There's a famous quote about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers that goes, "Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, backwards and in high heels."I think about that quote when I think about my life as a single mom: too much work, too little sleep, running in every direction, and once the kids were asleep, sinking onto the couch and giving myself a pep talk for the next day. There are so many things that people need to start saying about single moms; things that'll give them credit for doing everything that parents with partners do, but by themselves and while facing a ton of criticism.
Being a single parent is hard AF. It's literally one of the hardest things I have ever done and, to make things worse, I rarely got any credit or praise for doing it. Most of the time, I heard the exact opposite; comments about my parenting style, questions about what was "wrong with me," and even insults about how I was ruining my kids' lives by raising them alone.
Those comments hurt. A lot.
Single moms don't get nearly enough credit and feel way too much shame, while simultaneously doing the best they can in a situation that sometimes feels impossible. I had to learn to be smart, resourceful, creative, and flexible. Sometimes I failed epically – sitting on the side of the road in a rainstorm with two small kids waiting for a tow truck that never showed or not making it to school in time for pick up after an hour-long commute. Other times, I managed to meet everyone's needs and achieve a momentary balance of kids, school, work, and self. Those moments were rare and often fleeting, as I moved on to the next crisis or hurdle.
I want all of the single moms out there to know that they are enough. While their kids may never know or say "thank you" for how hard they worked to put dinner on the table or holiday gifts under the tree, I see you. I've been there. I get it. And I hope that everyone starts seeing single moms as the badasses they are and starts telling them that they are hard-working, tough, amazing moms who deserve to hear it every day.