My Love Letter to Single Moms


Dear Single Mom,

I’m not sure what you are up to this evening. Maybe you are up late folding a load (or three) of laundry. You could be packing lunches or reviewing school forms or catching up on work emails or mindlessly flipping channels with your remote because you are too exhausted to get up from the couch and go to bed. I like to think some of you are relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book. Maybe you are sitting in the silence, with the kids finally asleep in their rooms, wishing that you had someone with whom you could sit and talk about your day. Or how the kids are doing. Or your plans for the future. These are my guesses—because I regularly do all of these things too.

Being a single mom is a TOUGH gig. I know you don’t like to admit that. None of us like to say it out loud. I don’t want to seem like I’m looking for pity or that I’m some kind of parenting martyr. But I want to affirm all of you by acknowledging that going solo in this endeavor is hard. I want to look you in the eyes and tell you that I know you are tired all of the time and every day. I know that your mom guilt is compounded exponentially. Even when surrounded with an amazing village of people who love and support your family—like I am and hope you are—I know there are moments that can be quite lonely. Moments that moms with a partner may not understand.

Like not having someone who scoops up the kids when he gets home from work so that you can have ten minutes to yourself. Or when your son’s friend comes to the house for the first time and says to your kid, “Where’s your dad? Don’t you have one?” and you feel like you’ve been stabbed in the heart as your son looks to you to help explain his family. Or when you realize all of the advertising that markets to the “ideal family” looks foreign to you. Or when politicians use the phrases “single mom” or “broken families” to explain the ills of society. I get it.

But there also are amazing moments, aren’t there? There are the evenings you curl up with your kids pressed against you to watch a movie, and you just exhale—knowing your family is safe and loved and you have made that so. Or that time when you catch your daughter’s eye during her dance recital. She smiles at you, and it feels as if you are the only two people in the world. Or when a trusted friend takes your son in his lap and holds him tight after a bad day at school, and you remember there are wonderful people who love your family and make you even stronger.  

I didn’t imagine I would be a single mom when I was growing up. Who among us did, really?

Some of you spent hours at the kitchen table crying with your husband over a relationship that could not be repaired. You both love your children so much and co-parent as best as your fractured hearts will allow. Those weeks that your kids are away at their dad’s house? They can be periods of restoration and self-discovery. But often, you just count the minutes until they walk back through your door. And let’s try not to think about the ache of those holidays without them.

I love you and hold you up.

Some of you made the decision to welcome a child into your home through the gift of adoption. You created a family not through DNA but out of a huge heart and a desire to share a love that was too big to keep to yourself. You are amazing.

I love you and hold you up.

Some of you made the difficult decision to leave a relationship that was harmful to you and your children. He told you again and again that you would never make it without him. He told you that you were ugly and stupid and no one else would have you. Or perhaps you finally gave him an ultimatum, and he picked the addiction over you. No matter how many false starts and years it took to break free, please know that I think you are so brave.

I love you and hold you up.

Some of you lost a beloved spouse or partner much too early to the thief of a sudden heart attack or the cruel disease of cancer or a tragic accident. You are now raising children while you grieve the loss of your soulmate. It seems so unfair . . . because it is. I know there are days that the strength you show is barely sustainable, and you collapse at night in tears. Your perseverance is inspiring.

I love you and hold you up.

love letter single moms Nashville Moms Blog

There are these and a dozen other ways that we have found ourselves bearing the title of “single mom.” Each of our stories is unique. But I imagine we have some important things in common. We all love our kids fiercely. We wake up every day wanting to do our best by the sons and daughters we are raising. Every day, we fall short, but we start with the same intention the next day. We believe our families are amazing—no matter their composition. We have a quiet confidence that comes with the fact that, even if it’s not want we wanted or planned, we are doing this without a partner and we are making it!

Know this, my fellow single moms. Parenting as a party of one can seem very lonely at times, but you are far from alone.

There are thousands of moms in Nashville (and beyond) who know what you are experiencing. Let’s pledge to support one another when the opportunity presents itself. And when you meet a mom who is new to doing this solo? Tell her you’ve got her back, and offer to listen to whatever she needs to share.

I love you, single moms! You are strong and awesome.



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Sarah has lived in Nashville since 2002, after spending the first twenty-five years of her life in Maryland—and then a short stint in Boston (a move she made to be immersed in the history and the accent). She taught high school government and history for several years and also worked in academic advising at the collegiate level. She has spent the past five years working full-time as a paralegal. Sarah is a single mom to a ten-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son. The three of them lived in Hermitage for many years before making a move to Mount Juliet this past summer. Sarah loves being outdoors, cheering for Terps basketball, and spending time with friends who make her laugh until her stomach hurts (legitimate abdominal work . . . it counts). She writes about motherhood, politics, and whatever else strikes her fancy on her personal blog (



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