I celebrated two Mother’s Day holidays as a single mom before I ever received a present. Since I didn’t have a partner, I wasn’t expecting any gifts. Instead, I spent time with my daughter and checked in on my own mother. Because I went into the day with no expectations beyond what I would do for myself, I remember enjoying those days and didn’t feel forgotten or left out at all.
That’s not the case for every single mother, though. Taking care of children on your own is an incredibly challenging task. Even if a woman makes it look easy, I can tell you from experience that it’s taking everything she has to make sure her kids have what they need. It can be a thankless job, especially when the children are babies. Feeling invisible or forgotten is not uncommon for single moms.
Single moms put everyone else first
The number one skill that I mastered as a single mom was putting everyone else before me. Obviously Ayva’s needs came first. She was the reason for everything that I did. The part-time gigs after working 40+ hours a week, the late nights building my business after she went to bed, and every sacrifice that I made was for her benefit. That was a given.
In addition to that, though, I worked hard to make sure the other people in my world were comfortable because I was so grateful for any help that I received with my baby. I would give away my last if it meant that someone who supported my daughter would know how much I appreciated them being there for me.
I tried hard not to complain, and I only really asked for help when there was no other option. At the same time, I was still always there to help others when they needed it. As a single mom, I knew what it was like to feel like I didn’t have support, and I never wanted anyone else to feel that way. Sure it meant that I was often overextending myself, but I didn’t know any other way.
Until I broke.
It was a few different situations. First, I overdrafted my bank account helping a friend financially, then I got really sick and ended up in the emergency room. I realized then that I needed help and I wasn’t going to be able to keep doing things the way that I had been.
Support the single moms in your life
I hadn’t told anyone all that I was going through and struggling with in raising my daughter by myself. When I was in the hospital, though, I had no choice but to ask for help. I was ashamed that I couldn’t fix everything that was wrong on my own, but it was necessary.
My cousin was the first person who stepped in to help, then my friends, Ayva’s godparents, and even my own parents. There were little things, like taking Ayva to the playground for a couple of hours so that I could clean up the house, that made a big difference. After a couple of weeks of having folks around to pitch in, I started to wish that I had asked for support sooner.
If things had not gotten bad, I probably never would have asked for help. That’s why I try to be observant with the single moms in my life to pitch in whenever I can. I just want them to know that they’re not alone.
Give a single mom a sweet gift to let her know you see her
This Mother’s Day, I went to Rite Aid to pick up some of my favorite Dove and Baby Dove products to create a couple of gift baskets for new single moms in my life. I’ve used Dove forever because their products was the easiest way to care for my skin even as a busy mom taking care of a baby on my own. Nourishing and moisturizing, you can’t go wrong with any of their products from soap to lotion, hair products, deodorant, and everything in between.
Since I know that single moms are always putting their babies first, I put a few Baby Dove products in the basket as well. Made with tender baby skin in mind, it’s the perfect gift for moms-to-be. Right now, you can buy any Dove or Baby Dove product at Rite Aid and get a second at 50% off (valid 5/6-5/12 and 5/20-5/26). Also, if you spend $12 on Dove or Baby Dove products, you can earn $4.00 Wellness+ Bonus Cash (valid 4/29-6/2).
A few Dove and Baby Dove products plus some extra special treats for mom will let her know that she is not alone, that you are there for her, and that she is important.
Remember the single moms in your life. Show them that you care. A tiny gesture might be just what she needs to keep pushing on, and will probably mean a lot more to her than you think. Trust me. I know.