I can remember being a little girl and being fascinated with jugglers. It was mesmerizing to watch them throw the balls in the air in rhythmic fashion. Over and over again, the balls would sail through the sky and somehow, some way, the juggler would catch the balls, never dropping them. And just when you thought they would drop a ball, skillfully the juggler would catch the ball again. Then just like that, they’d keep juggling. I was so enamored with juggling that I began to try to learn. First with two balls. Once I mastered juggling with two balls, I picked up a third. After I successfully conquered that, my friends thought it would be a good challenge to toss in a fourth ball. They assumed I was so good at the first three that surely I could do four. They were wrong. I couldn’t handle them all. I was a rhythmless, uncoordinated mess.
This is my life as a single-mom. Some days, things are going great. They seem to work out as smoothly as juggling three balls. Then *BAM* all of a sudden a fourth ball gets tossed in and everything comes crashing down. Being a single-mom is probably the greatest challenge I’ve faced yet, but it’s the most rewarding. I am mom to an amazing 10 year old girl. She lights up my world! This girl is bright, funny, kindhearted, and good natured. Not to mention she’s cute as a button! I wouldn’t trade being her mama for anything!
Being a single-mom takes moxie. I wear so many hats that sometimes I feel like the guy from the “Caps for Sale” book. From mom, to maid, to chef, to chauffer, to tutor, to nurse, to playmate and more. Add to that working a 40-hour week as an accounting administrator. Pile on a mentor. Sprinkle in some creative entrepreneur and blogger. Mix in a little of everything I do for my church. And then stir in the things I want to do for rest, relaxation and recreation. It’s almost exhausting just writing it all out. I usually don’t think about it all because it can be overwhelming at times. To be honest, I run on Jesus, about 5 to 7 hours of sleep and coffee most days. I go to Starbucks so much that they know me by name and by order. It’s kind of sad, but it also feel a little like Cheers- where everybody knows your name!
I digress. Being a working single-mom was definitely not the plan. And it wasn’t God’s plan for me either. But I tell you more than anything, He is the reason I am able to do anything. I had my daughter when I was 19 years old, right out of high school and because of His grace and strength, I’ve been able to finish college, travel, and pursue my dreams all while being a single-mom. Through much prayer, many bumps and bruises, and much grace, I’ve learned a lot. Here are the three things that help me successfully juggle being a single, working, mom.
JUST DO IT
Nike was on to something when they coined this phrase. As a single, working, mom, I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to pull up your big girl pants and do it because there’s no one else around to do what needs done. The more you think about it and the more you analyze all the reasons why you can’t the more you’ll sit on your hinder parts and nothing will get done. I can’t afford to think about how I wish things were different or how tired I am. Sometimes I just have to pray and ask God to help me and then just do it. There was a period of time where I was working a full-time job, a part-time job, going to school full-time all while being a mom. If you were to ask me now how in the world I managed all of that, I really couldn’t tell you. I just did what needed to be done. I was determined to see my goal realized so I mustered up what I could and did it.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
If I didn’t have a solid support system, nothing that I do would ever be possible. Just because I’m a single mom doesn’t mean that I’m raising my daughter alone (thankfully!). Friends and extended family are my support system. They help with any and everything! They support her extracurricular activities, help with school supplies, help with homework when needed and shower her with love. Although I do all that I can, I can’t do it all. Those are two totally different things. My support system keeps me grounded and keeps me sane.
ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES
I’ve created a rhythm as a single mom. Just like the juggler with the balls, my daughter and I have created systems and schedules that work for us and keep things running smoothly. But sometimes, life likes to throw in a fourth ball and send everything topsy turvy. I’ve learned that that’s okay. Sometimes you just have to go with it. Great example- I had 5 hours of paid time off (PTO) left at the end of last year. I was saving it to take off early on New Year’s Eve. Then right before winter break from school, literally the second to last day, she got sick. I ended up having to take time off work and use my PTO. There are times where thing will happen that are outside of your control and in those moments, I’ve learned to just laugh it off and keep going. Those are the moments that teach the best lessons anyway!
Everyday is a new adventure being a single parent. Some days are great and some days are not. Some days are easy and other days you cry yourself to sleep. Some days you think you’re the best mom in the world and other days you’re wrecked with mom-guilt. But then there are days when out of the blue my kiddo kisses me on the cheek, squeezes my neck and tells me she loves me the mostest as she skips away. In those moments, she reminds me that it’s all worth it.
Hi, I’m Brittany
I’m a writer at blossomingbrittany.co, where I blog all about learning and growing from life’s everyday lessons. I live in Columbus, Ohio with my awesome 10 year old daughter. I’m obsessed with Target and Starbucks and all things cozy! I’d love to hear from you! Find me on social media!