In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, we are giving a shout-out to the most amazing, tough, and hardworking among our ranks: the single moms.
It’s not just our opinion that single moms are awesome; science backs it up. After conducting a study on single moms versus married moms, researchers said, “Our findings illustrate that children are a focal point in an unmarried woman’s life, and that many important life decisions are made more responsibly for the sake of their child.”
That’s right: single moms are even more self-sacrificing than moms with partners. Pretty impressive.
Not only that, single moms navigate major decisions by themselves, doing all the research, making their own decisions, trusting their own judgment.
That is not for the faint of heart, my friends.
Here are just a few illustrations of their amazingness:
- Single moms make big, scary life decisions for their children without input from a partner.
Just recently my dear friend who’s a single mom had to decide where to enroll her daughter for kindergarten. We live in Los Angeles, where this is no easy feat. She had many options to debate: the local public school (assuming it’s halfway decent, which is not a given in Los Angeles), charter school lotteries, magnet school applications, and the crazy private school admissions game.
I did this dance a couple years ago before my son started kindergarten, and nearly lost my mind trying to figure out the “best” choice. I worked closely with my husband who helped keep me sane through the process.
My friend the single mom? She dealt with the entire situation, on her own, with grace, clarity, and decisiveness. In the end, after handling all the applications and paperwork, considering the myriad options, and listening to the input of friends and family, she made the decision that was right for her daughter. And then she owned it. No apologies, no explaining herself, no second-guessing.
She simply owned it.
- If, God forbid, a child has a health crisis, single moms navigate it by themselves.
When my daughter was 6 weeks old, she spent a week in the pediatric ICU for RSV and a collapsed lung. I would classify that experience as medium-level terrifying. I barely kept it together during that week, and I had the support of my equally-terrified husband the entire time. I cried a lot. In public. In front of doctors and nurses.
Then there’s my friend, who’s a single mom, and who recently learned that her son will need invasive surgery before he turns 1. Did she freak out and collapse? Maybe a little, in private, behind closed doors. But in public? She holds it together. She researched the absolute best doctors and hospital for her son’s care all by herself, met with the various members of his medical team, and arranged to take a brief leave from her job for the weeks after the surgery.
I have never seen someone in such an obviously frightening situation flat-out handle things.
- Single moms handle day-to-day logistics more efficiently than FedEx.
Going on a business trip? I guarantee you the single mom already has the babysitter booked and a perfectly organized to-do list posted in her kitchen.
Realize there’s no milk in the house? She’s already mentally built the grocery store run into her commute home this evening.
Daughter requesting a playdate? She’s already texted the parents of three school friends while in line for her latte at Starbucks.
Is this the first week of the soccer season? She’s already ordered new cleats and shin guards from Amazon Prime and informed the nanny about the time and place of practice (probably using CluckCluck App to do it, because hooray efficiency!).
I could go on and on and on. My single mom friends understand this stuff is all on them, and by and large they do not complain about it (although in my opinion they are absolutely entitled to do so). Instead, they simply keep their houses and schedules and army of caregivers organized with something close to military precision.
So this Sunday, if you know a single mom, send the girl some flowers. Take her kid for a playdate so she can enjoy a little time to herself. And tell her she’s amazing.
Because I guarantee you, she is.