to my kids – the raw truth of being a single mom

There are many days where I wake up and I think I’ve failed.

Let’s just start with that, okay? I just do. Even though life is rightly-ordered now and healthier, this wasn’t the story I had planned for your life. So know I struggle with that, okay? Because sometimes that struggle leaves me in my bathroom, behind the door, with tears in my eyes while you knock on the door saying mom? mom?  You won’t know that because I have this mom superpower of sucking in the emotion and replying with the most normal yes? to you.

Except sometimes I know you see it.

Sometimes you’ll ask me are you okay mom?

Because I think you know.

In fact, honestly, I know you know.

I know you see me. Holding it all together all the time. Managing everything – day in and day out and day in and day out and day in and day out again and again and again. I can’t hide that from you. I can’t hide the times when I say guys! There is only one of me.

I’m sure that stings. I don’t mean for it to sting. I think I just need to say it but you don’t need a reminder of the obvious – that it’s just me in this house. I’m sure this isn’t the story you wanted either. I am sorry about that.

But let’s get somethings straight. Okay?

I sure do love you.

Like I love you so much that I do it all by myself. If I didn’t love you as much as I did I’d probably be in some villa in Italy sipping fancy wine. Or on a beach in the South Pacific. Or on Survivor. But, I am not. I am here. In your life day after day. Loving you. Showing up for you. Caring for you. Fighting for the best for you. Not giving up on you. Making ends meet for you.

Tucking in tears for you.

You are so worth it.

I want you to proud of me.

I don’t know why that matters, but it kind of does. I watch this shows where kids talk about their moms and they are so proud when they say my mom was a single mom and she did it all. Those adults who realize that are always so proud of their mom, their mom who probably shed all those tears, but they finally see the awesome and giving in her. Because, guys, I really am doing it all for you right now.

You know why?

You are exponentially worth it.

You are so worth it that sometimes I give up on sleep for you. I give up on things for you. I work until one am and get up at five am for you. I do the hard things for you. I go to teacher’s conferences and doctor’s appointments. I clean and wash and do the laundry. I fight hard for you.

I may not be perfect.

In fact, trust me, I’m not. I have a temper and am impatient and am sometimes super super tired.

You may not have the coolest lunches. The house may not be the fanciest. We may never get to Disneyworld. We may never get the newest van. But you know what we will have? A whole bunch of showing up and trying and loving.

You are worth it.

So we will create this story together. Day after day after day. Days of me wandering out of the house when the bus comes and waving to you from the window. Nights of me picking you up at work. Afternoons of us doing homework. Filling out college applications. Waiting for texts. Wiping away your tears on birthdays. Trying my hardest to give you the best childhood I can. I may be tired, but kids – I will never quit on you. Never.

You are priceless and wonderful and valuable.

So if you knock on the bathroom door and it takes a second for me to respond know that I am gathering my strength.

For you.

With love from your imperfect, but trying and showing up mom.


to read my story and to learn how you can find joy in the life you have now grab my book

The Brave Art of Motherhood 

10 Responses to “to my kids – the raw truth of being a single mom”

  1. June 3, 2019

    Stephanie Reply

    Cannot tell you how much this hit me. My ex-husband lives 12 hours away and sees the kids maybe four times a year. The first time I read this, I was in tears. I just read it to my ten year old daughter and fought through the tears. She gets the struggles but I know she also sees how strong I have to be everyday. Thank you, Rachel, for writing what so many of us can’t put into words. 💜

  2. June 4, 2019

    Naomi Reply

    Hi! My mom sent me this story and I just finished reading it and I’m in tears. I’ve never really understood the struggles until I read this and it opened my eyes. It’s very hard for my mom to put this stuff into words so thank you… 💘

  3. June 5, 2019

    Anonymous Reply

    How beautiful a d so true.

  4. June 5, 2019

    Anonymous Reply

    How beautiful and so true

  5. June 5, 2019

    Anonymous Reply

    And you never stop being a mom…it’s a lifelong profession, the best one❣

  6. June 7, 2019

    Happyhappy Reply

    Kinda not really necessary to tell our kids this is it? It could come accross a bit like a guilt trip. I sure don’t want my kid to think that I’m crying everytime he is not looking and if it weren’t for him I’d be in some French chalet sipping Champaign lol really? although u may repeat over and over that your kids are worth it, does that make them feel better that their mum is miserable cos of them. I know you didn’t mean that and I understand that other mums will appreciate reading this but I don’t think it’s what we should tell our kids. Like “look at everything I do for you .. You make my life so hard! if it wasn’t for u my life would be easy!!” ……….”but your worth it just your super hard work and I’m miserable and broken but ur worth it… Just I’d prob be very successful and happy without u”

    • July 1, 2019

      BossMomma Reply

      I don’t think she ment this article at all how you took it. I didn’t get that she would be happy if she didn’t have kids? This is what every single mom hopes their children realize when they get older and look back on their childhood. I mean it is the true…. single parents bust their butts for their children!!! I wouldn’t have it any other way and pray my children can look back and see all I did and know how much they mean to me!!!🧡🧡

  7. June 7, 2019

    Tracie Riggin Reply

    Wow, this brought tears to my eyes! I feel exactly this way. I am a single mom of4 kids, one with type 1 diabetes and life is hard but not ONE day goes by that I don’t tell my babies how much I love them and hug them and kiss them. They might see the dark circles under my eyes or the tired look on my face after work but I do it for them…they are my world, my life and my heart. I always tell them they make my heart sing. Yes, there are days I cry myself to sleep, cry while soaking in the tub when I get a second to do so, and yes, I haven’t been on a vacation in 5 years but I have always paid for the older ones to go with friends because they didn’t ask for this to happen and I want them to have the best childhood possible…maybe one day we will be able to go to Disneyworld as a family…or just a simple vacation, but until then, we’ll enjoy the park, movie night at the house on a pallet of sheets and blankets, ice cream dates and a whole lot of “Momma will always be there” ❤️

  8. June 22, 2019

    Linda Reply

    Lynde, you are doing an amazing job for the precious kids you are loving more than life ! Stay strong and keep on loving and leading them ! You will be so
    Proud of them when they grow up to be amazing just like you !!

  9. July 1, 2019

    BossMomma Reply

    This is my life!!! I am sitting in the bathroom behind the door crying!! Linda you are awesome thank you for putting into words what most single mom’s want to say but don’t know how!!!I pray my children look back at their childhood and know how much I did and how much they are loved!!! There is nothing in this world that I love more than being a MOMMA!!

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