Single Mom Christmas-Some words of Encouragement
Single Mom Christmas
I’m sitting here on my laptop, the Sunday before Christmas Eve. My feet are throbbing as they have been for 4 days. My husband is still sleeping in. Tomorrow I will work another 10-11 hours on my feet without a break or even lunch- just like the past few days. I’m not complaining. I’m simply explaining the dynamics of the holiday season for people like me.
I work retail. And Christmas is 2 days away.
I have worked retail for over 7 years now at the same place. BUT this year, is the first year in all that time, that I am not single.
So, unlike other years- I’m writing to you. Single moms.
I would have never done so before.
Did you know that “Holiday Music” gives me anxiety; I associate it with upset clients, long hours, working to make ends meet, paying bills in addition to providing Christmas gifts for my kids and being soo exhausted that in past years I have cried in the mornings as I get ready to go to work.
I remember last year on the way to work, I was feeling sorry for myself having to work Christmas eve, and decided to go through the Taco Bell Drive through to get a burrito as breakfast. The woman who stood at the window was my age. She was friendly and efficient. As I drove away- I remember thinking that she was probably a single mom just like me and while I was feeling sorry for myself- she may have been too- but she was pleasant all the same- and while I had the luxury of selling diamonds on Christmas eve- she was doing food service.
One isn’t better than the other- but I changed my attitude and felt GRATEFUL that I had the career I do.
There’s an army of single moms out there making the world go round, making ends meet, working the shifts no one else wants- because we will do whatever it takes- to give our kids Christmas.
So, I’m just writing to tell you single moms; “It’s okay.”
Other people won’t get it.
Married couples; families with stay at home Moms who bake cookies and complain about their spouses while they have the freedom to “Mom” and their food and shelter is paid for by someone else’s career. Families who see each other in the evenings because they aren’t working their second or third job. School teachers who send home “extra” fun suggestions for kid’s activities to do with their parents in the Holiday Season during their “days off” from school.
Those 2 parent families, who at the end of long days have someone to lie next to while they sleep or wake up to and kiss goodbye. Those who have the safety of a partner if a “bad guy” breaks in at night or they hear an unexplained noise.
They don’t get it who haven’t walked this path.
The path of knowing that if the bills aren’t paid by you- they aren’t getting paid. That in the life boat, you are the one rowing and bucketing out water during the storms to make sure that you and your kids stay afloat.
Seeing your kids struggle emotionally or academically and not having the free time or resources to support them. Kissing their foreheads as they are already asleep after you have come home, and seeing their crayon picture from school that day on the counter in the kitchen where the dishes are waiting for you to wash.
Working relentlessly and seeing your children grow as if they are behind a wall of glass to you. Wanting to be there more, love more, interact more- and yet in order for them to have the necessities of life- you must keep going. Trusting in God and trusting your strength will hold out.
Christmas is a challenge for you. I know.
Bills and time management is a feat of juggling throughout the year- let alone finding the cash to make sure that there are gifts beneath the tree.
Knowing that on January 2nd when the kids go back to school- all their classmates ask: “What did Santa get you???” and knowing that your kids were good too, on the “Nice” list too- but they didn’t get the video game system or living room full of gifts the way that Hallmark Movie kids do.
So, we do EVERYTHING we can. We shop at thrift stores on the way to or from work, hand make hats or put toys on layaway in October. We save our dimes and nickels and quarters in a jar all year… take overtime, working with hurt feet and miss evening Holiday parties- so our kids will have Christmas.
And we do it. YOU do it (with the grace of God) We ALWAYS make sure there’s something. It may not be the Hawaii trip or the four-wheeler in the driveway with a red bow- but our kids have something. They run into the living room and see their stockings filled with dollar store knick knacks and eat chocolate covered marshmallo santas.
The bills are paid, the heat is on, there’s eggs in the fridge for breakfast.
Often, our ONLY gift is the ornament they made in school that year with their school picture on it. And we hang it on the tree.
Santa brings single moms things like “shampoo” or “deodorant” things that are necessary- and we smile as if it were the diamond tennis bracelets that other women get from their “Santa’s.”
Because in the end, it doesn’t really matter.
For the first time in 8 years I’m not alone for Christmas and as I sit here and reflect on past years- my heart is full and I am thinking of you.
So, if I can offer anything- it’s the knowledge that you are strong. We are a new breed of women. Women who are the backbone of society. Teaching our children that while we may not be there every day in person- that we will give and do anything it takes to survive and make sure that they do.
Our kids are learning not to be materialistic and what TRULY Matters. I also think that our kids are watching our struggle and SEE the value of FAMILY unlike those who have it set. They know that 2 parent families aren’t a given- and HOPEFULLY when it comes time to find a partner in life they will be wiser than many of us were.
Remember that when you feel the most alone, you are surrounded by Angels. Being single as long as I was and surviving alone as long as I was- I learned to have FAITH that things would work out. And they do.
Bills being unpaid or collectors calling don’t have the power to keep you from loving your kids or hugging them at the end of the day- and that is what they will remember.
Most kid’s toys are in the garbage by the next Christmas- so if you can’t do a big Christmas- you’re just saving space in the landfill ;) and you know what? Kids don’t associate toys with LOVE- they associate the way you speak to them, laugh with them, and recognize the great things in them. Do that- those things are all free.
You may or may not ever have a partner- and THAT’s OKAY!
You can, and we can build lives that are fulfilling and free and financially abundant regardless.
Remember that this struggle is only temporary. Remember that those who have not walked that path of being a single mom won’t get it.
Forgive them for the insensitive and unkind things they say or do.
You are stronger than they are. You had the strength to leave, to face the unknown, to survive and to carry your babies in your arms as you fight the battle of life.
You have the gift of learning self-reliance unlike most- learning to resolve your emotional hurt, stress, struggle through your own self work… (and great friends!) You are learning to be creative in the way that most people will never have the chance to- because SINGLE MOMs ALWAYS find a way to make rent, assist with science projects, fill Christmas stockings, change their car oil, and budget.
Jesus made fish and loaves multiply- Single moms do the same. ;)
Christmas is 2 days away.
Remember you are not alone.
Remember that you are the women who are teaching the next generation.
Remember that it will ALL BE OKAY.
You are not forgotten.
You are powerful. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are sovereign. WE SEE YOU- WE HONOR YOU. Aho.