Life as a single mom

Last Updated on February 11, 2024

I’ve been told that the first year as a single mom is the hardest, but that it really takes two years to start being able to breathe again — two cycles of birthdays, holidays, and special occasions that aren’t so special anymore.

Depending on where you start counting, I am either almost to the end of year one or a third of the way into year two. I’m definitely not an expert on single parenting or on being a single mom, and I know we have readers who could teach me a thing or two. But I have managed to learn a few things in the last year.

Lessons from Life as a Single Mom

  1. I am stronger and more capable than I ever believed.
  2. The sun comes up every day whether you feel like it or not, and the kids will come jump on you if you don’t get out of bed fast enough.
  3. Having small people need you in the middle of the night is a blessing.
  4. I don’t multi-task well. (I kind of already knew this one.)
  5. It’s okay not to get everything done.
  6. “Mommy, you’re beautiful,” followed by a hug from my child is worth more than being told so by anyone else in the world.
  7. It’s okay to have dreams. It’s even okay to try to make them happen.
  8. It’s good to have plans and to know what you want, but be prepared to have God tell you “no” and “not now” and “not yet” and “wait.”
  9. I am not a patient girl, and waiting makes me grumpy.
  10. The “conversation” is going to happen more than once and will often need to happen when I least want to answer the questions … again.
  11. Children need to believe both their parents are awesome people, even if they aren’t. (And let’s face it; none of us is awesome all the time.)
  12. Children need to feel safe, loved, and protected even when the person responsible for that job is holding herself together with shoestrings and tape.
  13. Forgiveness is a good thing.
  14. Asking for help is still really hard, but everyone needs to do it sometimes, including me.
  15. Friends make life better.
  16. Filling my spiritual cup at church and getting alone time with God are essential to my ability to parent well … and not yell at people.
  17. Grown-up time is essential to my ability to parent well … and not yell at people.
  18. Married couple friends make great dates. So do other single moms.
  19. It’s okay to eat chocolate cake for breakfast on your birthday. And have ice cream sundaes for dinner once in awhile.
  20. Potty training a boy will not kill me, although it may require me to use stronger detergent.
  21. I am loved by an awesome and amazing God who thinks I am pretty special. (Sometimes other people think so, too.)

I know we have single mom readers because you have written to me asking why I don’t write more and to please share more of my story.

Do you remember the first year? Are you there now? What did you learn about yourself? What can you share with me to make year two a little better?

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  1. I am so very proud of you, my friend! You are strong and beautiful and smart and a really, really awesome Mom! May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace.


  2. Katie – you are strong and beautiful and will be able to do anything you set your mind to. Thank you for sharing. I love your list and think you are super special!

  3. Katie,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I can't tell you how much it helped me. I need to make my own list. It helps to see progress amist the shoestrings and tape holding us together. I am at about a year and 3/4 and it continues to be peaks and valleys of challenges and blessings. I would love to read more of your posts if you have them! I am a single mom of 2 little ones as well. Thanks!

  4. Thank you for sharing of yourself. Your list was awesome and as a single mom of three helped remind me how blessed I really am. I know all to well about not having time to do everything. Going on my second year I'm getting better at accomplishing more tasks. But breakdowns are bound to happen, however they get easier to recover from. This is not the life I had planned for myself or my children but know that as long as I have faith and turn to God everything will be as it should be.

    1. KatiefromTexas says:

      Thank you for your kind words Rosie! I'm not sure anyone ever has the life we planned for. That's been difficult for me to learn. But God is good. All the time. Praying for you that He leads you right where you're supposed to be.

  5. This made me cry. I am in my first year. It sucks. Dating sucks. Don’t try it. I’m in school. Work full time and have a three year old. Please write more. I need this.

  6. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have just started on this road and each new twist and turn seems huge. The ONLY way that I have survived so far is that my God has supplied all my needs and my family and friends have been so supportive. Keep writing. I was encouraged and I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. I have 3 kids. I have been homeschooling for 4 years and this could come quickly to a close. There are still so many new things to go through but I have been amazed at how much I can endure.