Open Letter From A Single Working Mother

June 11, 2011

in Lifestyle

Since I have become a single mom, I have had an outpouring of support that is both humbling and amazing. However, most people are just concerned about how I am dealing with the divorce.

Trust me when I tell you that I am doing great. I dealt with that subject a long time ago before I decided to file for divorce.

A typical weekday goes something like this.

6am – Wake up. Shower, get dressed, make lunches.

7am – Wake the boys up and get them dressed and fed.

7:30 – Out the door to drop kids off a two different daycare locations. Hope I didn't forget anything they needed.

8-5 – At the office.

5pm – Leave the office to pick kids up from both daycare locations.

6pm – Depending on the day we run errands or go to karate

7pm – Get home, make dinner.

8pm – Kids in bath then start the bedtime fight

10pm – Both boys usually asleep by 10. Try to clean up some and get ready for the next day or skip picking up at all and fall into bed exhaused

12pm – Finally fall into bed myself if I didn't collapse earlier

As you can see, there is no room to breathe. Somewhere in there I have to squeeze in exercise, grocery shopping, and playing with my kids.

Here are some facts you may not realize about single moms:

1. When I go grocery shopping my kids go with me. I am going to be the tired cranky mommy saying no or stop every 30 seconds. I have coupons too. A lot of them. When you glare at me in the checkout line, I refuse to notice.

2. If I blow you off because I say I am tired, I actually am tired. Actually, tired would be a lie. Overworked. Overburdened. Dead on my feet.

3. I want to say a sincere and loving thank you to all those who have offered to come over and socialize with me. I truly do appreciate and welcome your offers. However, at the end of a long day, sometimes the last thing I want to do after the boys are asleep is have to scramble around and try to make my apartment look decent enough for company and then entertain when all I am really thinking about is my bed.

4. If I seem frustrated or grumpy, I probably am. I never get enough sleep and during the week I only get to see my kids is when they are tired and cranky.

5. I can't do it all.  I act like I am superhuman because my kids need me to. I am their provider for everything day in and day out. Between taking care of the boys and work, I just don't have time to get it all done. I will forever act like I can though. Its part of the job.

What can you do to help a single mom?

1. Volunteer to babysit. I am either with my kids or at work. I can't afford to hire a babysitter. Give me a chance to go out and do something – or just stay home alone. I am never alone.

2. Clean something. Don't make any comments about how messy things are or offer suggestions to improve the situation (unless you too are a single working mom). Just show up and help me do something. Clean the kitchen. Pick up toys (oh the agony). Put away laundry.

3. Want to be my hero but don't have a lot of time? Take over bedtime one night. Spare me the battle. I do it every night. I accept food that all I have to do is heat up so I don't have to cook. Save your coupons and give them to me.

As I said before, being superhuman (or at least acting like it) is part of the job of a single working mother. If you really want to be supportive, help me without making me feel less than superhuman. Don't point out my failures and shortcomings. I know them better than anyone. Just help. Please realize that sometimes the best way to be supportive is to spend less time with me and more time with my kids. Its not because I don't want to hang out or I don't want to talk, its because I sometimes need a break too. I hope things will get easier as my kids get older and can do more things for themselves, but at 3 and 6 years old, they are still pretty dependent on mom.

I want to sincerely thank everyone both in my life and through this blog who have offered support, kind words, friendship, and love. You make my heart soar, my words sing, and my toes dance.

{ 2 comments }

Shonda June 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

If only we lived closer so I could do those things for you and with you. Being a mom is an amazing, challenging, sometimes terrifying job, one I can’t imagine having to do totally on my own. You are an awesome mommy and I pray you get (and accept) the help that’s needed.

MamaSpaghetti June 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I can't imagine having to do all tha by myself.  I am constantly impressed by how strong single parents are!  It sounds like you're a great mom, though.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: