The difficulties of being a single mother without a father who would sometimes see the kids, nor any kind of extended family living near enough to go visit every so often, are not always what people might think.
Of course, there are financial problems and hardship. How could it be otherwise in an economy where one salary cannot be enough for a whole family? There is also the evident lack of “mighty words” spoken by the father and, therefore, lack of back-up in authority. And there is the general loneliness, problems with dating, etc.
But that is not all.
There are many other problems that no outsider thinks of and most people don’t care about, either by ignorance of because they think it’s trivial. In this bog, I want to talk about some of these problems.
The lack of time:
It is clear that a person cannot be in two locations at the same time, but it would sure be useful sometimes, or make that “often.” Taking kids to sports practice, or to an event, and being able to clean the house, buy groceries, and cook dinner, at the same time would be extremely useful. I used to not have a laundry machine and needed to use the on-site coin laundry. What seems like no big deal is in fact quite difficult; i.e. in the winter, when I had to get coat, hat and boots on my child, just to get the clothes from the washer to the dryer. The occasion when this problem seems the most terrible is when mom is sick. One cannot be sick and watch and care for a small child at the same time. But one generally has to “just” do it.
The lack of help:
I know that too many husbands don’t help a lot around the house, but most try at least to keep the lawn mowed, the house fixed, and the car in fairly good repair. You know that there is somebody who’ll know what to do when the roof leaks, when a door lock jams, when the toilet flush doesn’t stop, when the car won’t start, or when furniture comes in a kit. But when you are a single mom, you need to do these tasks on your own, too. Or, if you cannot, you will be asking your girlfriends’ husbands forever, and believe me, the asking gets harder and harder and harder with time! It will get so bad that—in the end—you will not ask anymore and just “do without.”
The lack of response:
It seems like no big deal, but it can get quite heavy when one can never talk to a friendly minded grown up. We all have friends with whom we communicate more or less often. If you are like I, you don’t have many friends and, considering our busy life-styles, you don’t get to talk to them often. When you DO talk to them, you realize after a half an hour that you’re monopolizing the conversation. Why? Because you have never anybody with whom you could share the small and big things of life. Once you’re home, you’re home-home-home with the kids. You can’t just leave them to go live your adult life by spending quality time with your quality friends. Even phone calls are generally shortened, because little kids tend to do all the forbidden things and get into trouble when their mom is busy on the phone.
The lack of support and comfort:
There is never anyone who would applaud something well done, as there is never anyone on whose shoulder one could cry when things get sour. There is no one to boast to, nor to whine or complain to. All these terribly human emotions have simply no outlet, AT ALL, ever. Your successes and your sorrows will go totally unnoticed by the world and your friends. By the time you ever get to see your friends, most of the initial emotion is already gone.
You will always laugh and cry ALONE. There will be no shared joy, and there will be no one handing you a handkerchief for your sorrows.
And THIS is one of the biggest burdens of all….