A Single Mom’s Mother’s Day

By Guest Contributor: Alicia Dolan

Life was moving along happily. I was married, had a career and a little 2-year-old boy and then BAM! I was a single mom. Now granted it did not exactly happen that way but we can skip the long drawn out story of how that all came to be for now.

Fast-forward to 2017 and I have a handsome, sweet, loving and hilarious 6-year-old little boy. We have used the past 4+ years as mommy and me time and although it is much harder than I could have ever imagined, it is also that much more rewarding.

Mother’s day is always a bit difficult for me. I lost my mom a few years ago and celebrating it has not been the same since. Not only that but being a single mom often means you are a bit forgotten on this holiday. I don’t get to visit my mom but we do always stop by and say hello to my stepmom who has been in my life since the age of eight.

Of course there is also the awkwardness of my relationship with my ex-mother in law. She was and still is like a mother to me. I do however have to hear my ex-husband complain about the fact that “she’s not your mom, why do you need to visit her.” (Don’t even get me started on Father’s day which makes my stomach churn a bit because I play the role of mom and dad 90% of the time and get zero credit for the dad part.)

Mother’s Day came around last year just like every other year in the past. My son had spent this particular weekend with his dad, which is a miracle considering how little time he spends with his son. I requested he be returned Sunday at breakfast time so we could spend the day together.

He was delivered to me that morning and I had planned to go play at the park or maybe even go swimming, which is something we both enjoy. He gave me a big hug and then looked at me and said something I will never forget.

“Mom, I wanted to get you something for Mother’s Day but no one would take me shopping for you. I am sorry”.

Right then and there my heart broke into a thousand pieces and I had to fight back losing it in front of him. He had little tears in his eyes and I could tell he felt so disappointed that he wasn’t able to make this day special for me.

I gave him a big hug and told him that we were going to have a great day. I asked if he wanted to sit at the table and make me a special card before we left for our adventure. He immediately perked up at the thought of an impromptu art project. We sat at the table and worked very hard on my Mother’s Day card and I thought a lot about what all of this meant for both of us.

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He was only 2-years-old when his dad left and although he knew what it was like to have both of us together, his memory of that is very faint and distant. Now at the age of 6, I am blown away by the things he says and how perceptive he is. I am amazed that at the age of 6 he wants this to be my day. He is so sensitive and wants to make me happy.

We sat at the table and worked for a while on the card and it was the most special card I have ever and will ever receive. I didn’t ask him much more about his weekend or any details about what had taken place in regards to him wanting to shop for me. It made my blood boil to think that his dad would turn down a request to take him shopping, even if it was to just get me a card.

The day was still hard for me, the thoughts of him feeling disappointed plagued my soul, I still get choked up thinking about it. As moms, or maybe even just as women, we don’t ever want our children/friends/family to feel disappointment. I would give pretty much anything to take that moment and memory out of his brain as if it had never happened but since I can’t do that, I decided to make sure it never happens again. I asked him if next year we could shop for my Mother’s day gift together.

“Uhhh yea, that would be awesome!” he stated.

Ok great, now we have a plan. I don’t need a gift for Mother’s day but being able to make him feel special WHILE making me feel special is the perfect solution for this situation.

Unfortunately I was also forced to think about not wanting him to feel any disappointment on Father’s Day. I am not sure if my tone has been clear but thinking about buying something for his “father”, and I use that term loosely, gives me the feeling of a semi-gag reflex. I will have to be the better person and do what is best for my son despite how much it pains me to participate in something that is for someone who is so un-involved in his child’s life.

Father’s Day came along and I took my son on a special trip to the craft store so he could pick out something to make for his dad. I had to grit my teeth a little while wrapping everything up for him but the look of total joy and excitement he had when he gave his dad the gifts made it all worthwhile.

Being a single mom is hard and with double mom and dad duties come a lot of sleepless nights, long exhausting weeks and an emotional breakdown every now an again. It is learning small lessons like this that help me to be the best mom I can be and try to proactively prepare for anything that might happen in the future. Going at this crazy job as a mother is very hard on your own, but you also get double the reward.

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Everyday Mom Rachel
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  • Robin Rue (@massholemommy) May 11, 2017 04.41 pm

    What a sweet boy that he thought of you and how sad that no one was able to get him shopping, BUT in a case like that – it really is the thought that counts.

  • Janel Berchielli (@JanelB) May 11, 2017 08.18 pm

    I was a single mom for my child’s first five years of her life. And while it was hard I just appreciated all the time we have together and the cute little things she would make for me at her preschool .

  • Cassie @ Be Forever Healthier May 11, 2017 08.47 pm

    That’s beautiful! And a reminder to think of the kids of single mums who might not have immediate family members around offering to help them get a present for their mum. Schools in Aus always hold mothers day stalls with presents for like $1 for kids to give their parents or even art projects. Not sure if you guys have the same but it’s really nice

  • terristeffes May 12, 2017 01.23 am

    I see that the story gives you pain, but, I am in love with the fact that your little one needed no prompting to want to do something special for you. The fact that no grown up would help him is awful, but wow! You are doing something RIGHT.

  • Joanna Everyday Made Fresh May 12, 2017 01.31 am

    What a precious son you have. I have a very hard time celebrating mothers day, as I lost my mom years ago. I know that my girls want to make it special for me, but I can’t allow a celebration.

  • darmarq May 12, 2017 03.18 am

    I love this perspective of a single moms mothers day. A mother who truly does it all.

  • Lindsey May 12, 2017 09.44 am

    You are an amazing mom and a big person…much bigger than I’d be able to be. No doubt you’re raising a wonderful child who thinks of others. You’re a gift!

  • annalisanuttall May 12, 2017 10.32 am

    You sound like a lovely and wonderful person. Use that day to chill out and raise yourself a toast. xx

  • almostindianwife May 12, 2017 01.13 pm

    My mom was a single mom for a while in my childhood. I never realized how hard it was for her until I’m a mother now.

  • Heydy Lopez May 12, 2017 03.53 pm

    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I was a single mom for awhile before I found my now boyfriend. The fact that your son thought of you like that at a young age is amazing. He will truly flourish! Trust me, my now 10 year old son is my angel <3

  • Prime Beauty Blog (@PrimeBeauty50) May 12, 2017 06.20 pm

    You are so lucky to have such a sweet, caring little boy. It just shows what an amazing job you are doing which should make you feel proud this Mother’s Day and beyond.

  • Tereza (@cityscapebliss) May 12, 2017 06.32 pm

    Ah man this story made me well up, bless that little heart of your little boy. He sounds like a real darling! Happy Mothers day to you and to him xx

  • Carolyn May 12, 2017 07.05 pm

    OMG…you are such a good person. Good for you for putting your son’s feelings ahead of everything else which must be sooo difficult. I would feel exactly like you did. Have a great Mother’s Day!! You deserve it!

  • nmetolen75 May 12, 2017 07.19 pm

    I was a single mom for a long time. It’s hard, because you have this little person who wants to do something special for you but can’t because no one can take him shopping. He used to make me handmade gifts in school, but once they hit middle school, they stop. I make sure that he knows that it doesn’t matter what he gives me. He already gave me the best gift ever, he made me a mom after six years of trying!

  • Irene May 12, 2017 07.41 pm

    Your little boy is amazing, kudos to you. I know the feeling and have been there many times. You push that bile down and be the bigger person and because of that we are teaching our kids a great lesson. Keep up the great work! ?

    Happy Mother’s Day

  • Natasha May 13, 2017 12.49 am

    You son is amazing with a heart of gold! I’m also a single mom and Mother’s Day can be hard. But when my kids wake me up with their hand made gifts, I feel like they have given me the world.

  • Elizabeth O. May 13, 2017 04.12 am

    What a touching story. It’s never easy to have to explain things to your child about certain things in your life. There are many sacrifices to be made as well, like having to go shopping for Father’s Day. But our children definitely makes everything worthwhile.

  • Elizabeth O. May 13, 2017 04.25 am

    Having to deal with things like this is definitely one of the challenges of being a single parent. I think it’s great what you’re doing for your child. It’s not easy but it’s what they need.

  • Amanda Love May 13, 2017 04.26 am

    How awesome that you took him shopping. The way that their faces light up when we do something that makes them happy is so rewarding even if it is against our will.

  • Sarah May 13, 2017 03.00 pm

    You definitely have some great solutions for handling Mother’s and Father’s Day… each holiday can be difficult depending on a family’s circumstances, but it sounds like you guys have got it figured out. I know even some married moms feel like they are slighted on Mother’s Day, because men aren’t the best at gift giving and remembering, so I always say why not treat ourselves, you know? We work hard & deserve it!

  • Justine Y @ Little Dove May 14, 2017 02.45 am

    I really enjoyed this post, it isn’t something I’ve given much thought into but I appreciated reading the perspective. Your son sounds truly wonderful, what a ray of sunshine in your life he must be Alicia!

  • toughcookiemommy May 15, 2017 12.30 am

    Single moms have always been my heroes. Being a mother is not easy, even when you have a spouse or partner to help you. Being a single mom requires a special kind of strength.


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