I watch my wife with our kids and as we prepare for baby no. 3. The work, the dedication, and the late nights with a sleep-resistant 2 1/2-year-old make you realize that a mother is a superhero.
Some of the best of these heroes I have met have been single moms. Made single mothers through the death of a partner or the end of a relationship, these women work hard for the kids they are raising alone.
Single motherhood is the new normal for many. In part this is due to an increase in children born outside of marriage: 1 in 4 children are now raised in homes without fathers.
While the work is necessary and rewarding, it is never easy. A good cry, a glass of wine, and diamond-sharp determination helps get these mothers through.
I don’t think I could do it. The few single fathers I know do it, but only half as well and more often than not as a part-time parent on the weekends.
I guess what I am saying is that a single mother deserves to have her dreams come true.
Terri McCaffrey is one of those moms, and the four girls she raised were the people to make her dream come true. McCaffrey always dreamed of all four of her girls in a wedding portrait together.
Over a 12-year period her girls got married, with the last one tying the knot this December. The four daughters hatched a plot to get a special gift for their mother.
“So we secretly got together without mom knowing and got our wedding dresses back on,” said daughter Amber Patterson.
Working with photographer Ashley Sargent, a portrait was created with all four girls in their wedding dresses.
And the girls know how important this gift is to their mother. “She raised four successful women and so we wanted to do this to honor her,” Patterson said.
“I was shocked. I was shocked. I finally got it. I’ve been wanting it because it’s just something I will cherish forever,” their mother said.
“I can look at it and I can see what I accomplished. They’re my life so I think I done good.”
Being a single mom is tough. Even with family and community supports it can be rough for a person.
Not only did McCaffery do it on her own, but she raised four girls. Those four girls are lovely and are starting families of their own, thanks to their mom’s hard work, blood, sweat, and tears.
I hope all mothers can be honored in such a touching way. I truly hope all single mothers can feel the love this new year and those raised by single mothers take time to recognize just how awesome their mothers are.
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