Thoughts on the Single Life

I am a single mom.

I’ve been giving this single adjective a lot of thought lately.

I have really been feeling the weight of being a single parent, certainly, all of Hope’s time with me, but it’s been especially so the last few weeks. I think because parenting Hope has been more challenging recently.
I have to do everything. Between Hope’s modest, but still present, emotional delays, and the typical teendom antics, it is an exhausting job keeping her out of trouble and keeping her on the path to healing. I know I’ve done a good job, I can see it, but good Lord, I’m so tired and alone.

When it’s tough, I’m drawn into thinking about not having someone to tag out or that I need to call the sitter for some respite time and fret about the costs since there’s only one income. It feels hard and lonely. At the end of the day, at the end of a long challenging day, it is just me. When I think about the depth of that toughness…that loneliness, I am drawn back to grieving about the life I thought I would have. Not that this one is bad, but it’s just…harder than I thought it would be.

And I know that it is ok. It has to be, right?

Oh, I appreciate the few upsides: I don’t have to consult with anyone on how best to raise Hope. I get to make all the decisions. I get to be the ultimate ride or die mom because it’s just me!

But it’s not easy. It isn’t at all easy.

Lately, I have been wondering what the devil I was thinking getting into this journey alone. I knew it would be challenging, but I never would have conceived that it would be this hard. I wonder what it would be like if I had husband when I started. What would it be like to have had a husband or just long time love to help me raise Hope? I wonder if Hope would have still been my kid if I was partnered; my being single was an important part of our match.

Of course I’ll never know.

But I do wonder.

I suppose ultimately I would prefer not to be a single mom. I don’t know if my status will ever change. Again, this journey is just not what I thought it would be. We’re surviving; we may even be on the path to thriving, but this single parenting thing is not what my plan was supposed to be. And sometimes that reality makes me sad.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

10 responses to “Thoughts on the Single Life

  • Belladonna Took

    I’m sorry you’re having a tough time right now. It DOES get better – but yeah, it’s hard, and not having had the early childhood years in which to get to know each other and establish roles and rules has got to make it harder. But that said, I was a single mom from the time my daughter was born – I chose not to marry her father, and he chose not to be at all involved – and even though her younger childhood was generally pretty great, the teen years just sucked. I guess what I’m trying to say is, this isn’t just because you adopted her. That’s part of the challenge, of course – I can only begin to imagine what extra baggage that brings. But there is no easy road through the teens for any parent. In other words, you’re not alone, and it’s normal to want to run away… 🙂

    But I believe you will both survive, and the day will come when you and your daughter can meet for lunch as two adult women and simply enjoy each other’s company.

    Hang in there… 🙂

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Yeah, there are no easy paths. I think I’m just really mourning a lot of things in my life that didn’t turn out the way I had hoped; I didn’t plan to be a single mom. I don’t regret it, but there’s just a bunch of things I’m mourning. There’s the practical part of shouldering the burden that’s hard but there’s a part that I’m wrestling with lost dreams that makes me sad too. It’s a season.


      • Belladonna Took

        I’m further along the road, but looking at the same view, I think. Very conscious just lately of all the things I will never get to do, places I’ll never see. It’s a season, as you say, but hard nonetheless.

  • Meredith at My Pink Champagne Life

    I’m sorry you’re sad. The heaviness and burden of responsibility solely on me was what overwhelmed me when I was a single mom. It’s not easy when you only have yourself to do it all, but you’re doing a great job Mama! You’re planting seeds and tending them in ways you can’t see the fruits of yet but you will. And the fact that you’re open about how hard it is makes others know they’re not alone. May this time turn out to be a blessing for you and your daughter:)

  • TheChroniclesofaNonBellyMama

    Whenever I feel like this about the decision to have what seems like a million children, I remind myself that as hard as it is now, things will get better, God willing. There will always be challenges and there will always be crappy moments of complete sadness and loneliness. This “single mama” loneliness is not exclusive to people not in a relationship. There are soooo many countless times where the loneliness just creeps up, even when the love of my life is sitting on the couch right next to me. Children change things, within yourself and within your relationship. I wouldn’t be able to cut it as a single mom I don’t think, so you’re already kicking some serious ass! And think of it this way too (because when I’m loosing it, i think about it)…when I’m old and senile, there will be a really good chance, that if i keep my ish together my kids will care for me the way I care for them. When I think of my parents getting older, i know that they deserve the best because they were the best and they did their best…no better consolation then that! Hope this week sees a little more gentleness toward yourself…you’re the best mom!

  • AdoptiveNYMomma

    I hear you and can relate. I think your concerns and your grief are a part of the process. I know it was for me. Take it slow, know you will get through this. You are strong!!

  • momto3sugars

    My hat is off to you! You ARE amazing! I’ve parented alone for 11 months and that is ENOUGH for me… Plus, I didn’t have to worry about money, the check came every month because I am married and though he was not here physically, he was still providing! I tell my single parenting friends all of the time how strong they are and how gifted you have to be to juggle all that you do!!! Congrats to getting through it! I do hope for you that you find that one true love! Wouldn’t that just be icing on the cake of life! All in all, you’re doing great!!!

  • smartsinglemamas

    Hey. I know exactly what you’re going through. Mourning is the right word – sometimes you do completely grieve over the life you think you missed out on. I think that’s why I started my blog, to be honest. To focus on all the things I *could* still do as a single mum, rather than everything I felt had been removed from my reach. Part of it is just forging your own path; forgetting what the status quo says about single parenthood and getting creative. Another part is reminding yourself to live fully present in the moment. My daughter is young enough that she’s still my baby, but old enough to have started becoming her own person. Lately I’ve found myself looking at her now and remembering when she was a newborn, and just letting myself be awed by her again. There’s nothing in the world like her, even when she gets on my last nerve. That love will last my entire life – longer than that job I wanted, or that backpacking trip I once planned out in my head, or (statistically) the marriage I’d dreamed of. On the days that things get lonely (and today is one of them, actually) I find solace in that truth, and joy in the middle of the sadness.

    If we’re all alone, then we’re all together in that too. Sending you light. x

    • AdoptiveBlackMom

      Thanks for this! It is sometimes hard not living in my head about the life I thought I would have or what I wished would be even in this moment. I love my daughter very much, but it’s hard and sometimes it’s just hard saying that out loud–or writing it for that matter. Thanks so much!

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