Friday, August 3, 2012

The Single Mama Gig


I have had this post cooking in my mind for awhile and not sure how to write it. You see, I never intended to be a single mother. I never wanted to be a single mother. I wanted to be married and have the support of a marriage while raising my children and thereafter.

Life threw me a curve ball. One I wasn't prepared for. One that sent me to my knees and still does. My then-husband did not want to be married anymore. He did not want what we had built together. Now, looking back, I see that we had not really built too much together and how much of our marriage was focused on him. 

But we had four incredible, wonderful blessings together. Blessings that to this day give me so much pleasure and hope for the future that I want to be better for them. Blessings that also keep me going from the time my feet hit the floor every morning until I go to bed every night. 

So I find it disturbing just to say the least when people comment to me that life must be easier as a single parent. 

That I am "lucky" to be raising the kids by myself. 

That I make this single mama gig look easy.

That I must be superwoman for how I do parent by myself.

The truth is? 

I am none of these. I wake up everyday wondering and organizing and scheduling and planning how I am going to get through the day. I wonder how I am going to get to everything the kids have going on. I wonder if I have everything I need to do what I can. I wonder if I have everything covered or at least have someone in the background ready to cover those things that I can not get to. I wonder if I can make it up to the kid whose thing I missed because I couldn't make it. I wonder how the bills are going to be paid every month and still provide for the kids' needs and wants. I wonder if I am going to be able to hold it altogether. 

Life isn't easier as a single mother. 

I have heard some people say, and I am guilty of it myself, that discipline must be easier as a single parent. I can decide how I am raising my kids and no one can interfere with that. Very true, but the flipside to that? I am the one solely responsible. For everything. If I have a doubt about my decision, I get to live with the consequences. No one who can share the burden of a wrong parenting decision. No one who can take the blame with me. No one who can help to figure out how to fix, change, or negotiate the wrong move. No one to share the doubt with. No one to help set the rules. 

Life is harder as a single mother.

When the little voices creep into your head about how life would be easier if you were single, think about it all: your life, your relationship with your spouse/significant other, your kids. Would life be easier or is it just easier to walk away and try to be the single parent? Relationships are hard work, but with kids involved, that hard work becomes worth it. 

If you do not have kids yet, choose your partner well. I wish I had because life would have been easier to have someone by my side each and every day. I am incredibly blessed with the people I have around me now, but life would have been easier if I had chosen well the first time. 

Life is not easier as a single parent.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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