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The Single Parent Juggling Act

Single mom explaining the struggle of balancing a career, self-care and children
Imagine you’ve been handed three balls to juggle. Each ball represents something in your life- children, career and self. You’re instructed to juggle and do so with ease after a few attempts. Confident with your skill, you’re now told you need to stand on one foot to continue juggling! You oblige and manage to keep all the balls in the air, but takes much more focus. Your next task is to jump up and down on that one foot! You struggle even more and start to doubt your ability but keep going. You’re starting to lose focus and stamina but push through. Your final instruction is to juggle and hop on one foot…but with one hand behind your back. Impossible! But…you give it your best try over and over even when you continue to fail.

When I’m asked what it’s like to be a single mom this is exactly what I imagine I look like. However as stressful and tiring as it is, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

My girls are 13 and 5. Having such a large age gap is challenging but it’s been amazing to see their bond. My oldest has stepped up to help me raise her sister and some days keeps me going. She’s a force of creativity and cool that I never had! My little one is feisty, smart and ridiculous in all the same ways as I am.

The biggest challenge I continue to encounter is asking for help and then not feeling guilty for accepting it. In my mind being a single mom with full custody and two jobs should be something I could do all by myself. Ha! I still tend to decline help but there’s only so much I can do as one person. I have the most amazing family, friends and co-workers who have become the biggest blessings in my life. It really does take a village to raise a child and I have no idea what I’d do without mine.

I’ve finally reached a point in my life where I feel content. Through all the hard days and tears and stress I just have to look at my girls and know I’m doing it all for them.

Trying to keep all those “balls” up in the air is a constant struggle, but when you have so many people lifting you up and cheering you on, it feels possible to keep going. One day at a time.
- Written by Lauren Gardner, Mama and Me Boutique Manager and Amazing Mom
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