To the single mom during the holidays,
I’ve thought of you as I bought each gift for my daughter this holiday season, knowing it would just be me watching her unwrap them. There’s an unspoken loneliness lingering in the air while I wonder what it would have been like if things “were different,” but also grateful they’re exactly as they are.
I know this time of year is overwhelming. No one sees that you are one person juggling a load for two.
You will be on my mind while I put my daughter’s toys together, caught between pride and resentment for having to do it on my own. I see you trying to fill everyone’s cup while yours spills on the floor—and there’s no one to help you clean up the mess.
I’ve thought of you on my sleepless nights over decisions and deadlines, wishing I could dump my woes onto someone who would carry some of the weight. I know you’re exhausted from plotting how to bend time and stretch dollars without a place to fall. I see you struggling to stand while lifting the world in your hands with a child at your feet.
I know this time of year can stir up some grief. There’s the gut-wrenching question of whether your child feels “the difference,” contemplating on what the balance is between “overcompensation” and “just enough” to make sure they don’t. I see you burying your sadness, digging up whatever bliss you can so your children can feel the essence of the holiday spirit.
I’ve thought of you with every mixed emotion that’s come along. Single motherhood is a medley of melancholy and magic depending on the day. I know you’re running on empty for most of them. I see you suffering from guilt for overworking despite knowing it’s all for your children.
I know some days you wallow in your worries and other times you feel secure. It’s okay for both emotions to exist. You are running a one-woman show and we both know you will always find a way to put on the production of a lifetime. I see you balancing babies, business affairs, and budgets, never batting an eye when it comes time to give your child the best you’ve got.
I’ve thought of how incredible you are. Shattering the stigma of what it means to be a solo parent, ignoring the assumptions that you do not have what it takes on your own. You have it all within you. I know you may not feel it all the time, but your best is enough.
I see the way your love expands far beyond what you ever thought it could reach.
I know you’ve got this. You will be on my mind as I place each present under the tree, searching for the second cup of coffee I’ve poured that’s gone cold. I will be with you while you revel in their joy on Christmas morning, making space for the tears you hold back, inhibiting my own from pouring over the dirty breakfast dishes in the sink.
Never forget that you are the center of a home layered with unwavering love. You are at the helm of building foundations, making memories, and establishing traditions that will breathe life through you.
Hold onto hope in the trying moments, and reflect on just how far you’ve come amidst the chaos. Have faith in the journey, and trust that you are right where you’re supposed to be along this path.
I am so proud of you, single mama. You’re doing an admirable job at never giving up.