All the Single Ladies
Mother’s Day can feel like torture for a single mom. I’ve been doing the single mom thing for a while now and it hasn’t gotten easier. I often feel unseen and filled with hurt on a day that I should be celebrated. I’ve been divorced for 5 years and my daughter’s father has been absent from our lives for most of that time. So, in general, I get no gifts from my daughter Alex (6-years-old) or a partner on significant holidays.
As I child, I remember going with my Dad to pick out ridiculous gifts for my mom for a variety of occasions. I’ve given her button covers, pots, pans, and a vacuum (at the insistence of my father that she would truly love it–she DID NOT); however Mother’s Day was always something extra special. I’ve always recognized the importance of that day. While my mother and I have had a complicated relationship plagued with abuse and trauma, I never felt she wasn’t worthy of celebration on Mother’s Day. I would create art for her, make horrible breakfast concoctions, and fill her bedroom with a variety of lackluster kid’s projects that would be met with so much joy. I think back on those days as I look at my little girl who has no one there to coach her on this holiday – and it brings me a tremendous amount of sadness.
Social media has become the biggest trigger because I see other moms getting the recognition they deserve! Homes full of flowers, gifts, spa days, pictures and brunches in their honor. I find myself with deep levels of jealousy for having no one deem me important enough to spoil. No one to give me cards, chocolates, and flowers. It sends me into a shame spiral because I feel like this may be different if I had a husband. If my marriage hadn’t failed, maybe I would be someone worthy of celebration. Not this struggling single mom trying to keep her shit together for her kid. Not this single mom who sits with her married mom friends and can’t relate because, well, it’s honsetly not the same.
So here we are. My 6th Mother’s Day. It’s awful, but for the first time, not because I don’t feel like I’m not enough. COVID-19 has stripped away some of that shame and sense of failure. I see moms everyday struggling to keep their shit together through this pandemic and I don’t feel alone. Being the sole provider for my daughter, being her teacher, her best friend, her playmate and her confidant has changed me. I am worthy of celebration, even if it’s only me celebrating myself. I’m amazing! I’m a good mom! Although, I feel slightly weirded out by the fact that it took a global pandemic for these feelings to emerge, but better late than never.
To all my single Mom’s out there, you are doing the damn thing. I see you! You are phenomenal, you are vibrant, you are beautiful, you are worthy of love, and you deserve all of the joy. Happy Mother’s Day you Magical Bitch! And if no one has told you today, you’re doing a great job, Sweetie!
Allie is Supermom to Alexandria, and the Market Director of Cool Moms of Hudson County.