Single moms by choice deserve support just like any other person. That’s why I couldn’t believe it when someone close to me told me, “You can’t expect support because you decided to have a kid on your own.” And, they made clear, that meant I shouldn’t ask or expect emotional, financial, or logistical support. In short, I should take responsibility for my decision to become a single mom by choice and exist as an island unto myself with no support of any kind from others.
WHAT??? I was blown away that these words were coming out of this person’s mouth. Yet, I know that several other single moms have reported a similar experience!!
To say I felt alone in that moment, would be an understatement.
Single Moms Deserve Support
For all those single moms and single mom hopefuls, who’ve been told they can’t expect help or support, I’m truly sorry. Based on the number of times, I’ve heard moms retell stories similar to mine proves that many people do believe that we shouldn’t expect any help! Maybe it’s because we bucked the system and refused to follow the status quo, and that just makes people uncomfortable.
Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you that you deserve support even though you decided to have a baby alone as a single mom by choice. But you might need to do some work to find it.
5 Reminders About Cultivating Support
The good news is that this terrible conversation helped me regain some clarity that I want to share with you. Here are the 5 things I remembered about cultivating support as a single mom by choice or single mom by choice to be.
- Remember that we all need support. No one is truly self-sufficient. “It takes a village” is a saying for a reason. Whether we want to believe it or not, we all need to rely on others from time to time. And, anyone who believes that others don’t deserve support is delusional. Over the next few days, I felt fully supported by other amazing friends. Friends who let me cry, and talk out loud about all my options over and over again until I was able to make a choice about whether to return to the US or not. They called to check on me daily and to express their love and support over and over. They reassured me that everyone needs and deserves support from others.
- We need to actively work to find friends and family who truly have our backs. Finding true reliable support isn’t easy. It takes practice, being vulnerable, and asking. It’s a muscle that needs exercising. From the moment you decide to have a baby alone, you should be working to develop a network.
- When things get tough, you’ll find out who your true friends are. They will rise to the occasion and have your back, reminding you that you are supported and that everyone deserves a shoulder to cry on. But those people who just don’t show up or go so far as to tell you to stop asking for help, might not need to be in your life. It’s ok, the clear out space for those friends that are willing to show up and help you. Or at the very least, filing them into a different category of friend in your mind so that you remember they don’t truly have your back.
- Aside from support from friends and family, there’s a deeper support we can learn to rely on. Depending on your own religious or spiritual beliefs, you may conceptualize it differently. But it’s clear to me, that when I can get quiet and grounded, I remember to trust in it. A feeling arises from the depths of my being that I am supported by some other greater force. Something comes up to meet me and make me feel supported, even though it might not look like the kind of support I first envisioned. The trick is remembering to trust in it.
- Finally, in the words of Bob Marely, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” This is something we know as single moms or moms to be, all too well. Trust that you will find help or figure it out–no matter what! We are tenacious, strong, capable women.
Has someone in your life told you something similar? Please write and tell me about it, as well as how you coped with this ridiculous sentiment.
Even before this unfortunate incident, I’ve been passionate about helping women develop support networks. This experience only reinforced my desire to help everyone find the support they need. If you’re feeling alone and need to develop your support network, consider working with me privately or joining a support group to practice building networks you can trust. Set up a free Discovery Call to explore the options.