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Married mom in awe of single parents: Your job is ‘a million times harder’

Click to play video: 'Woman’s tribute to single moms: ‘You are doing an amazing job’' Woman’s tribute to single moms: ‘You are doing an amazing job’
Jennifer Weedon Palazzo, a mother of two in Berkshires, MA, posted a Facebook video praising single mothers. The video has gone viral with more than 2 million views – Jul 27, 2017

Jennifer Weedon Palazzo may not be a single parent, but sometimes she says she feels like one.

The 40 year old based in Berkshires, MA, uploaded a video to Mom Cave TV’s Facebook page on Monday, paying tribute to all the single moms out there.

“Holy sh*t. You are doing an amazing job,” she said. How do I know that? Well, you’re single. You have a kid. Or more than one kid. And they’re still alive. So you are doing an amazing job.”

The mom-of-two, who is also a writer and producer for the Facebook channel, is married to a jazz musician who travels 80 per cent of the year.

Jennifer Weedon Palazzo and her family. Courtesy of Ariana Falerni.
“[His band tours] nationally and internationally and sometimes I can’t even keep up. When we only had one child, we’d join him. But now that we have two, and the oldest is in school, it isn’t really feasible logistically or financially,” she tells Global News.
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Making the video

While she is used to working on scripted and produced videos for the site, this video recorded on her cellphone was made on a whim.

Jennifer Weedon Palazzo and her youngest child. Courtesy of Ariana Falerni.

On a day when her husband was out of town, she had dropped off her 6-year-old child at camp and was frustrated that her other child had fallen asleep on the ride home.

“I knew that meant she wouldn’t nap later and I’d have no chance of a break. I was feeling exhausted and at the end of my rope and thought about how I felt like a single mom,” she says. “But then I realized that feeling like a single mom is nothing like actually being one. I have a partner who is there emotionally and helps support us. And I really feel for those who don’t have that. Being a mom is so, so difficult. Being a mom alone must be a million times harder.”

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Social media users react

The video, with over 2.7 million views on Facebook, caught the attention of hundreds of social media users relating to her message, many appreciating her for speaking out for single moms in general.

“I was a single mother of one from her birth. It’s nice to hear someone recognizes all the issues we mothers all have in common. And to hear acknowledgement that it was so hard is refreshing. I’ve never had anyone acknowledge it before,” user Dawn Wade Sarran wrote.

“Thank you so very much, you literally had me in tears. Most people don’t see the struggle, the pain, the loneliness, the incredible strength it takes to carry yourself and two other human beings that depend solely on you for mental, emotional and financial support,” user Aya Daisy wrote.

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“Definitely needed to hear this… My little one keeps me going, I remind myself I’m doing it all for her not for me. Have been on my own from the get go. She’s my happy place, my stability, my happy when I’m sad, she is my rock, my grounding, my life, my everything!!! I wouldn’t trade her for the world,” user Brandace Liane Harrington wrote.

Some moms shared stories of losing their partners.

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“Thanks. From a grieving widow of six years in Australia that is raising three grieving children. And before you ask I have learnt you grieve for the rest of your life it just changes and moves in ebbs and flow. So thank you,” user Leigh Andrews wrote.

“I’m a widowed mom of four and wanted to pop over to say THANK YOU for this video. It’s the hardest thing I’ve EVER done and every time some mom out there cheers me on, it helps. A friend tagged me in your video and started my day off so amazingly. Thank you,” Jenn Buell wrote.

Even some single dads joined in on the conversation.

And with so many messages from users all around the world, Palazzo says she will host a Facebook Live segment on Thursday, thanking all of the site’s readers.

“It’s so heartwarming to get messaged from single parents from around the world,” she says. “I’ve been trying to keep up with the comments online, but just can’t get to them all.”

Tips for single parents

Dr. Jillian Roberts, child psychologist and associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Victoria, says single parent loneliness is quite common, and in order to combat this, parents should develop social networks.

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“Reach out in friendship to both other single parents as well as non-single parents. Parenting is challenging for everyone — but especially for single parents,” she tells Global News. “Try to not judge those who seem to complain or struggle with less support than you have. Everyone copes differently with parenting challenges.”

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And just like any friendship, she adds, the support works both ways. If you find friends who are willing to help you out with parenting tasks, make sure you return the favour by babysitting or offering their child a ride, for example.

And for those single parents who feel disorganized,  Roberts says writing everything (and she means everything) down helps. And don’t worry, not every day has to be perfect. “When my children were little, I would just sweep the toys into a corner. Not the best solution, but it worked. It cleared up space.”

Make things easy for yourself in the ways you can. Ask for help when you need it.”

arti.patel@globalnews.ca
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