A Note to Single Mamas

Single Mama,

I see you.

I’ve *been* you for 10 years. I know how hard it is to do things on your own.

Lean into it.

Through the overwhelm and challenge comes your strength and empowerment. Through the worry over your kids, and staying motivated by what’s right for them, comes a lifelong bond with them that will surpass anything their other parent/abuser puts them through.

Remember that you left the abuse for yourself, and for the kids. Don’t second guess that decision. You made the right decision, hard as the result is.

I repeat: You were right.

Hear me in this, too:

Eventually the loneliness gives way to freedom and independence. You want freedom and independence, truly, because those are the foundations of a healthy life, which you need for your own peace and to have healthy relationships.

Don’t rush finding a new partner. Don’t romanticize finding a new partner. You don’t need anyone to save you, because you can (and should) save yourself. You also need to find your center, to figure out what your standards are and establish your boundaries. This takes time and practice, because we remain vulnerable to the people who will treat us wrong until we figure it out.

Focus on learning everything you can about yourself. Who are you? What defines you? How do you need to navigate your new life? What kinds of people and behaviors shouldn’t have access to the new you? How will you protect yourself?

I don’t want you to listen to the cliched advice that “you have to love yourself before someone else can,” but I DO want you to know that finding the path to loving yourself is a worthy process, and only good things will come from it. You deserve that.

Single motherhood isn’t a life sentence, and it isn’t a cross to bear. After what you’ve been through, it’s a gift, and it’s a badge of honor.

Hold your head up. Shoulders back. Keep breathing.

You’re f*cking amazing.

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