It's been over three years and I'm still single and a Mom...and I couldn't be happier. It's not that I'm a bad partner or that I don't want love in my life. When I am in a relationship I pour all of my energy into being the best girlfriend I can be, but dating just hasn't been working for me. I'm not looking for a knight in shining armor, or a "baby-daddy" (I have one of those and he's just fine, thanks) and I sure-as-hell am no longer looking for a relationship to define me as a person. Been there, done that...and it was awful. I had to learn to face myself and what I need head on and change how I felt about being alone and a mother. Now, after many moons have past, I can finally say that I am OK with being single and a Mom. Here's 10 reasons why:
1. I have a man in my life, and he's three. I am focused on raising my son. I don't have the time or the energy for making sure someone else is taken care of right now. It's the truth. Trust me, I have tried. Online dating is horrible, Tinder is basically like a bat-signal for weirdos, meeting men in bars means meeting drunks in bars (no thanks) and I'm just not willing to spend my free time away from the house trying so to catch feels for a man I don't need right now. Honestly, I would rather just hang out with friends, no expectations of love or courtship and have a good time. When I started to do that very thing, I no longer felt imprisoned by the idea that every woman needs a partner. I don't.
2. I have control of the remote...after bedtime. I can watch whatever I want and it's glorious. No sportsball shows eating up every waking moment! I can marathon watch HGTV and no one is there to judge, preach or complain. Totally worth it.
3. I have to focus on me. When I became a single mother I lost all focus on myself. I gained weight, I wasn't sleeping well, I was stressed out and distracted from my own commitment to being the best person (not just parent) that I could be. I have learned that if I don't eat right, exercise, and take care of myself there is no way I could ever entertain being in a relationship ever again. No man can ever take care of this stuff for me, I have to do it all for myself.
4. I can sleep in the middle of the bed...most of the time (unless kiddo is taking the whole damn thing.) No fights over the covers, no snoring, no man farts waking me mid-REM cycle. Win.
5. Facing loneliness makes you stronger. Without a man around I have had to learn what makes ME happy. Years of relationships made me focus on someone else. Being single meant that I had to face the loneliness head on and kick its ass. I am more sure of myself and my choices now than I ever have been, and it feels amazing. I own that shit and I take pride in this place that I am in today.
6. I don't have to pick up after another grown-ass adult who can't seem to find the laundry hamper or dishwasher. Do I have to pick up toys and clean up after my child all day? Yes. Do I have to "mom" anyone else? Oh, hell no.
7. You're not alone! There are a lot of single parents out there in the world. Find your tribe! They're out there! I also feel way more connected to my family and friends now than I have in all the years I spent in long-term relationships. I am making real connections with people again, and it eases the anxious feelings of being alone for the majority of the time.
8. It's forced me to get creative with the moments I share with my son. Kitchen dance parties, Mommy and B only nights, special trips just for the two of us, and Friday jamming out in the car after school...all the little things we come up with to make memories for our children will add up one of these day and they will look back on them and know that the times alone with their Mom was unique and happy and nothing was missing. I am enough.
9. I learned to embrace the "modern family" mentality. My son has a great father and his father lives with his girlfriend...and we're a family. Yes, all of us. I never heard of a family that is perfect (if they're out there in the world, good for them...but seriously, it's probably not true.) Ours is uncommon and that's ok. When it comes to children, they only feel different if you make them feel that way. We treat our family as a normal, functioning family unit....because it is, and that's all there is to it.
10. I know what kind of man I don't want. Before I became a parent I just went with my heart. I'm not saying it was wrong, and I'm not saying that those were bad choices or that they were bad men. They weren't at all, but it just didn't work for me then and it surely isn't going to work for me now. I am a completely different person than I once was. I'm more confident and self-assured, I feel freer to be myself (good, bad and ugly) which makes more less dependent on a man's approval, and I'm sexier than I ever have been in the past. Yes, that's right...I said it. I am way sexier now. My attractiveness now comes with my experience, a full heart and strength that only comes from surviving all of the shit I've been through.
...and maybe, just maybe one day someone will come along and be rad enough to appreciate all of these things about me and I won't be single anymore...