If you are a single mom like I am, you can probably relate to some of my most common struggles.
Like the times when I’m driving the car and my two kids start picking on each other, yelling back and forth and throwing toys and binkies at each other across the center seat. I’m always the one who has to respond—I don’t ever get to turn to the person in the passenger seat and let him deal with it.
Like the times I’ve locked myself in the bathroom for five minutes to cry because I’m so frustrated and there is no one to vent to or help out.
Like the times when I’m sick in bed and my seven year old acts mature beyond his age and takes care of me and his sister. He gets her drinks and snacks. He’ll bring me Sprite and popsicles and ice packs and tries to let me sleep. It’s times like these that I know he will be a good husband and a good father someday.
Like the times my ex and I can’t agree on our parenting styles, about what time bedtime should be, or on our shared parenting schedule.
Like the times when a job requires working evening shift, and it’s hard to find a reliable babysitter. Or like the time that my son convinced his little sister to squirt toothpaste in the sitter’s hair because he didn’t like that I had to be gone at work. Needless to say that night I had two sitters quit on me within four hours.
Like the times I feel judged by people who think that all I do is live off the government or that I just had my kids to get more benefits. They don’t realize that one hundred dollars of food stamps each month doesn’t go too far in feeding my family of three, and that I’m doing my best to work and take care of my children and balance all my responsibilities on my own.
Like the times I have cried with and apologized to my son when he asks why his dad doesn’t want him. I have tried to cover for him all these years but our son is so smart he knows I’m lying for him but chooses to go along with it. It hurts my heart to hear him say that he wants a new dad because he thinks his dad doesn’t love him.
Like the times my son has gotten attached to men that I am dating and asks if they are going to be his new dad. He craves their attention so badly. I am doing the best that I can but I cannot fill that void.
Like all the times I’ve had to try to be both the mom and the dad. Right now I am my son’s main role model and I am trying to show him what a man is supposed to be. But the hardest job in the world is to be a mother and a father.
Like other single moms out there, I’m working hard to do this job as best I can. Lately I’ve especially been trying to give my kids a predictable routine and make time for myself so that I have the energy to care for them well. And though this “job” might not pay with money, I sure do get lots of love.