As we enter 2022 and into the third year of the pandemic, we asked our Social Media Manager, Dionna Chambers, to tell us what is what like to be a single mom during the pandemic.
This pandemic has been particularly hard on parents, especially moms, as we have been left alone to figure out how to work and parent, in tandem, while navigating a global pandemic without the support of family, friends and the institutions that usually pull us through.
Here's a look at what COVID was like for a single mom.
An Intimate Look: Independent Motherhood During a Pandemic
Within a month of leaving my partner with our 18-month old, I began telling people that I was not a “single mom” but rather an “independent mom.” I felt called to challenge the societal notion that I was “single” in motherhood simply because I wasn’t. Whether I had an intimate partner or not, motherhood is still motherhood.
I embraced the new change as being a part of my journey as a woman. I wanted people to know I was mothering (as I always had been), as an independent woman. I like to intimately define “independent motherhood” as a woman who chooses to mother independently from a romantic partner. Said woman, or those that identify as such, believe that they can fully step into the next version of themselves alone as they mother.
While I was immensely empowered to challenge these larger societal and institutional constructs, I was quickly humbled by just how hard it actually was to be this mother, alone on a day to day basis. Two months after the transition, I remember sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing wanting to quit. I was overwhelmed with the lack of support, the restrictions of being in doors due to COVID, and not really having any clue on how to actually do this…by myself.
The pain I felt that evening was heart wrenching. I looked at my son hopelessly, filled with anger and resentment. It was the first time I didn’t want to be a mom.
The shame and guilt came flooding in the next day because of those thoughts. I felt like a horrible mom. How could I not want to be a mom? Did this mean it was a mistake? Did I just mess my son up from my emotional breakdown?
Despite how painful this breakdown was, it humanized motherhood for me. It showed me that motherhood is colorful, chaotic, and beautiful all at the same time. It also reminded me of the unbreakable bond that I share with my son. My son loves me in every state. He doesn’t not love me because I am not at 100% on any given day. He loves me 1000% everyday, no matter what. It was in that moment, that I was reminded of what unconditional love is, what true connection actually looks like.
There were more breakdowns after this, although not as BIG, they definitely still happened. I gave myself a little more compassion, a little more grace, and a little more love each time. I talked through what I was going through with my son and allowed each episode to be a lesson and learning for both of us. I asked for support, I spoke with other mom friends, got a therapist, worked with different healers and am feeling much much better now.
Every day isn’t great, but I suppose that’s life. Independent Motherhood has shaped me in a way that I would never undue. The woman I am now is attributed to this journey and my son continues to be my greatest teacher. So if you are reading this in the throes of independent motherhood and/or motherhood alike, know you are not alone and there is support out there for you. Your pain, frustration, feelings of wanting to “quit” are all normal and you are exactly where you need to be at this very moment.
You are doing a great job and you are a phenomenal mother.
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