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April 26, 2019 4 min read

Hi, I’m Caroline. I work as a paralegal. I have two daughters. And I’m a single mom.

"I can’t even imagine how hard that must be!"

"You know, kids really need both parents."

"How do you afford it?"

"Your children need a male role model. Listen, I know someone…"

"Is the father in the picture?"

"I can relate. My partner travels for work all the time!"

If I get a dollar every time people suddenly had things to say when they learn that I’m a single mom, I’ll surely be a millionaire...rich enough to hire the best criminal defense attorney in the world to represent me just in case I accidentally maim said opinionated people. 

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have homicidal tendencies. I’ve learned how to dial down my anger and lengthen my patience—albeit with stretch marks—since welcoming my little humans. But there are times when the desire to punch people in the face is too strong, especially when they start to open their mouths and let a few rude, judgmental, and insensitive remarks slip out. 


You see, this isn’t exactly how I planned to raise my kids. Truth is, very few of us plan to raise our children alone. But this is the curveball that life threw at me, so I’m hitting it right out into the stands and trying my best to run all the bases for a home run. 

I wish I could tell you, though, that in my nearly five-year stint as a single mom, I have this solo parenting thing figured out. That my heart no longer breaks for my kids some December days. That I can erase the evidence of sleepless nights and the undertow of emotions that appear on my face with a dab of concealer. That I no longer seek society’s validation over how I parent my kids. That I have made the proverbial home run. Because the truth is, most days I still feel like a failure.



It’s hard not to feel this way, really. Just take a look at my house. I have a counter of dishes to be cleared, laundry to be folded, a whole bunch of legal files and documents to organize, two kids that need help with homework, and my weary mommy heart racing. Also, let’s not forget the unwanted stories, comments, and advice I consistently get from people who “mean well.”



These are the little things that add up and up and up. How in the world can I raise a family alone with half the team, half the parental energy, and half the budget? 

A few weeks ago, I met a woman in the pharmacy. It was 2 am. My 7-year-old was crying and wincing in pain because of a toothache. Conveniently, this mama forgot to pick up the prescriptions the doctor gave earlier, so I had to drag my two daughters along with me to the pharmacy at an ungodly hour. With my pajamas on, puffy eyes, and messy mom bun, I looked like a real mess.

The pharmacist, who was probably in her late 40s, handed the prescription to me and instead of giving me some trite bit of awful advice or some eye-roll comment, she unexpectedly squeezed my hand and told me warmly, “Don’t worry, mama. You’re enough.” 

The pharmacist, who was probably in her late 40s, handed the prescription to me and instead of giving me some trite bit of awful advice or some eye-roll comment, she unexpectedly squeezed my hand and told me warmly, “Don’t worry, mama. You’re enough.” 

Raising two daughters is both difficult and rewarding; raising them alone? It’s amazing and wonderful and meaningful—but it is also hard. Really fucking hard. It gets even more difficult in a world where everything comes in pairs, proclaiming that two is better than one. 

You’ll never guess how many times I scream-sang Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger in the shower (I usually alternate it with Beyonce’s Run the World) to keep myself going, or broke down every time Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire plays. 



"You are enough." 


But saying those three words to a single mom? It tells them that they’re doing just fine! That their efforts don’t go unnoticed. That it actually doesn’t matter how they got themselves on the single parent road, but what’s important is that they are handling this role with such grace and courage. That family is family regardless of how many people are on the team. That the days may be far from perfect, but bad days won’t last forever either. 

It’s such a simple thing to do, but why doesn’t it happen often?


I spend so much time second-guessing myself, wondering if my daughters are missing out on a lot of things because they only have me as a parent. Sometimes I am even compelled to believe that maybe people (and my mom) were right, that I needed to find someone who can support me and my kids. 

But hearing the kind woman’s comment, it gave me a great dose of validation. I felt confident that I’m not screwing this whole solo parenting thing up, that I can give everything my kids need from a parent—and even more. And I believe that this message is such a wonderful thing to pass on to single moms—and moms in general—who are also struggling to see their worth as a parent.

It’s 2 am in this part of the globe...I look up from my laptop and see my kids sleeping peacefully. They are loved, clothed, sheltered, and happy. And I know that to my children, I am enough. More than enough. 

And mama, so are you.

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