To The Single Mom On Mother's Day

by Shawna Wingert
A single mom holding her son as she's celebrating Mother's Day with him.
Maravic / iStock

Dear Single Mom,

I have been thinking of you all week long. As the days grew closer, I couldn’t help but remember you.

Mother’s Day is a mixed day for you, I know. I was a single mom for almost five years. My sister was for seven, and my mother has been a single mom for almost the entirety of her four children’s lives.

Mother’s Day is an awkward holiday for the single mom.

Without a husband, without a dad, who will pamper you, encourage your children to let you sleep in, make you breakfast, and shower you with gifts?

It’s unfair. You deserve these things as much as any other mom.

There may also a part of you that feels bad for your child on Mother’s Day. You wish they had someone to help them with the elaborate gift they dream of giving you. You worry that your sons might grow up not really knowing how to care for their wives, or that your daughters won’t know how to accept their husbands’ care.

It hurts to feel sadness and guilt on a day that is supposed to be about celebrating you.

Maybe you feel angry, wounded, left-out, not enough.

Maybe you have a great “support system” and love them dearly. But at the end of the day, after the barbecue they invited you to has ended, as grateful as you are, you still go home to it being all on you.

Maybe you are like my mom, and have gone a few Mother’s Days without your children really being old enough to remember to do anything anyway. The day passes, year after year, just like any other.

Shawna Wingert

To those of you who are single moms, this is what I want you to know about Mother’s Day.

The most difficult part about being a single mom for me was the intense pressure of responsibility. It was all on me — providing, nurturing, caring for, teaching, disciplining — it felt like there was no safe place to just be.

Being a single mom can be crushing.

So for Mother’s Day this year, I want to gently, lovingly say, you are not alone.

Even if you have absolutely no help.

Even if you have been a widow since your child was a baby.

Even if your children’s father left you without any involvement on his part.

You are not alone.

Shawna Wingert

For Mother’s Day this year, I hope you get some rest.

I hope you get a sweet handmade card or craft from school.

I hope the people who love you see you and shower you with attention.

I hope your children give you an extra hug, sweet snuggles, and plenty of smiles.

I hope you splurge a little and see a movie or get a manicure. Bring the kids. The other ladies at the salon will understand, and even if they don’t, that’s on them — it is Mother’s Day after all. If nothing else, serve the meals you like (no chicken fingers) and bake your own cake. Let the kids decorate it (but trust me, don’t leave them alone with the sprinkles).

And even if none of this happens, I hope that deep down, you would hear me, would believe me when I say:

You are a momma. You are so very special and important and powerful.

I am celebrating you this weekend.

There is no one like you in your child’s life. You can do this. You will do this.

Happy Mother’s Day.