Another year has gone by and my beautiful son just turned 4 years old. It amazes me that so far, I have been able to raise a happy, healthy, well-behaved child on my own. Being a solo parent has its struggles financially, physically and emotionally but as most of us moms do…I push through it to make life work.

I remember the day that I told my son’s father the news that I was pregnant and the response that he gave me shocked me into an emotional state that I was not expecting. I did not cry, I did not get mad or upset, I surprisingly felt empowered. I was calm and centered and made a choice that I did not need to have this man around if he chose not to be, nor will I try to force the issue. So from that day forward, I took this path alone. I decided that I was not going to pity my situation but rather take the bull by the horns and try to be that super solo mom that I knew I had to be. I made sure I had all my ducks in a row, I found a great child care facility and pediatrician, I even made sure to contact Child Support Enforcement and a lawyer all by the time my second trimester rolled around.

Telling my loved ones the news did not receive a warm welcome either. I was inundated with negative talk and questions. It took everything I had in me to try to stay positive and made sure to keep myself around the people who did support my decision. There were people who questioned why I made the choice to be a single mom with all the information and statistics about children from single parent homes. My only answer has been that from as far back as I can remember I have always wanted to be a mom, and at 38 I felt this was my only chance. (I also never allowed statistics and negative talk to dictate my life.)

Being a solo parent has had some great benefits. For example, my son’s preschool has a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day lunch every year. I get to attend both and get twice the little special gifts he makes for me. I do not have the struggles that co-parenting can sometimes present, and I get ALL the love. It has been easy to develop a working daily routine with him and to build a great relationship as a foundation. As much as I would like to, I can’t take all the credit, or credit any of this to being a solo mother, my son happens to be pretty well-tempered most of the time.

Solo parenting has its rough times as well, it is not always flowers and sunshine. Financial struggles are the most concerning, maintaining the monthly bills is not always an easy task. I am often so tired that I feel it takes away from good quality time with my son. And it certainly does not leave room for free adult time away from my son, such as going out with friends or dating……..I don’t even know what that is anymore.

However, I believe that solo parenting does NOT have to be a sad and tragic situation. I have managed to find ways to make my life work that has worked out well for me to be able to handle each day. Keeping a positive attitude, focusing on the joys rather than the hardships, and having a strict routine has worked out very well. And when I get those wonderful hugs and kisses every morning, and at pick up from preschool, and all through out the evening, and hear his little voice tell me he loves me…. it definitely makes my choice worth each and every second.