Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ode to a Single Mom

Susan has set us a prompt at Mid-Week Motif: honoring women's achievements. I considered many of the obvious heroic women, but then I thought about women for whom there is often a lot of judgment and blame, who quietly do the undoable without a lot of help or support, acknowledgment or thanks: the single moms of the world.

The last thing you wanted for your children
was a broken family and lives of grueling poverty.
The last thing you wanted for yourself
was raising kids alone,
working one or two jobs
to keep the roof from falling on their heads,
years when you felt you existed
only to carry bags of groceries in the door.

You were only one person, and at work,
not home to try to keep your kids
from making bad choices.
They rarely had the coolest clothes, any money,
enough to eat, the things they wanted,
or two parents in the home.

There was enough love and laughter
to raise the rafters,
and you never ran away,
or sat in the bar drinking to numb the misery
of Never Being Enough.
You got up every morning, often singing,
to make the breakfast and the lunches,
and see them off to school. 

You did what was required
because it was your job to do.
And you may not hear it often,
in all the stories about 
deprived traumatic childhoods,
but, kiddo, you did a damned fine job.


  1. Yes you did! Thank you for this ode to single moms. Sounds like your children knew joy didn't depend on what they didn't have but on what they had.

  2. A very good take prompt, Sherry! Whether they chose to be single moms or not, a lot of these women do incredible good jobs every day and raise up great kids.

  3. Love and laughter are the very best that can be given to anyone..the very best job in many ways

  4. I know it is not easy to be a single mom. But there are many kids who are raised very well by a single mom. And your children are testament to that, Sherry! Kudos to you for a job well done.

  5. my co-teacher is a single mom...two boys...i meet with one of them doing some pseudo-counseling after school one day a week...its so hard...and her ex is an asshat....but she works 2 jobs and busts he butt to provide...i have great respect for single parents...

  6. All life needs is a little bit of 'love and laughter'....
    when a single mom gives that enough to her kids she is the richest soul....each and every word of this poem spells divine strength...

  7. I've always been afraid of being a single mom, I've always thought it was too much for me to take, then I never had children and today I regret it. :/

  8. Sherry,

    A fine tribute to those women who have lived through and are still, in this situation as a single parent. Surviving and struggling in the name of total love. Of course laughter aided the success of this wonderful parent-children situation. Excellent Sherry, as you have captured the whole scenario.

  9. This breaks my heart. The single mother is courageous and I know children who are much better off for having been brought up by a single parent,particularly when the nuclear family unit is full of conflict between the mother and the father.No one deserves to belong to a family who is continually at war. I too have a lot of respect for single parents.

  10. My doctors once gave me the option of voluntary single parenthood or surgery that would take the option away. I had a good job, but chose to have the surgery. My theory was that I didn't want to put the burden of "you're all I've got" on a youngster. Have I regretted it? Not really, although I've been known to get wistful.

  11. Damn being a single mom must be a tough reality to live in, many of them fail being one, but those who really work for it, deserves some credit! I like your take on the prompt! :)

  12. A wonderful and well deserved ode to a single mom. Parenting in itself is a wild road,you never know what may come and to work it alone must be hell of a task. :)

  13. I like the understanding and compassion in this. Of course, it's you - your heart is so giving. Glad you wrote about single moms. They deserve the validation and recognition. I don't know how they do it. It's hard enough with two parents.

  14. Love this, Sherry. Yes indeed, such women need and deserve celebrating.

  15. Single moms are heroic! This is a beautiful tribute, Sherry! :)

  16. a lovely ode to struggling moms

    much love...

  17. Amen. I was a single mother for a short time. Hats off to these heroes!


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