Post 1 of the “Real Reasons it Sucks to be a Single Mom” Series
I have been a single mom for approximately ten years. My first marriage failed, then ten years after my first was born, I had another baby, my dear little son who now is almost three, and that relationship also failed. One would think I would have this single parent thing down, but some days I don’t think you ever really get used to it.
Single parenting is hard. Life as a single person responsible for other little lives is sometimes very trying, and some days I don’t know how I do it. Occasionally a good cry and a pep talk not to give up, or a breakdown on the phone with a good friend who can reassure you yore doing a good job is exactly the thing you need.
Let me preface to say that I love my little offspring very much, and I would never trade them for the single life again. But single mommas out there, you’ll probably understand what I’m getting ready to say.
Some things that are near impossible (or impossible) to cope with when you’re a single mom.
1. Showers. All you single moms- how long has it been since you got to take a long, hot, quiet shower. One where you get to exfoliate, shave, shampoo, condition, all in the same setting? Deep conditioning? Forgetta bout it. Or even showering by yourself, without someone knocking at the door, calling out for you? I haven’t had that happen in ten years.
2. Opening jars. Really, Trader Joes? Does the lid on the Cookie Butter need to be welded on? Sometimes new jars are too damn hard to get off and you have to try every kitchen hack you know. Beating the lid on the counter top, using a knife and nearly risking a finger to garnish your pasta with some capers, or finally just throwing the jar out because there’s no way in hell you’re getting it open without the jaws of life.
3. Keeping up with the laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, car maintenance, bill paying, fixing toys, or taking care of whatever else breaks. It’s a problem when you’re single.
3.5. Taking out the trash. I really hate this chore, especially in the winter.
4. Dating. Who has time? Besides, you never get the chance to shave and wash your hair all in the same shower session anyway, right? (Maybe that’s why I’ve been so single all these years?)
4.5. If you get past the “starting to date someone” initial stages, then there’s the “meet the kiddos” stage, which is scary. You don’t want to introduce your kids to someone else who might exit your life. That’s just not healthy (and yes, I’m judging you, single mom who’s kids have met every single man who’s told you you’re pretty. Have some respect for yourself and your children and use discretion.)
5. Drinking. Nope, not anymore.
Hangovers are too painful, days feel wasted when you can’t do anything but lay in bed because you’ve drank two bottles of champagne, and someone has to be cognitively present to make sure the kids don’t kill each other. You’re single. That’s you, momma, protector of the little lives.
6. Laundry. I mentioned it before with chores…but the sheer volume of it is sometimes overwhelming. Two kids and myself. Work clothes, school clothes, pajamas, clothes for play…half my life is spent sorting, folding, washing, drying (and even longer if heaven forbid the washer or dryer breaks down!) Then also comes the planning of outfits to wear for the week, backup outfits for when one gets stained or wet. It really is the “Never Ending Story” for grown ups!
7. Doing things that are “man jobs,” like hanging pictures, putting fluids in your car, cooking on the grill, hauling stuff away. That stuff is hard and is much more suited for a man to take care of, if they’re so willing.
8. Who take care of you when you’re sick? No one! But you still have to take care of the kiddos. Last year I was flu B+. I felt like death on a stick, but I still had to change the baby, get my daughter to school, and tend to all the chores and their needs. Body aches, fevers, and vomiting can’t stop us single mommas. Our job doesn’t end just because we feel sick. Sometimes though, it would be nice to be taken care of when I feel ill.
9. Guilt. You see, I work two jobs. By day I am a nurse, I have been fortunate enough to have worked my way up, accumulate enough letters behind my name in my career to have an office job 30 hours a week, and on the weekends my kids are with the dad, I work in various ER’s and rehab hospitals around the area. Even though I have been a single mother, I have worked 40+ hours ever week, continued my education, and provided for my children. So of course there is the mommy guilt of having to work away from home, be away from my children who need me. Luckily I am able to pay for top notch child care during this time outside the home. It eases my mind, but that nagging feeling of being away from my kids is always there.
Only nine for tonight. Mainly because I’m tired, and statistics show that you readers have very short attention spans. So come back for more reasons why it sucks to be a single mom. Explore our recipes. My blogging partner has an amazing recipe for super fast and easy peanut butter fudge you should check out. Perfect treat for us single moms to make, unless you’re a gluten free sugar free fat free nut free family. It’s not the healthiest stuff but it’s great!