So far the beginning of this year has been more stressful than I would have liked. My car needed work that cost more money than I had or could get on my own. One income just does not cover the extra financial needs that life throws at you. Luckily I was able to utilize my natural supports to help in that area. However, knowing that I am unable to provide that for myself, by myself, has been defeating to my spirit. Trying to make the choice that a single parent often finds themselves in of having to choose between a second full-time job to make ends meet, which will inevitably take away any time with your child, or being stuck in a financial rut unable to become financially stable yet being able to keep the connection with your child, has been keeping me up many nights.

However, as I walk out my door each and every day and face the people in my world, no one would ever know the worry and stress that I carry with me. For me, keeping it all together is very important in order for me to be able to manage my career and parenting. And here is how I personally do it:

1. My Daily Reminders – As much as my son tells me I ruin his life (his little 4-year-old life) when I set boundaries, he tells me more how much he loves me. He is a happy kid with such a good heart who tells me in detail how I make him happy and why he loves me. This wonderful kid makes sure to remind me how much I mean to him. That alone keeps me going. It reminds me of what I am doing right and takes away my focus on what I feel I may be doing wrong.

2. What I Have Been Providing – If I take a step back and look around and take a personal inventory, I can see what I have been able to provide for my son. A small but nice home, he has everything that he needs and some things that he wants. I can occasionally take him to events, big or small, that help to create wonderful memories for us. I may be “broke” but there is always a way to make great memories.

3. My Child’s Personality – I am often proud of how my son handles the world at his little age. He is confident, cautious, loving, happy, and is always aware of the emotions of others. This of course makes me very proud. It reminds me that no matter what I am feeling or going through personally, I have somehow been able to keep myself in check to never allow him to have to deal with adult situations.

I definitely have had my emotional meltdowns for a number of reasons, but the fact that I have been able to raise a happy, healthy child is what keeps me from giving up when I feel like that’s all I want to do. No matter what status us mothers fall into, married, single, or solo. We all have our “I’M SO DONE! I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!” moments. We have to just remember that we are strong and we are capable.