To All The Other Single Moms During The Holidays

To All The Other Single Moms During The Holidays December 23, 2019

My house is in absolute chaos. The living room, which doubles as my workspace, has been overtaken by presents and decorations. Some of those decorations are up, others are still awaiting their place. It won’t happen. They’ll have to be content to wait for next year because there isn’t time. The holidays are here.

My youngest son added the horns. It works. Note the wall behind the tree that needs to be painted. The heater in the living room died and had to be replaced with a smaller unit. I decided that the tree trumped fixing the wall. If you’re a single mom, perhaps you can relate.

I’ve just eaten the chocolates that were left in the advent calendar. There’s about a hundred things for me to do before we pack ourselves into the SUV in the morning to head for my hometown.

Taking Up Space In My Soul

However, for the past several days, my fellow single mothers have taken up space in my soul. If this is you, I stand with you. We are an often silent sisterhood of women with no time and little money. If you’re like me and trying to connect to the deeper world, you may be feeling even more thinly spread. We are the ones doing the rituals welcoming the solstice while baking cookies for the school Christmas party.

If you’re not a single mom, I’m asking you to hold space for us. Send out some good vibes, prayers or whatever you call positive energy, to the single moms you know. Most of us could really use whatever you can spare this time of the year. We get forgotten during the holidays. Well, we get forgotten almost all the time, but during this season, we can be especially pushed aside.

It All Started With A Single Mother

Ironic given that the very reason for the season is a single mother. Granted Mary did get hitched to Joseph, but she started out on her own. To all my other single mothers out there who know what its like to find yourself alone and pregnant, I see you. Maybe you didn’t marry your child’s father, instead choosing to raise them on your own. I see you, too.

Dealing With The Father

Perhaps you’ve found yourself anxiously waiting in an abandoned parking lot, wondering why your child’s father is so late in returning your precious one to you while Christmas dinner grows cold at home. I’ve been you.

For all of you who have a child whose father seems to have forgotten their existence, I know how that feels, too. Is there ever a way to compensate for being emotionally and financially abandoned by one’s father? It took years for us to not feel the void created by the missing person at the table. Because even if the other person was horrible, their absence still leaves a gap. If you’ve been the mom who chose to escape a toxic relationship, I’ve been you. Everyday I am thankful I got out, even when there’s little money or time for the holidays.

It’s Not Christmas Until I’ve Cried In The Walmart Parking Lot

Then there’s the times I’ve found myself sitting in the car in tears because I failed to find the time to shop for presents, or the years when I had no money to buy them. I’ve even sold my jewelry in a parking lot to make money to buy gifts and groceries. The pressure to create a magical holiday while working to put a roof over my sons’ heads has been with me my entire adult life. I had my oldest son when I was barely an adult, so I don’t know Christmas without the responsibility of being a mom. Every year, all I want is to make the magic real for them. And I always feel like I’ve come up short. If this is you, know that I am with you.

Of Course I’ll Make You A Costume So You Can Be One Of The Three Wise Men

If you’ve ever silenced your own beliefs so that your child can find social acceptance through being involved in the school holiday celebrations, I’ve been there, too. I’ve never wanted my spiritual path to impede my son’s lives.

It’s 4 In The Morning And I’m Knee Deep In Snow, Trying To Connect To The Meaning Of The Season

Speaking of spirituality, I’m also that busy working single mother who seeks the deeper meaning of this life. On the winter solstice, I usually get up way before dawn to perform my own private ritual, trying to find the calm in this season. To connect to the message of hope that is at the heart of this hectic time.

Look at this lovely snow spiral I made in my pajamas at 4 in the morning.

I’ll Just Stand Here Looking Like A Single Mom And Not Eat All The Appetizers

I always seem to be a misfit whatever circle I’m in, at least partly due to being a single mother. There is no partner to accompany me to school events or parties. I stand alone in a sea of couples. If this is you, I am there at your side in spirit.

I’ve Got 15 Minutes To Be Lonely

Parties can be especially vexing during the holidays. No thank you, I don’t want to meet your cousin. I’m happy being single. If you are as well, know that we are perfectly fine as is. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been lonely at times. If you are feeling the weight of being without a partner, I’ve been you, too.

Honestly, I have no time for the demands of a romantic relationship. At the end of the day, all I want to do is crawl into bed with my heating pad and novel. If you’re a single mom who lives with chronic pain, or other forms of illness, I am right there with you.

At Christmas, We Tell The Truth

It’s also acceptable for us to want to take up space, to claim our right to be exactly as we are. We are single mothers, who are often silent because we’re so damn busy that we don’t have the time or energy to speak out. I’m here doing this for us, on this night before Christmas Eve.

Like that line from my favorite holiday movie, Love Actually, says: “It’s Christmas, and at Christmas you tell the truth.” My truth is that I have been a single mother for most of my life. I work hard and love my sons. I often don’t have time or money for some of the things that other families do, but what we have here in our family is love. This is what keeps me going. I eat the advent chocolates and deal with the pile of gifts to wrap. I wipe my tears in the Walmart parking lot, determined that I’ve done the best I can for my children. I bite my tongue when my ex drops last minute plan changes into my lap. I smile benevolently when other mothers, who I am forced to associate with, sling darts at my singleness or spirituality. That’s what we single mothers do: suck it up for the good of our children because they make it worth it. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

From me to you, I wish you all the blessings of the season.

May they bring you all you wish for.

About Cyndi Brannen
Cyndi Brannen, PhD, is a healer, teacher and author focusing on personal development, spirituality and true magic. Founder of the Keeping Her Keys Mystery School, she teaches and writes about the true magic of healing and personal power. You can read more about the author here.

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  • Victoria Lynn Ferrell

    Cyndi, I am right there with you friend. The father of my youngest gives ample money to get her gifts but I wish I could be the one providing it all. I want to so wonderfully lavish things for all 5 if my children. But that is not realistic.

    I stepped away from a horrifically toxic life to give my children the gift of their mother. It is hard alone but, like you, I don’t have time or energy for another romantic relationship although I occasionally have the desire. I think of that beautiful ideal of watching your children grow together and having someone to hold through everything. Im 47 sho is s little late. But I don’t regret my choices. My kids have a roof. They have love. They have me.

    I see you, Cyndi, loving those boys with every breath in your body, raising them up to be in their magic, putting them ahead of you. I see you, sister, and you are amazing!

    Thank you for speaking out for those who can’t or won’t. You are truly a gift from thre Goddess.

  • Victoria, thank you so much for saying these things, my dear friend. I love the work I do so much, but what motivates me beyond speaking my truth is being able to provide for them. Also to show them that hard work pays off. When I look around at others doing similar work to me, I don’t see many single moms. I’ve never spoken out about the challenges of being a single mom in my line of work, but I felt that “at Christmas, we tell the truth.” Much love to you and yours.

  • Gwen N Dave

    As always, your writing leaves me at a loss for words. Safe travels.

  • I’m not a single mom, but I am a mom of a little boy who still cried in Walmart from the pressure of trying to get it all right. This is a lovely, real post, and thank you for saying what we all feel – if in different ways and in different intensities. Have a lovely holiday season!

  • Carla Jean

    Cyndi, your words speak such truth to those of us who have followed the path as single mom . . . it is indeed the love of the children that drive us, that bond us. Thank you for sharing so many thoughts that reflect my own, and those of so many others. Right on! Blessings, Carla.

  • Savanna Drake

    Not a mother (THANK THE GODS) but happily single at 45, and unhappily waiting for my court date at VERY long last on Jan 30th for the disability claim my own chronic issues have finally forced me to seek, so in at least some small way, I feel ya. I definitely see and stand with you and those like you. BLESSED BE, have a safe trip today, and I hope you’re able to find some rest and rejuvenation at this trying time of year. For what it’s worth, I have no doubt that your sons don’t see anything “imperfect” in what you do for them. They know. They may not yet recognize or comprehend, but they /know/. Hekate’s blessings on you and yours, always. <3

  • *Raises hand* Single mom here, too. Cyndi, I hear ya. I see you. And Victoria downthread, 47 isn’t late. I just turned 60, had my only boy at 41, thought my relationships and sex life had run its expiration date… and found myself now with two partners and a FWB <3 Who knew? Life is good. Hard, still, and not easing up any, but good.

  • Coco

    Been there and done that! Eventually, the strength materializes for you to find your worth, your value and you will shine. Then out of nowhere…..someone else sees the bright star you are also. I’m blessed to have stayed true to myself through all those challenges, cries, losses and surrendering’s. The children will and do see the sacrifices and true mother you are. I’m also blessed to have found another loving man in my life that sees, feels and knows my heart not just a pretty face :). #choices #magic #innerstrength #love Merry Christmas Cyndi <3

  • Merry Christmas and best witches for the new year, Coco.

  • Hekate’s blessings on your journey. Best witches for the new year.

  • Blessings to you, Carla.