What I’ve Learned as a (Single) Mom

Girls day at the farm. (Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)
Horsin’ around at the farm. (Photo Credit: K. Vincent)

Alright, truth be told, I am not a single mom. I did, however, get a little taste of what it might be like to be one when my husband recently was gone for a long weekend. Boy, oh boy, all you single mammas out there… I salute you! Being a parent is hard work (I think we all know that here) but a single parent? You, my friend, must have super powers.

I love my children beyond measure and I enjoy spending time with them. Despite those facts, I was a little panicked about my husband leaving me alone for: 3 nights of bedtime routines; 1 morning of getting them both ready and out the door on a work day (“YES you WILL use the potty before we leave the house!”); 2 visits to family members’ houses; 1 morning of getting ready for, and going to, church (they went into the childcare room during the service so I could avoid any embarrassment caused by my children’s potential outbursts), 1 errand (I cheated and did as much as I could before my husband left), 7 meals together, 1 trip to the farm, 1 bath (1 out of 3 isn’t bad, right?), and about 100 “Keep calm and mother on” moments….but hey! who’s counting?

What a beautiful day to feed Lucky the pig! (Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)
What a beautiful day to feed Lucky the pig! (Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)
Ready for Church! (Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)

I learned some valuable lessons about myself, my kids, and motherhood in general along the way:

  •  Single moms make Wonder Woman look like Minnie Mouse.
  • Children know when you are outnumbered. THEY KNOW!
  • It is difficult not having your partner there to jump in when you’ve reached your boiling point and need to call for back up.
  • For every child a mother has, she should also grow an extra set of arms. Two are just NOT ENOUGH!
  • Having the opportunity to spend some extended quality alone time with my girls was just plain awesome. I didn’t even have to share any of the attention with their daddy.
  •  You cannot possibly control everything so in order to stay sane you have to roll with the punches as best you can, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
Who knew lunch could be this fun?(Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)
Who knew lunch could be this fun?(Photo Credit: C. Corrigan)
  •  Remember to pick and choose your battles. When your 3-year-old takes the initiative and gets herself dressed, who really cares if it doesn’t match!?? She did it BY HERSELF! Just smile and say, “Great job!” while taking a picture to laugh at with your friends and co-workers later.
  • I was in awe of how my 3-year-old appreciated some of the “little things.” After her 1-year-old sister went to sleep on our last daddy-free night, we watched a movie, ate popcorn, laughed at all the funny parts, and cuddled. She thought it was the most exciting thing ever and when I was putting her to sleep she sweetly said, “Thank you for the popcorn mama! You’re my best mommy ever!” (Yes, my heart melted).

But above all else…

I realized I want to spend more mommy and daughter time with my girls. It is so easy to get caught up with schedules and the craziness of the week that I we don’t have the opportunity to spend as much one-on-one time together as I would like. So that is going to change. This weekend I am taking to Caroline to her first movie in the theater and out to lunch. And you know what? There is nothing else I would rather do!


9 comments on “What I’ve Learned as a (Single) Mom”

  1. Great article, Carly!!! And we wonder why some women stay married for the “sake of the children”. LOL

  2. As a single mom, thank you for your story. I love my kids but they can be relentless and exhausting at times. I appreciate the time alone when my kids are visiting their dad, either to do errands, shopping or just to get a break. I miss them terribly and feel guilty about getting a break.

  3. I am MEGA impressed that you made it to church!! We have a hard time getting that done with both parents. I agree– when I’m flying solo with the boys, there are things I love about it, but I am always really happy when my husband gets home. Single moms– and moms with significant others in the military– deserve MAJOR applause for what they do!

  4. I completely get this..my husband commutes 90 minutes each way and leaves at the crack of dawn and arrives back home often after I’ve fallen asleep on the couch. While this is in no way comparable to the stress of being a single parent, it’s just a small taste of how challenging life is for single mothers.

  5. Great post! And i totally feel you…on teh frustrating…and the awesome! My husband works a lot and so i am left alone with my two boys often..and while its gets tiring and stressful, i can agree with you that it is awesome to not have to share the attention and just have that two-on-one (LOL) time. When it is just me and my boys, they make me feel like SuperWoman 🙂 But yes- full time single moms definitely deserve a permanent S on their chest…my mom did it and i have no idea how!!!

  6. I love this post! Perfect timing, as I’m on mommy duty this weekend. I keep telling Z that it’s “Girls Weekend!” to hype it up! LOL

  7. Great Post! I only have one right now, but my husband stays home and I don’t know how he does it sometimes! We’ve had a couple nights when it’s just been my and my little man and it was A LOT of work, but truly awesome to get some mother-son time without Daddy.

  8. Awww, great post! I secretly love my solo parenting times because it really does up the mommy-kid bonding…there’s just something special about having your kids all to yourself. once in a while 😉

  9. Wonderful post and I totally agree – single moms are incredible! I love that this experience made you realize you want to have more mommy-daughter time, that is so special and wonderful. Can’t wait to follow along and read about how that goes.

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