I want to speak to all you mothers out there for a minute. And boy, are there a lot of you. According to stats pulled from the Census Bureau website, the are well over 80 million families in the USA, and that is just based on the 2013 numbers. Of those 80 million, close to 15% or more are homes headed by single moms. That is a whopping 12 million single ladies navigating the parenthood waters alone.
Did you catch that?
Don’t let that number roll off your back as you move to the next paragraph.
A football stadium holds 100,000 people give or take, even when packed to the gills. So it would take 120 stadiums to seat all those hot mommas at once.
For those of us that are not sports gurus, let’s look at it this way: a standard school bus fits 72 little people…so let’s assume it could hold approximately 60 grownup-sized women. Can you guess how many buses it would take to fit 12 million women? 200,000. Stretched end to end those 200,000 buses would stretch more than 1,500 miles…that would be like driving from California to Missouri!
After factoring in the caregivers and grandmothers and aunts that may not have necessarily been listed in this study even if they hold a prominent role in a child’s life, I think it is safe to assume that there are well over 25 million women in the United States that are feeling the weight of glory that comes with raising kids. Scores of ladies both young and old that find themselves in different life paths, different careers, different socioeconomic statuses…but at the same time all on equal footing when it comes to the emotions and ever-changing frontier that is parenting.
It is a shared experience that ties us together like nothing else – one that is equal parts thrilling and discouraging…often all at the same time.
Sadly, we mothers can fall prey to the monotony of our lives. The daily drone that can grind down our edges, leaving us exposed and raw and feeling the weight of our worlds on our shoulders. For some, that weight is crushing, leading to anxiety and depression and an overwhelming sense of despair. For others the emotional strain may not be so heavy, but it can still leave a lingering feeling of despair and stress that accompanies motherhood even in the best of circumstances.
There will inevitably come a time when the pressures of trying to be the best moms we can be to these little people entrusted to our care can overwhelm us, and even shake us to our core. In dual-parent homes there is always someone there to “tap in” when we get close to losing our cool or when we need time alone to get our nails done or soak in the tub with a good book. But when there’s only one of us in charge of ALL THE THINGS, free time is at a minimum…and chances to share the ups and downs of life with someone that understands are few and far between.
How you ladies do it day in and day out shakes me to my core. Your resolve. Your energy. Your love. Your dedication. Your hard work. What you do for you kids is so incredibly wonderful and valuable and needed. The days are long, but the years are short, sweet single ladies.
One day you and I will stand on the other end of this parenting thing and say, “We did it!” We will join scores of other families that have safely shepherded their children through diapers and dental work and drivers permits and first dates and – gasp – leaving home to start their own lives. We will laugh and we will cry…probably often…along the way, but the community of moms is BIG and it is STRONG and it is THERE FOR YOU AND FOR ME.
Keep up the great work, moms. You are seen and loved and so very appreciated!