As a single mom, I won’t apologize for these 7 things
I don’t think I ever realized how bad single moms were until I was. Although we are the breadwinners and keep our households together on our own, we are often labeled and judged for things that are usually beyond our control.
It took a while, but I’m finally at a point where I don’t care anymore – and it’s amazing. In fact, there are several things for which, as a single mom, I no longer apologize.
I know the statistics and expert advice that ‘kids are better to stay together’. Almost two years after the divorce, however, I still stand behind what I decided when I hired a lawyer – my kids are absolutely better off in a house where everyone gets along.
My children know they are loved and I do everything I can to make up for any shortcomings they are experiencing as a result of the divorce. I am a better parent besides their father, mainly because I am happier and healthier than I ever was during my ten year marriage to their father.
So judge me as much as you want for breaking up my marriage, but I’m not sorry at all.
Take my kids with me
I recently had a primary care visit scheduled on a day when my children were not in school. I didn’t think it was a big deal to just take my kids with me to my date and pack a bag of things for them to do while they waited. However, the nurse complained about my children and asked me why I “couldn’t just leave them with their father”.
At first I felt bad about it, but the more I thought about it the more I realized that the problem here was not with me or my kids, but with the nurse and her attitude towards busy moms. Single mom or not, it’s not uncommon for mothers to take their kids with them on dates, errands, or even to work every now and then. So no, I don’t apologize for the fact that my kids couldn’t “stay home with daddy” and had to come with me – it’s actually good for them.
There is a whole movement of shame against mothers focused on parents who let their children spend “too” time in front of the screens. Some mothers even insist that parents are not doing enough to entertain their children and are simply replacing parenthood with electronic devices.
Here’s the thing, though: I work full time and write as a freelance writer at the same time so I can pay the bills and still have enough money to look after my kids every now and then. Unfortunately, that means there are days when I let my kids watch TV shows or play a bit on an iPad so I can do all of my work.
Does that mean I’m not trying to spend as much time as possible interacting with my kids? Absolutely not. We play board games almost every day, frequently do crafts, and enjoy days at the pool or on the playground. Unfortunately, it’s just a delicate balance – and sometimes a little bit of time spent in front of it. The screen helps me go through my to-do list a bit faster, giving us more time to play together.
Buy things instead of making them
I’ve always wanted to be one of those moms who make cute gift bags or bake cute cupcakes for class parties… but I’m not. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m a single mom or just the fact that I’m a hot mom, but anyway, I just don’t have time to bake everything or bake it all. adorable smelly homemade items every time there is a school event. And since I have several children, homemade costumes are also out of the question.
While it would be nice to do these things, I now realize that buying items from the store instead of baking them at home is not going to scare my child for life. In fact, it helps them see that there are more than one way to accomplish the same task, and that’s important.
3I have to admit, I get a little head-brained sometimes, especially with things like dress up days at school or buying sundries at the store. Between work, raising children and simply running a household, things often fall through the cracks – and it sucks.
However, I won’t apologize for forgetting things, especially trivial things like “Crazy Socks Day”. My kids don’t even care what it is half the time, so why should I blame myself for forgetting?
Raising children is expensive as it is. However, it is even more expensive when you are a single income household. Because of this, that extra dollar for crushed ice or for trying to sell enough school fundraising items can sometimes break the bank.
I used to feel guilty about it, but I honestly think there are a lot of us in this boat and we should all be a little gentler on ourselves. Chances are our kids could enjoy the extra item anyway, so why sweat the little things?
Take advantage of the “me”
When I was still married, my ex-husband often made me feel guilty about the time I spent away from our children, even if it was for work. Even after my ex and I broke up, I felt guilty for asking anyone to watch the kids so I could go out for a night out or go shopping without them.
But is a little ‘time for me’ really a bad thing for moms? If you ask me, it isn’t. In fact, I think it’s important for any mom to take time for herself, whether she’s married, single, or in a committed relationship. All moms need to recharge their batteries every now and then, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Even though I love my children with all my heart, I also need time for myself from time to time. Here’s how I make sure I have time for myself as a single mom.
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