Being a parent is one of the most difficult parts of our lives. It comes with a great responsibility of raising a child. It is a task that is typically shared by two people: a husband and wife. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to find a person who would stick with her to share the load. A single mother has to face a new life with a responsibility twice as much as a typical mother with a partner does.
In a society where marriage or the communion between the husband and wife is religiously required, single moms are often misunderstood. But in reality, due to their big sacrifices and efforts to raise their child or children alone, we cannot deny that these single moms can also be called super moms and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
To enlighten people and help them understand what we have been through, here are 10 struggles of being a single mom that everyone should understand.
1. Being judged quickly
The first and probably the most difficult part of being a single mom is that people judge you without even trying to figure out how you got into that situation. Most people would jump to a conclusion that you got pregnant because of a one night stand or an unplanned pregnancy. What most people don’t actually consider is that sometimes, women chose to take on the task of parenting alone because it was far more a better idea than being with a partner who physically abuses you and/or your child. Or because you found out too late that you have fallen for a frog who pretended to be a prince charming.
I have a friend who decided to go separate ways with her husband because aside from the fact that she was the one working to bring food to the table, she also has to do all the house chores after work because all her lazy husband ever did was eat and sleep all day.
In other words, we cannot just judge single moms because most of them became such after making a very difficult decision – to raise and secure their child alone rather than to risk the future of their child with an irresponsible partner.
2. Having no one to share the load with
Being a parent is a 24/7 duty and having no one to share the load with can be overwhelming. And the worst part of it is when the kids are still too young and are more prone to sickness or injuries. As a single mom, I have once given up working after my son was hospitalized for a week because of pneumonia, and then just three days after getting out of the hospital, he had to be admitted again for another week because of Kawasaki fever. Having no one to take turns in caring for my child in the hospital, I decided to give up a full-time job and tried freelance work so I would be able to spend more time with my baby.
Sure, there would be times when things can be very stressful but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
“Being a single mom is twice the work, twice the stress and twice the tears but also twice the hug, twice the love and twice the pride.” – unknown
3. Financial struggle
Having no partner also means that financial responsibility is solely yours to take on. Yes, the bills, food, and hospitalization expenses are just some of the things that a single mom has to take care of on her own. Whenever I hear my single friends (with no children) complaining about not having enough money for shopping, I would just smile, wishing my financial problems were just as simple as theirs.
4. You have no right to complain
Yes, everyone thinks it is your fault – it was your stupid choice that led you to be a single mom so you have no right to complain about whatever the heck you are going through. So if you are not happy with your life, live with it. Whenever things are a bit too much to handle, all you could do is cry in the shower so that no one would know.
Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes sometimes, but what is important is that we learn from those mistakes.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Bob Marley
5. It’s hard to find someone to accept you and your “baggage”
Sad as it is, it’s hard to find a decent guy who would want to marry a single mom. Most guys consider the child as “baggage.” If ever you find a guy who would accept you and your child, it may be your in-laws who would make your life miserable.
6. Life is unfair
We must all have complained about life is simply not fair. But for a single mom, life sucks even more. you see, men could have children from different women and life goes on for them, but when a woman’s children are not from the same father, you will be the center of all dark gossips.
“The secret of being happy is accepting where you are in life and making the most out of every day.” – Tiny Buddha
7. Protecting your child from judgmental people
Some parents look at their child as someone with a highly contagious disease that they don’t let their children be near him or her. As if being a product of a broken home is an ailment. We can’t avoid that kind of people who are so judgmental. And one of the struggles every single mom has to face is protecting their children from those emotional attacks.
8. Explaining the situation to the child
When you are a single mom, it feels like you owe everyone you know an explanation as to how you ended up being a single mom. But the most difficult person to explain it to is your child. Sooner or later your kid is going to ask why other kids’ dads are with them every day and why he seldom sees his father.
9. Dealing with the X
There are various types of Xs but the most common are those who disappear into thin air and would be back after many years and the other who would be following you around promising he is a changed man but disappoints you every time you give him a “second chance.” Both types are better avoided but usually, kids would want to get to know their father so you have no choice but to try to be civil with the man for your child’s sake.
10. Having time for yourself
Being a single parent uses up all your time and energy on working to bring food to the table, paying the rent, bills, and attending to the kids that you barely have time to look into the mirror. Sometimes, although you would love to spend time with friends to unwind or go to a salon, you simply can’t. As a mother, you would rather put their needs first before your wants.
Parenting is full of sacrifices and struggles even for those who have partners. Maybe, instead of judging single parents, people should try to appreciate their efforts of single-handedly taking care of the responsibility which was supposed to be shared by both the mother and father. The everyday tasks at home and work can already be exhausting and single moms don’t need more burden from narrow-minded people who don’t know how to make fun of their situation.
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