A lot of people are asking me how I am handling being a single mom now that the hubs has passed. My answer is simple. I am no stranger to single motherhood since I was raised by one.
Being a single mom is no joke. My mother struggled….a lot. There were times that we didn’t have food to eat and I had to wear the same clothes over and over again.
There were times when she told me “no” and that “no” was hard to swallow because I wanted to do more but she just couldn’t afford it. My mom was a product of a two-parent household but my grandfather and grandmother got divorced as soon as the last child was out of the house. My mother was married when she had me but my dad ended up cheating on my mother so she put him out. Thus began the journey for single motherhood for her.
I never looked down on single mothers because I knew……but here is the question: Are you really a single mother if the child’s father takes an active role in their life? This is a question that I ask quite often. There are fathers out there who aren’t with the mother but they play a very active role in raising their child and they help 50/50 in decisions when it comes to that child. The father actually helps with the child often by picking them up, keeping them on the weekends, dropping them off to school, buying clothes, and all this without it being court ordered. Are you really a single mother?
A single mother definition “A single parent is an uncoupled individual who shoulders most or all of the day-to-day responsibilities for raising a child or children” so then I ask…….if the father helps with the day to day activities is the mom really a single mother.
I will give you an example: I have a friend who’s a guy that lives 10 minutes from the mother. He picks the boy up every afternoon from school (he works at night so he sleeps all day) and keeps the baby until he goes to work which he then takes the baby to the mother’s house. He also gets the baby every other weekend for the entire weekend if he can’t then he will get the baby two weekends back to back to make up for a weekend he had to work or something came up. He buys clothes and shoes for the baby for every season and takes the baby to get his hair cut every two weeks. The mother does the rest. He also reads his baby a bedtime story on his lunch break at night every night over the phone………..is she still a single mother or is she just a mother.
To me a single mother is one who has to shoulder all of the responsibility or at least 75% of it including fitting the bill for most things, picking and dropping the child off, and has to do the day-to-day things for that child. The father comes and gets the baby during the holidays, summer vacations and if he lives close….every other weekend.
However you define single motherhood it’s not easy being a mother, period. It’s tough and sometimes I just want to cry and I do. I go to my closet and cry and then I gotta get up because in my case my kids have no father to even get them on the weekends or during the holidays I do it by myself! My transition to single motherhood has been easy since I grew up with a single mom, who by the way didn’t have any help from my dad at all but the occasional check that the court put him in jail for not sending so I knew what it took.
When my hubs died things changed for my kids. No longer can we depend on anyone but ourselves. I gave them more chores to do and we are on a tight system around here. My kids have to help out more and I feel bad for them but they have no choice. They have to fold all the clothes and put them up, they have to sweep out the garage, clean the car, vacuum and other things around the house. My son who is 10 is even responsible for making him and sister lunch every morning before school. My mother had me ironing clothes and washing dishes at 8…I even had to lawn the yard because it was just her and I….I had no choice but to do the work because she couldn’t do it all and if I can talk back….I can work.
Here are a few secrets that I want to share that may help you if you ever find yourself being a single mom….even a single mother that’s married because that happens a lot too…..you have no idea (I will save that post for another time)…
Find a work schedule that suits your family – Since I work from home I try to schedule my things around when the kids aren’t here. I get my work done in the mornings for a few hours, and then late at night while they sleep. Once they get home from school it’s off to activities and homework I have no time for me or my job at all.
I hire a babysitter just for me – I don’t hire a babysitter to come just when I have an event…I actually hire one so that I can run and sit down at Panera or Starbucks or window-shop at Target. It’s my time and I need it once a week! Even though I get me time while they are in school or at night…those times are used for working not just enjoying me.
You can’t obsess about things you can’t control – If the dishes are piled up in the sink let em sit there. No one lives in your house but you…why are you stressing about it. Focus on what you can do and be the best mom YOU can be.
Always be prepared – As a single mom my mom kept extra clothes for herself and her kids in her car and she never let her gas tank get below the halfway mark. I thought it was strange but now I see you have to be prepared for anything. My daughter had to use the bathroom one time and we were stuck in traffic…she ended up peeing on herself…I was not prepared….I bet you I am now.
What secrets can you give us about being a mother?
Are you a single mom that’s married?
Would you ever choose to be a single mom?
This is a guest post by Kita Bryant from ItsReallyKita.com. In addition to blogging, Kita is a photographer and a social media marketer. She is from Charleston, SC but moved to Atlanta, GA for college. She may have a BA in Business, but her tongue is sharper than a sword. You can find Kita on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as well as subscribe to her Newsletter.