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Dear Broke Single Mom, I see you there.
Crying, wishing your life to be different. Wanting to have more to offer those you love. Hoping you do not keep making foolish mistakes. Mistakes like having children with a man who treats you so poorly. Deciding to buy a car you cannot afford for reasons you had now forgotten. Leaving you more broke than you were before you bought it. Mistakes like putting trust in a judicial system to see your co-parent’s temperament and authentic self and watching them turn the other cheek.
I see you, broke single mom.
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Berating yourself for what you have done with good intentions that just doesn’t ever seem to work out. The weight of the world feels like it is on your shoulders and you cannot imagine telling a soul about it. Moreover, why? Because someone has it worse? Some families do not have a home; you have that. Some mothers do not see their kids, you see them. Some parents do not have a job; you have a job. So why can’t you find happiness in this? Why can’t you be satisfied where you are?
Why can’t you just BE A HAPPY MOM?
The answer: You know deep down that this is not who you are supposed to be. You are destined for more. You are meant to spend more of your time being a mother, rather than as an employee. You are much more than these sleepless nights of lying awake worrying about the impact your decisions make on your children.
The decisions that are necessary but you feel just don’t serve you enough for the sacrifice they cost. Working 65 hours a week and only making just-over-broke doesn’t feel like “living.” It feels like a slow death.
All your friends say “Just keep your chin up, it will get better.”
You hesitate to ask “When?” They do not know. Your friends with husbands can only sympathize. Unable to genuinely empathize because even though sometimes they feel alone they have never honestly done “it” alone.
As someone who has been there, I can promise you this.
The levy breaks.
The floodgates open.
It breaks in your heart, broke single mom. You become tired of not being happy, and one day you choose to be satisfied. Promising yourself to only to do what serves you without sacrificing the most significant parts of your soul. You eventually find a better job. One that makes you the money you need. You might bite your pride for a little while to take more help than you want to admit but in the end, it’s what is best.
Your children still think you are a superhero. Your ex, who likes to make you miserable right now, eventually shuts up and stops trying.
Broke Single Mom, you get there and when you do you are just beginning to turn the page in your life.
Sure, you will take a few more missteps along the way, but you get stronger from it. You become the woman you are meant to be through all of this.
You can feel it; the rest will be downhill because you find that inner peace that helps you to know that even though everything is not how you want it to be it is still going to be Ok.
In the words of Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
So for now, wipe your tears.
You might cry again in a few nights but for tonight heed my words:
Life gets better than it is right now. It does.
Where you are right now is not where you will be forever. The life you are living now is not the end of your story; honestly, it is not even the middle. You will get through this. Once you do, you will use it to teach other women how to get through it too.
You will go further than you ever thought possible. However, first, learn. Harness those growing pains into strength for later.
The strength you will need when you decide to reach out to other hurting broke-single-moms to give them the encouragement they need to hear. You are going to get there.
I will see you soon.