Rachel England’s Story
I became a single mom the day my daughter turned two. That was the day the judge finally agreed with me that my daughter would be better off in my sole custody. The knot in my stomach unraveled for a few hours, to be quickly replaced by the never ending fear called “single parenting”. All of a sudden, this child relied on me and only me. I don’t get days off. I don’t have any backup in difficult situations. I also don’t have to call anyone every time I want to make a decision about my child.
Here are My Top Ten Fears As a Now Single Mom
- I’m doing something wrong. I’m human and I make mistakes. I don’t have someone to bounce ideas off of before I do them. Probably not the ideal situation for someone as impulsive as I am!
- I won’t meet someone. About six years ago, I met and married a man who I thought completed my little family. Our divorce was finalized two years ago. It’s hard to put yourself out in the dating world, nearly impossible as a single mom.
- Her dad will come back into her life and she’ll choose him. Each day, I get to be mom and dad and I’m not always my daughter’s favorite person. What if her dad decides to be in her life and he spoils her and never says no? How can I compete with that?
- I won’t have enough money. Around the 20th of each month, I stop looking at my bank account. If I don’t see it, it’s not happening. I work three jobs to get the bills paid. If I take on any more, my daughter will never see me. And don’t even mention paying for college…
- Something will happen to me. I don’t live a dangerous life, but I do live. I drive on the traffic filled roads of Austin. I’m healthy most days. But what if something were to happen to me tomorrow?
- I will have a nervous breakdown. I’m a naturally anxious person (my parents will vouch for that). I worry about the little things, both in my career and my personal life. There are some days when the stress is almost too much. I would love to step back and relax, but that isn’t the way it works for single moms.
- I’m not enough. My daughter has said to me, when I’m exhausted and sitting down for the first time all day, that she wishes she had a dad to play with her. I try to be everything she needs, but I also know my limits. What if being the mom and the dad proves to be too much for me?
- I’ll ask for help too much. I have an amazing network of support for my daughter. My dad takes care of her when she is home sick from school. My mom and sister always watch her for me when I need their help. My friends pitch in more than anyone could hope for. I’m afraid that one day, they’ll get sick of helping me.
- My daughter will blame me for losing her dad. I’m very open with her about her dad… as open as the court order will let me be. She knows why her dad isn’t in her life. One day, she may feel that my reasons for fighting for sole custody weren’t good enough.
- What if she becomes a single mom too? I know I can’t control this one but I also know that I’m a role model for her. I haven’t been able to demonstrate a happily married family to her. What if she chooses to follow in my footsteps? I wouldn’t change my life for anything but it’s not something I’d wish for her.
Motherhood is hard. I am sure this list doesn’t cover every worry a mom would have, but the one thing is for sure, a mom will never stop worrying when it comes to her kids.