…All the decisions we make on our own!
Before I wrote this article, I was faced with a gamble. I was supposed to write an entirely different article, but my computer decided to turn against me and unleash an unholy virus. I then had a decision: whether to fix this old and not so trusty laptop, or save my money for a pursuit that would be more promising than the vague notion that there are people out there who will actually read what I have to contribute to this unending internet expanse.
As single mothers, we often have to take daily gambles. We have to make decisions, big and small, without anybody else to fall back on in the event that we make a “wrong” decision. We have to choose one thing over another and cross our fingers that it will all work out. We have to decide whether to fix that dental problem or hold onto the money in our savings account instead. Whether to get the car serviced or hope the check engine light miraculously turns itself off. Whether to take the job that pays just enough to scrape by but offers growth potential and opportunities to network. Whether to suffer in the short term in order to hang onto hope.
And it’s not all monetary dilemmas, although that is the main obstacle that many of us face. Sometimes our source of stress as mamas is the never-ending series of decisions big and small that we have to make for our children’s well-being. Let them stay up late or turn the movie off? Reward them with a toy or would that be spoiling them? Make them eat the food they don’t like or let their belly go empty? Put them in preschool or keep them in daycare?
When you’re married or in a relationship, you have another person to bounce these decisions off of. Ideally, you collaborate together and you have each other’s backs as you navigate through life as a family. But when you find yourself solo parenting, most of the time, you’re captain of the ship. Decisions take on a new weight as your paradigm shifts.
So what to do as a single mama?
I’ve been trying to focus on all the positive aspects of being the Ship Captain to my daughter’s First Mate. What mama says, goes! I don’t have to compromise with anyone else, unless of course it’s a major decision that her father is entitled to make with me. When it’s my time with Summer, mama rules the roost. I am free to parent in the style of my choosing, and by focusing on the aspect of freedom, the decision making becomes a little less scary.
So I run the cost benefits analysis, take a deep breath, make the decision, and then move forward with as much confidence as I can muster. Like a business. And I’m trying not to look back too much, lest I fall into the scary pit of living in the past… A big single mama no-no!
As I write this article, I haven’t made a decision on the laptop situation … I’m typing this into the notes app on my phone.