As a single mom you learn to put on a brave face and be tough on the outside. We need to do this to project a confident controlled self to our kids and the world in general. However this brave face we put on comes around every so often and bites us in the ass. Nobody can be tough and brave all the time. Unfortunately lots of us don’t get the support we could use from friends and family because they buy into our facade.
It is just not possible to always be in control to never get any help – especially when you have more than 1 child. Those of us who put on a better show of being in control and on top of things are the ones that tend to suffer the most internally. Because we are such good actresses people (even close friends and family) don’t notice the signs that we need help and of course our brave front prevents us for asking for it.
Those of you who know someone like us may wonder, why don’t you just ask? We’d gladly help it you just told us you needed help. The answer is simple, for if we ask and are turned down we will fall apart. By the time we get to our breaking point and ask you to help with even a very simple or trivial item we are already past the point of breaking and are on overdrive. To break our concentration on maintaining the status quo and being able to function is hard. Once we break out of our facade and ask for help it is too late… either we get the help we need in the exact form we are asking it or we will break down and lose it.
So what can you do as a caring and loving friend or family member… the answer is simple… just ask. Ask us if there is anything you can do to help us this week. Tell us you’d like to do something fun with us and ask when might be a good time for us to do it. Offer to take us out to dinner or bring us dinner for the kids one night in that works better for our schedule. You can even offer to treat us to mani/pedi or a spa day while you take care of the kids for the afternoon. Sometimes a few hours off duty and some time for ourselves is what we need to recharge. Basically, just be there for us and make sure you follow through on your offers and promises.
Just remember, single moms run on overdrive 24/7. We make sure our kids have all they need before we take care of ourselves. We need to put on a brave face and seem like we are tough to make it through the day, day after day. It is your job as our friends and family to help us feel strong enough on the inside to make it through this. So please ask us if there is something you can do to help, offer your services, and follow through on all your promises to us. (This advice holds true for all the moms out there not just single moms, but it is especially important for the single moms who may not have as much support as moms with spouses). Your help will make us stronger on the inside as well as the outside and allow us to be better moms and friends to everyone.