Dear Single Mom Friends,
I don’t know what this Valentine’s Day will look like for you but I wanted to make sure that amidst the noise of prepping for classroom parties and mailing grandparent cards, you heard the truth from someone. My dear friend, you are seen and you are loved.
I see you at drop off, wrestling to pull the baby carrier out of the car so you can lead the two big kids inside while balancing your sweet toddler on your hip and the carrier on the other arm. I know that your day will consist of drop-offs, then eight hours of work, then pick-ups, then helping your son with his homework and navigating a friend-crisis with your daughter while you prep the evening meal and attempt to entertain the little ones. After dinner, you’ll be the one to do the dishes, baths, and stories. And, after all of that, you’ll want to crash, but instead, I know you’ll fold laundry and pack lunches and prep for a night of feedings with the baby.
You may wear the “single mom” hat but anyone can see that you’re also rocking the “supermom” cape. Not because you do everything perfectly, but because you do everything , period. I have no doubt that your powers of dedication and selflessness and courage and tenacity are wearing off on those four beautiful children that you spend so much time worrying about. They are witnessing a hero in action every day.
It’s an honor to be your friend and to go through this adventure of parenting with you on my side. Even though our journeys are a bit different. Actually, because our journeys are a bit different, I’ve learned so much from you. You inspire me to be braver and see myself as capable in the moments when I’m tempted to I think, “I can’t do this.”
Your work as a mom matters greatly, but caring for yourself as a human being matters a lot too. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help or a break when you need one.
This year, on Valentine’s Day, please know how much I admire you. Please know that “single mom” does not define you. Know that you are not alone. Most importantly, though, no matter how loud or quiet this holiday is for you, know that you are dearly loved.
Forever your friend,
Richard Damien Cypher Ayitey