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August 2017

Truth about single mothers

August 28, 2017

Let me start from the beginning.

I’m a single mother. But I’ve always disliked this designation, so one day I simply decided to become a Supermom. Because single moms are moms with many arms who somehow manage to do everything on their own.

And because it sounds better and more powerful than the ordinary “single mother”.

I became a Supermom by chance. If I’d had a choice six years ago, I’m not sure I would have preferred to raise my daughter with a partner.

No, it’s not sour grapes. For six years now I have been acting like Shiva (Hindu deity with eight arms), and the fact is that I have already grown accustomed to that kind of parenting. I make all the decisions alone and I am the only one responsible. I don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission or help. And although I do need help, by all means, I can’t always count on it. This is why I always make plans like I can only rely on myself, which is true most of the time.

Has it been easy? Not in the least. I’ve felt abandoned and helpless. I’ve been hurt.

Anyone would feel hurt after coming to terms with the fact that the truth is a bit different from what one used to believe in.




I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s been through these.

But I always pretended I was fine. I used to hide my fear, helplessness and loneliness from others. I used to hide behind being constantly busy; I walked with my head high, and tried to act like everything was under control.

I used to cry at night, when my child was asleep and couldn’t hear me.

Nobody was allowed to see me with puffy eyes, so I hid behind the makeup and the image of a “powerful, independent woman”.

I analyzed my life, my actions, my mistakes a million times.

I started doubting my sanity and my own value.

There was a time when I asked myself if I’d made the right choice and if my life could have been different, better, more fulfilled.

All of us have been in that dark place surely. Our value was assessed by others and we acted the way we thought we had to in order to be accepted.
The fact is that single mothers are not always accepted and fully appreciated everywhere. Our society always expects a woman with a child to be accompanied by her husband or the child’s father. Faced with these expectations, many single mothers spend years criticizing themselves and trying to block the thoughts that make them uneasy.

I was like that.

But the truth is:

There are no guarantees that everything would be easy, pleasant or even normal.

Things might turn out crazy, sad, unbelievable, dull, fabulous.

Our life is in our hands and we make the decisions. Nobody has the right to judge our lives, mistakes, happiness or misfortune.

We are worth what we believe we’re worth.

And we will live the way we see fit. With our head down or chin up.

Each one of us is an exquisite person.

What we think really matters because we raise little persons and guide them through life.

And we deserve all the best, the kind of respect and attention nobody has the right to deny us.

What I’ve learnt from FB

August 21, 2017

Social networks are amazing: fun and useful at the same time. The other day, I got a feed of my posts from 5 years ago on Facebook, including a photo of my daughter and me on our first trip. She was ten months old and had already embarked on a 10-day trip adventure with my friend and me. I looked at the photo in wonder, having trouble to recognise myself, let alone my daughter.
Peanut, as I called her then, grew from an impish toddler into a fine little girl. Where have all those years gone? And how? What was I doing? How did I spend those first five years of her life?

While we raise our kids, we make big plans for them and usually wish they could learn foreign languages, have a good education, get a good job and start their own families.

Buried under a pile of endless chores, as we try to make sense of this hectic life and resolve problems and dilemmas, we tend to forget that every day that goes by is gone forever and will never return.

We forget to soak up every moment of their childhood, each more significant and memorable than the other.

We always worry, comparing ourselves to other parents and our kids to their kids.
And then one day FB reminds me of a photo made five years ago. I felt like I was looking at another person.

A proud, but obviously clueless mother and a sweet little child.

Could I have imagined then what our lives would be like, how many silly things I’d do, how much time I’d lose, how many mistakes I’d make? Perhaps.

So, because of the FB’s On This Day feature and before I receive any of the future reminders which will bring back all my errors and make me aware of the time wasted on unimportant stuff, I want to try to be smart and happy for a change:


1. Nobody’s perfect. What matters is to do our best in each moment. We are all different, and so are our kids and our paths. The rule is – there are no rules.

2. If something really bothers me, I’ll try to change it. Changes are the only way to improve my life, and if I feel better, so will my child.  

3. I won’t pay too much attention to what other people say or think. My life is my business. It is I and not them who set the rules.

4. I am a good mother. I’m not a good cook, but it doesn’t matter. My child prefers eating spagetti without any sauce and – she loves hominy.

5. Kids are prone to doing silly things. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad parent. It simply means that kids are only kids.

6. Panic and nervousness are bad companions. The sooner you get rid of them, the better in the long run.

7. I often think that parenthood is extremely hard and stressful. And it is.

8. Sometimes we just have to be good to ourselves. A sink full of dirty dishes, piles of unironed clothes, untidy rooms? So what? Us mothers also need a break from time to time.

9. Children enjoy what we think is ordinary, unimportant stuff, such as going to the movies, buying popcorn, hugging.

10. Anything is possible if you really set your mind on it. In life, one should expect the unexpected.  

And always keep in mind that in life, like in travels, what matters most isn’t the final destination, but the journey itself.  

How I decided to face my fears

August 11, 2017


It felt like I’d been driving for days. As I clutched on the wheel with my sweaty hands, my left wrist began to hurt. The distance to our destination gradually decreased, although each mile was an agony, and it was already getting dark. Another 80, 75…

 If you think it was my ingenious idea to start a blog dedicated to single mothers and their kids, you’re wrong. Everything has been written before. In my ever so scarce free time, I’d searched the Internet for websites and stories that could help answer my questions – because everything is now so conveniently available and public. Some websites were interesting, some educational, and some featured posts by really witty people.

I spent most time browsing through motivational websites. I guess that’s what I needed most at the time: a motivational guru to lift my spirits, to help me get back on my feet whenever I started giving in to everyday’s worries and stresses.

Ladies seem to dominate the motivational market. In 500 to 700 words, they’ll tell you you’re wonderful and the burden you’re carrying so bravely is something to be proud of. They’ll convince you that it’s perfectly all right to feel miserable, exhausted and disappointed because you barely cope and make ends meet, that it doesn’t affect your kids at all because they don’t care about those things anyway and your love is all that matters to them, whereas they hardly ever notice your crankiness and grudging criticism.

However desperate I felt from time to time because of the slings and arrows of a single mom’s fortune, I wasn’t prepared for the motivational mottos. Still, some of those positive statements lingered in my mind as a philosophy of life I can understand and accept.

In short: nothing is ever easy for a single mom – at least, in my experience. Most of us were raised in traditional families, with a mom, a dad, and siblings. Totally unprepared, all of a sudden we are part of families which are now almost typical for the 21st century, composed of a mom and a child. And that’s it. Nobody else can really understand what it’s like. It’s hard, it’s tough. During the sleepless nights, we try to come up with the optimum solutions to our many problems. We are overworked, sometimes juggling multiple jobs, because there’s never enough money. We are committed to our children. We rarely find time for ourselves. Everything seems scary and we start fearing situations that may seem like a joke to others.

That’s right, I’m afraid

I’m afraid I won’t be able to teach my daughter real values.
I’m afraid she’ll be hurt in life and I won’t be there to protect her.
I’m afraid I won’t be able to help her through school, as she grows up.
I’m afraid I won’t have enough money.

Motivators teach us it’s ok to be afraid as long as we make an effort to face our fears. We will feel much better after we have tried and overcome certain problems, however huge and menacing they might seem at first.

Since this philosophy sounded reasonable and applicable, I decided to face my fears to improve our lives.  

We all fear something, but what we fear most is to admit to ourselves and others what it is that scares us so

Earlier, I wouldn’t dare drive my daughter to the seaside on my own. Although I’m an experienced driver, I’d never driven for so long in a single day. It might seem funny to you that the fear kept me awake for many nights before the journey. Believe it or not, I almost called it off.

And yet, I didn’t. So, six days ago, I was sitting behind the wheel, still some 80 miles away from our destination. It was getting dark and I started sweating and gripping the wheel harder. Every now and then I would make hopeful glances at the navigation device half expecting it to accelerate the mile count and show our destination, finally at hand.

We’re all afraid of something, and I’m no exception. I talk about my fears very reluctantly because I’m used to showing a brave face to the world, pretending to be an independent, strong woman who can deal with anything.  

I may be tempted to write a motivational post when I feel ready to share what I’ve learnt with others.  

Until then, I’ll admit I get scared a lot, but at least I’ve realized that fears are something that should be discussed and fought back. I’ve dealt with one and – triumphed.

There are all sorts of fears

Some fears are senseless, based on ideas and assumptions that exist only in our minds.

Some were successfully installed by our parents.

Many have simply become a part of who we are.

Some people are afraid of bugs, some of being alone. It’s all fine, but it’s up to us to work on ourselves and overcome some situations, set ourselves free and ensure a happier existence to our children.