According to Sydney Jordan, a regional manager for an internationally recognized non-profit organization, to be a single mom, there are many sacrifices to be made. And like the iconic DC comic book character Wonder Woman, she pushes herself a little bit more than the average mother.
“One of the most difficult tangible aspects of being a single mom is not having another person to back you up, and there’s a lot of back-up required when you’re raising a child,” Jordan said. “You need the back-up for disciplinary purposes, running errands, and emotional support. However, in my mind, the hardest part of being a single mom is the drastic difference between the frustration I sometimes feel when I’m with my daughter, and the gut-wrenching level of guilt I feel when we’re apart.”
In addition to the responsibility held as a regional manager, Jordan spends significant amounts of time away from her child educating clients across an area nearly 500 miles across. This situation has led to a strained relationship with her child, Jordan said.
“I will honestly say that I do not feel well-equipped to balance work and the rest of my life. My work requires a great deal of personal sacrifice, and I am often resentful of that,” she said. “I realize the importance of creating a better balance in my life is essential to my child’s well-being, but I found that I do get caught up in the day-to-day requirements of my professional life. I find it hard to make a shift and improve the balance. And this facet, at times, hurts our bond.”
The long work hours does cause weariness to her spirit, she said.
“I have a lot of frustrations and no doubt they rub off on my child,” Jordan said. “I am more likely to overact or not be able to stop myself from yelling or saying something I do not mean. When I’m upset, I need space. But this isn’t likely because a 5-year-old child has an epic tantrum down the hall.”
Jordan said that she does her best to negate bad outcomes by using skills she’s gained from her post-graduate degree and job.
“Do not engage in an argument because kids can’t always manage their reactions and this is counter-intuitive,” she said. “Like an elderly person who has dementia, children do not have the awareness or insight to cope with their fluctuating emotions.”
When asked about a having a different life, Jordan stated her answer in reluctance.
“If I had known that I would be a single mother, that I would not have married my child’s father, and that it would be this hard, I would have avoided doing it,” she said. “I can honestly say that I feel like giving up all the time. I wish I had the luxury of giving up. However, I don’t. Knowing that my child needs me keeps me moving forward. This opinion isn’t the pretty answer, but it’s the truth.”
But Jordan does have a bit of advice for other single mothers.
“Do not underestimate your ability,” Jordan said. “Every day, I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to accomplish. As mothers, we are afraid of not being perfect, and of not being ‘good enough,’ and of being judged. We will make mistakes. We will struggle. We will fall short. We will be judged, and we will judge ourselves. We will never live up to what someone else thinks a ‘good’ mother should be. So screw ‘em. Be your own best version of what a mother should be. And when you fall, know that there will be a child to reach out their hand to you and say, ‘It’s okay, Mommy. I’ll help you.’”
Did you know kids learning to lie is actually a good thing for their cognitive development?