Tanya Enberg: Unexpected Mother


In Praise of Single Mothers


Single moms, I am humbled by the work you do. And I am floored, stunned, astounded, and amazed.

My husband has spent the past couple of weeks working longer hours. This means I've been clocking overtime with our fifteen-month-old son, who just last week mastered the word "no" and the art of full-blown temper tantrums. The child has turned me into a quivering, babbling mess.

To all of you incredible single moms (and dads) who take such good care of your children, all I can say is WOW. It’s a damn tough job.

I know, wow really doesn’t cut it, does it?

It’s a meager three-letter word, I realize, but trust that I mean it with the biggest wow factor imaginable.

If I were a fan of exclamation points, I’d add two or three of them after it. That would certainly make the word jump out and appear bigger, jazzier, punchier, and just far more exciting all around. But, alas, I don’t care for exclamation points.

I am writing this at 9 p.m., my husband is still at work, and I am seeing double. Two hours ago, our son was stuck to me like cling wrap and screaming his sweet little head off, all purple in the face and angry.

What was he angry about? I still don’t know. Heck, I don’t think he even knew.

I’ve just come off an eleven-hour stretch of just baby and me, and my energy is a shriveled up prune. No, make that a raisin; a pathetic wrinkly grape not even fit for making wine.

Every cell is tired and jittery, and I am watching terrible TV (qualifier: we don’t even have cable here).

I am also possibly talking to myself. Or maybe I am talking to the dog. That’s probably it.

And I am thinking about single mothers—those tough and resilient unsung heroes. I am in awe of your secret powers (you do have secret powers, don’t you?).

But most of all, I am wowed.

Truly and sincerely.