Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Struggles are lessons

Although I have been a full-time single parent for a very long time, and certainly busy with other activity both working and night school, I have hesitated to ever use it as an excuse or a crutch. Rather the opposite. If a professor knew I was a single mother, or that I was juggling a full-time job during the day, he/she had not heard it from me. Because I was attending night school there were many classmates with spouses, or children, and many with full-time jobs. I am not sure how many were doing all of them single handed. But I often heard excuses.
Such as:
My wife and I are going away for the weekend, I can’t get all that homework done.
My kid is sick, my boss kept me late at work, and any other million and one excuses.

I hated to use it, I hated to say it, I guess I am stubborn in that way. When my kids were sick, when they made me sick, when the boss needed something extra at work, when there was a school program or Parent teacher meeting, I always managed to make it all work. I never took time off work with a sick child without using up precious vacation time. Usually ending up sick myself and struggling through work with that.

I am just not a NO person, sometimes I wish I were. I hate when people think I need help and I hate more than that, to take it.

In some ways the need is due to stubbornness, and insisting I do it alone. In other ways, such as repair and improvements to my house, or my car, it is necessity usually due to funding. Who wants to ask for money?

I have been known to blame my ex husband for not paying support on time- under my breath. I have been known to blame my boss for keeping me late- under my breath. It always seemed I actually would truly blame myself when things didnt work out perfectly. Always trying to prove to myself that I could do it all, all by myself. So I would not openly tell anyone reasons why I couldnt do something, I would just find a way to do it. Sometimes falling into bed with less than five hours sleep, or missing out on my own activities with friends in order to get it all done.

But the older I get, the longer I live, the more stress and struggle I encounter, the better I am at taking advice, accepting help, insisting on help from the kids, and taking less of the blame on my own shoulders.
I have become a stronger woman, I have become more outspoken, and I am beginning to reap some reward from that.

I hope that I can continue to do that. I don’t want to come across as a b-i-o-t-c-h but I do not want to be a doormat either.

In my teens I was scared to be me; in my twenties, I was unsure who me was; in my thirties, I have been discovering the real me; I will be forty this summer and I am ready to just enjoy being me!

If you know someone who is carrying a large load, and telling you that s/he is fine. Help them anyway. Take off some of the burden they wont ask for help and they will probably not agree to the help. But sometimes it is just nice to hear, 'let me do that, while you go take a hot shower.'


  1. What a great post!!!

    I have a pretty awesome single mom support system for this reason! I cant do it all on my own and neither can they - so we play tag alot, picking up where the other one cant!

  2. Thanks Laura.
    It really depends on the day with me but even with support from parents and friends, it was an internal thing with me to think I needed to do it all.
    I agree a good support group is essential. Thank you for your comments


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