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Doing it Alone Let's Talk

Single Parenting Is Really, Really Hard

Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

I’ve never actually been a single parent, but I know that single parenting must be incredibly difficult. For two weeks, my husband was laid up while recovering from surgery. My husband, who, as an experienced single father, does most of the cooking and laundry in our household, was unable to move from the sofa. I suddenly had to fix meals, take the kids to and from school, do the laundry, and still keep my business going. Two weeks was enough for me to know that I never want to be a single mom even though some moms are happy to be single moms…and I have a ton of respect for the moms and dads out there who, by choice or by necessity, are raising their kids on their own.

Single Parenting Is Harder Because

…when you’re a single parent, there is no built-in respite. You’re responsible for every need your child has, emotionally and economically. Certainly, you may share parenting duties with the other biological parent, but it is much different than when there are two parents available to break up squabbles, give hugs, and yes, make money!

…when you’re a single parent, there is no running errands while the other parent stays home with the children. Every outing (until the kids are old enough to be on their own) requires you to bundle up the kids and haul them along with you.

…when you’re a single parent, there is no taking turns when the kids are sick. Every middle-of-the-night vomiting, fever, nightmare, and feeding are all yours.

How to Help a Single Parent in Your Life

Do you know someone who is a single mom or dad? With the understanding that single parenting is tough even when it is by choice, there are things you can do as a friend or family member to make it easier and give them a chance to recharge their batteries.

  • Offer to babysit! We all love our kids, but we love them a lot more when we get a chance to recharge. This is often difficult for a single parent to do, and having a trusted friend or family member take a turn with the kids every once in awhile can offer a much-needed break.
  • Run errands. When going to the store for a gallon of milk means packing up three kids and loading and unloading them from the car, the willingness of a friend to drop off a few groceries can be a wonderful gesture.
  • Spend time! When your only conversation is with children, it can get lonely. Stop over and have coffee with your single-parent friend or family member and give them some adult time.

Single parenting requires the ability to find energy where none exists and to keep smiling when you feel like crying. My hat goes off to all the single moms and dads out there who wake up each day and give everything they have to their kids. It’s quite a job!

Categories
Doing it Alone Let's Talk

The Generosity of Others

Getting Real With Sara Haley
It’s true what they say–it’s not about the money in your bank account or the belongings that you possess.  It’s about the friends and family that you have around you, that love and care about you.

It’s coming up on a year since I left my husband. My divorce has been long-winded and dramatic. I went from being a stay-at-home mom to a work-from-home mom struggling from paycheck to paycheck. I’m not going to lie, it has been hard for me. Going from a single income married family with two children (my daughter and step-son) to a single mom of one trying to make it on her own was quite the transition. But through it all, I have kept my head held high and have had a positive outlook on everything that has been thrown my direction. Although things have been hard, I have been amazed at the generosity of others.
Getting things together for my own place was difficult. I had taken the bare minimum with me, and I suddenly felt like a college kid headed out on her own with not a single thing to her name. I had even left some essential basics, figuring they would be divvied up sooner or later in the courts. I ended up without a kitchen table, a bed, and a few other “niceties” that I would have enjoyed having, like a couch and a coffee table. But it wasn’t long before offers started coming in. I ended up borrowing a twin bed in order to have a place to sleep. A friend of a friend had a kitchen table to spare, and I was able to have a place to sit with my daughter and eat our meals. Over time, I was slowly able to replace everything. I was able to get a hold of an inexpensive mattress and return the one that I was borrowing come spring. I was able to find the most adorable dining room table at a garage sale for $20, and was able to “re-gift” the other kitchen table to a couple that needed it.
In addition to help with furniture, I have had a lot of friends and family that have been offering things to help out. I am able to swap with friends for “babysitting nights” so I can go out and enjoy an adult evening out without the munchkin and avoiding having to pay a babysitter. I have a number of friends with little girls that provide me with hand-me-down clothes for my daughter. I have family that doesn’t think twice about coming over and sharing a bottle of wine and help me catch up on spring cleaning my apartment. And this last spring, I was able to enjoy a nice two week getaway to Arizona because a friend was nice enough to let me stay at her house the entire time. My daughter and I were able to enjoy a nice little vacation and enjoy a little time away from all the drama of home without having to shell out for food or a place to stay.
I cannot say enough about the generosity and caring nature of my friends and family over this last year. All I have the words to say is “thank you.” Thank you to everyone who has helped me get on my feet and has continued to be there for me when I need them most. I will always look back on these times and remember how amazingly appreciative I was for everyone’s help, and I know that when my friends and family are in their own time of need, I will be one of the first to step up to the plate and give from the heart.
Categories
Divorce Doing it Alone Let's Talk

Spell From Hell

MomsGetReal™ Poet Extraordinaire Tammy Bartholomew

My makeup goes on
Over my swollen eyes
Can’t you see
It’s just a disguise
Hide the pain
This evil spell
Trying to get out of
This living hell
Smiling friends
They think I’m alright
Know something is wrong
From the pain I fight
Makeup comes off
To discover
I have just lost
My best friend and my lover
Sharing is too painful
Start to pretend
Get up in the morning
Do it again
Days go by
Just pretend
Hopefully soon
This spell from hell will end