grown up watching in the first place, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. These situations make us tougher and wiser. These situations build resistance and resilience. Regardless of the pain single mothers may endure at times, most of us can tell you we wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sometimes you think you have it all figured out and believe they’re the one only to realize years down the line you two are no longer compatible. Some people get married only to get divorced a year later. Other times, you get caught up in rough situations others can’t fully comprehend, or maybe you happen to be a foster parent helping a child in need. Either way, a child needs a loving and safe home, even if that means you have to be on your own temporarily. Here’s what being a single mother has taught me.

1. You become more responsible. Your life isn’t only about you anymore—you’re looking out for two. You’re more careful and you develop a radar for bullshit, which keeps you and your little one safer in the long run.

2. Your standards with men become higher. You know you and your significant other are role models that your child will be looking up to, so you make sure you don’t make the same mistakes you did with the last. You’re quicker to leave when you see the red flags. You’re looking for someone more stable, serious, and who is capable of not only loving you but loving your child just as much.

3. You may lose your friends who don’t have children, but that’s okay because the right ones will come along and replace them. Not everyone can understand why you have to stay in on the weekend because you can’t find a babysitter or you don’t want to leave them but your job is parenting now, not always looking for a good time. In the end, you find yourself surrounded by people who are more cautious, and it’s a good thing.

4. People are better than you think. You see the world in a new lens because your little one brings joy wherever they go, lighting up the grocery store or the playground. Your interactions with people seem more pure and innocent because babies radiate happiness.

5. Your days may sometimes feel like you’re missing out, but when bedtime comes around and you hear that “I love you, mommy” and get to look over to a beating heart that you’ve made, you wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. Your nights are spent tucking in a mini you and your early tired mornings are spent making sure your little one has everything needed for school. Your schedule revolves around them, which in return makes you more selfless and builds character.

These are some of many blessings being a single mother or even a mother in general has taught me. It isn’t only a full-time job, it’s a lifestyle change and personal makeover. Your senses and empathy levels become higher because you understand just how much power you have raising another life into this world. You obtain so much strength by the person it has now turned you into. You begin to better understand the heartache other parents have endured or how the world needs repair for the sake of our children’s future. Your patience is building as you build a healthy character for your child to admire. You strive to be the best you can be, even on the days you don’t feel good enough, because in the end, you just want your little one to be able to say “That’s my mommy” with a tone of confidence.

With every unpretty battle single mothers may face and the backlash we may get from society, this article is here to remind you that you aren’t alone. You’re one of the many wonder women with a strength so fierce, you deserve to be reminded everyday how incredible you are.