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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Single Motherhood Struggles

I have wanted to talk about this for a long time now, but just don't know how to bring it up or exactly what to say.  Until a comment a friend made last week really made me think about my struggles as a single mother.  Her comment was that she felt like a single mother...but was happily married.

That statement offended me.  And I'll tell you why.  If you've never been a single mother you DON'T know what that feels like so you can't possible feel like a single mother.  You could have a lot of stress, domestic work, rearing children with a husband who is gone a lot.  There are a TON of mothers here whose husbands are residents or in active duty military and they're not able to see their families very often for days to even years.  But those women still don't know what it's like to be a single mom.  They still have an income to manage the house, medical insurance for illnesses, and other benefits through their husbands.  A single mom has to manage that all by herself, there is no one to help you provide benefits for your child or an income for your home.  Most single moms I know have to work...there just isn't any other way.  To say a person "feels like a single mom" is obviously coming from someone who has (thankfully) never been in those shoes.  A single mom cannot "feel" like one, because she "is" one.  She doesn't have time to complain...there's too much to do.

I remember once when I was talking to someone and complaining about being a single mother and how it's not my fault but I feel that I am being punished, there was a woman who looked at me and told me that "I was the one who chose X as my husband" and basically I made my bed and should lay in it.  That half the blame was because of my choices.  I was shocked and stunned by her ignorance.  We all need to "think before we speak".  Sometimes when we say things we don't realize can offend others.  It's just like saying to someone who lost their mother, "I know how you feel" when your mother is still alive...you have NO idea what that person is going through. 

Why do I feel I have authority to talk about this subject of single motherhood?  Because I was one.  Most of you know that Mr H is my 2nd husband...this is my 2nd marriage.  Before I met Mr. H I was a single mother taking care of a child not even 17 months old when my 1st husband kicked us out of our home.  Luckily my parents let us stay with them but KK and I were on our own.  My parents didn't have room for us so they partitioned part of their room off so that a crib and a twin size mattress could fit, it was a tiny space and that's where KK and I called home from May 2008-November 2008 until we could rearrange the dinning room so we could move in there.  This picture shows how little room we had.  On the other side, by KK, was the partition. 
 
We stayed in the dining room until I married in July of 2010.  There are a lot of memories associated with that dining room, such as this: 

video
And maybe this is a good time to confess that I nursed KK until he was 3 and a half years old.  And I am not shamed of it.  That was something that both him and I needed.  KK needed that comfort and I in turn also needed that comfort of him close to me, needing me.  When Mr H. and I started talking I nursed KK for another 15 months!  He knew I nursed him and guess what!?  He supported me and thought it was fine.  Gotta love him for that. 
 
That dining room saw me through graduating from college as a single mom with a bachelors in Biology!  
 
That dining room also was the place that Mr H's and my first kiss happened.  OMG look how red my cheeks were...I was so shy about that whole situation.
 
My experience of being a single mom wasn't all smiles.  I STRUGGLED!  I went through a divorce, I had to split time with X, I had to put KK in daycare, I had to work, I hardly had a break, I had to pay for EVERYTHING because X refused to pay child support, I didn't have time to be depressed because KK needed me.  But all I wanted to do is get in bed and never leave.  It was the most difficult time of my life.  But for me, I'm lucky.  I met Mr H. soon after KKs 2nd birthday.  He lived in Arizona so it wasn't a normal courtship, until he moved to Ohio at the end of 2009.  But I think I will leave our "courtship" to another blog post.  

2 comments:

  1. BEAUTIFUL! You've always been an inspiration to me and although I'm sad we have this in common, I'm glad we have each other to support, someone who truly understands my struggles!

    LOVE YA!

    P.S. A coworker (male) once told me I have it EASY because I "get" time off...I bit my lip until it almost fell off because I'm sure I would've decked him...if you're in a LOVING and SUPPORTIVE marriage that "time off" is MUCH more enjoyable! My "time off" consists of CONSTANT worry and concern...not the kind of "time off" anyone would choose!

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  2. I'm been thinking more and more about this post. That person who basically said you CHOOSE X so you CHOOSE this...it's like saying you can't be upset about your husband dying from cancer, because you CHOOSE to marry him. At the time you married him you didn't know he had cancer, but he still "got it" and died from it...there are choises you make and the end result aren't in our control.

    I really loved this post ;)

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