By Mira Reverente
I hear these a lot:
“You’re a single mom? Does it scare you sometimes?”
“Do you have help? You must be always exhausted.”
“It must be nice not to have to share anything with a spouse.”
“Yes” to the first two and a resounding “oh yeah!” to the last one. Single parenthood can be exhausting, terrifying, gratifying and a whole mixed bag of emotions depending on the day.
Sure, I’ve had to make plenty of major adjustments as a brand-new single mom four years ago, but I’ve also learned and realized a few things along the way, including the following:
- I no longer have to share the bed and the closet. I can sleep diagonally and hog the comforter without making any apologies. I don’t have to make the bed if I don’t feel like it, although I always do. Okay, sometimes I don’t, on rare Sunday mornings.
- I and I alone am responsible. Whether it’s the unfolded laundry or the busted light bulb, it will be there until I take care of it. My mile-long list also includes the “check engine” light in the car and the permission forms that constantly need to be turned in at summer camp.
- There won’t be any surprises on my bank or credit card statements. Since I have solo access to my bank and credit cards, my stress level has gone down many notches now that I am no longer getting hit with surprise purchases or fees.
- I am the comforter-in-chief. No one else will take care of sick, sad or broken-hearted kids. Just me.
- Vacations can be daunting. The first time we went on a father-less vacation, I was intimidated. I thought, “I’m driving to Canada all by myself?” But guess what? Planning vacations can be gratifying too. Not only do you get to make solo decisions on driving, accommodations and your itinerary, you get to relish making wonderful memories with your kids all by yourself.
How about you? What do you know now that you’re a single mom? Do share!
Mira Reverente is associate editor of CVH and a longtime journalist whose work has appeared in many local publications. Her first book on money came out last fall. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, for more money savviness tips or check out her new blog.