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I never thought that I would ever refer to myself as a single mom.
Like every little girl, I dreamed of falling in love with a rich handsome man and then popping out a few kids. That is what every little girl dreams about right? Anyway, as I grew up, I decided that having kids wasn’t something I wanted. But I knew that if I ever did have kids, I would not be raising them alone. After watching a lot of people close to me go through life as single parents, I did not envy nor hope to struggle the way I watched them struggle. Both emotionally and financially.
Well, life doesn’t always work out the way you think it will. The moment I decided to have my daughter Lily, I knew I would be going through this new stage of my life on my own. I knew my child would never know her biological father. And I knew it would be something I would struggle with for the rest of my life.
The way I saw it, I had two options. I could pity myself and feel awful that I didn’t have a partner to help raise my child. Or I could focus on all the positive things about being a single parent. And what really surprised me was that there are actually positive things about being a single mom! In the hopes of inspiring others who might be in the same situation as me, I am writing this post about why I love being a single mom.
There is always a silver lining if you take the time to look for it. But if you don’t happen to have the time, I’ll show you! Just keep reading.
1. You have all the power.
One of the best things about being a single mom is being able to make all the decisions regarding your child all by yourself. You will never have to fight a different opinion than your own. You will have all the power! ( I’ve got the power…duh, duh, duh)
choosing baby names
I didn’t have to agree with anyone when deciding on a baby name. I loved the name Lily Ray and that was that. There was no one there to turn down my idea. I know that couples can’t always agree on what to name their child. I got to skip that part. Lucky me!
making medical decisions
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I made all the medical decisions for myself and Lily. I decided if/what genetic testing I wanted to be done, I decided to delay cord clamping after Lily was born, I decided to not give her a bath until we were home from the hospital, etc. There were so many medical decisions I made on my own. There was no one there to contradict any of my choices. I thought that was going to make me feel lonely, but instead, it made me feel grateful. I don’t regret anything I did or didn’t do because I was the sole decision-maker and nobody made any choices for me.
choosing sleeping arrangements
I knew from the very beginning I wanted to co-sleep with Lily. You can read more about my co-sleeping adventures here. It’s wonderful that I got to make that choice on my own. Our bed is a lot less crowded too. I don’t have to worry that anyone will roll over on my baby. Lily and I are free to move around and sleep whichever way is most comfortable for us. I consider myself lucky that I was able to follow through with something I felt so strongly about with no opposition.
deciding what kind of diet your child will have
There are many decisions regarding Lily’s diet that I am so happy I get to decide on my own. What parents decide to feed their children is a very important thing. I know for a fact that it can be a point of tension. I have decided to raise Lily to be a vegan. At least until she can tell me herself she doesn’t want to eat that way. And that choice is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea. I don’t want to name names, but I know parents who have fought about what kind of food they will allow their children to eat. So getting to choose on my own what kind of diet Lily will be raised on, is defiantly one of the perks of being a single mom.
2. You will have an incredible bond.
Having a baby is a huge responsibility. Most people get to share that responsibility with a partner. Single parents take on the enormous task of raising a child completely on their own. And while that may seem like a lot of pressure, and sometimes it is, it will create a bond between you and your child that is like nothing you’ve ever felt before.
Even while I was pregnant, I felt like Lily and I were a team. Like it was just us against the world. Now I am not saying that you can’t have a strong bond with your child if the father is in the picture. It’s just different.
I will be the one person to make sure she is provided for. The one person to make sure she is happy. The one person to make sure she is clean and fed and all her needs are being met. There is no one there to pick up the slack if I fall short. That fact has made the bond between me and Lily so strong.
Just a quick side note. I am EXTREMELY lucky to have had the support of my parents and my entire family from the moment I got pregnant. I would not have been able to do any of this without them. And I know if Lily ever needed them, they would be there in a heartbeat. So while I am her only parent, my family helps so much whenever they can. And I am so blessed and grateful to have them in my life.
3. You will find a strength you didn’t know you had.
When people found out that I was going to have a baby and that I was going to do it alone, they all said the same thing. They would say, “You’re so brave!” or “I could never do what you’re doing, I don’t have the strength.” I honestly didn’t feel like I was being brave. I felt scared and worried like I was just doing what I needed to do. I did not feel strong.
It took me a while to realize it, but they were right. Being a 25-year-old single mom was not going to be easy. Other girls in my shoes might not have taken on the challenge as I had. I made a decision that required bravery and strength. And I made that decision completely oblivious to that fact. I found a strength I didn’t know I had.
I surprised myself through my pregnancy and motherhood so far, over and over again. I didn’t think I could go to all my doctor’s appointments alone, but I did. I didn’t think I could give birth without the father of my child being present, but I did. I didn’t think I could be so happy raising Lily alone, but I am!
With all that being said, of course, being a single mother is not my dream come true. And if I had the choice between being a single mother or having a loving partner to raise my child with, I would obviously choose option number two. And putting my personal needs and emotions aside, every child deserves a father. My daddy is one of my favorite people in the whole world and it breaks my heart that Lily won’t have what I had. But if I spent my days thinking about all of the bad stuff, I would be an incredibly unhappy person. That would not benefit Lily in any way.
If you are in a similar situation as me or just in a situation that could be seen as bad, I hope this can inspire you to look for the good. Sometimes we can’t change our circumstances, but we can change how we feel about them.
If you are a single parent or a child of a single parent, please share your experiences in the comments below!