I heard a quote today, and it clicked.
“You are not a single mother when the father is financially, physically, and mentally involved with their children. That makes you a single woman.”
This statement is beyond true. Being a single mother, means that you are doing it entirely on your own. It means that you fill both roles as mother and father. When the father is active in the child(ren)’s lives, you are just… a single woman. I am going to explain my life, and routines, as a single MOTHER, raising my daughter alone.
I had my daughter in the beginning of 2016. Her father was barely involved as is, but the birth made it worse. When I gave birth, he went out to dinner with his family, as I was at the hospital without him. How lonely, right? This was a clear indication that he simply does not give a shit about his child.
After arriving home from the hospital, my daughter did wonderful. She had a great schedule, and woke up about every two hours of the night for a feeding. Instead of helping me, a tired new mother, he played video games. I did not breastfeed, as she did not want to attach. I would ask multiple times if he could help me while I caught up on some rest. He simply turned back around and said he was busy…
When my daughter became about three months old, I had enough. I was tired of the way he treated my daughter and I. I was tired of the lack of help with HIS child. So, mama bear instincts kicked in and, he was kicked out.
Zooming to the fall of 2016, I had signed my a lease to move into a two-bedroom apartment. I was currently working full time, if not over time, in the corporate office of a business that started in my hometown. I would work from 40 to 50 hours a week, with little time to see my daughter. It was either spend all day with her and have no income, or make an income and cherish the time I did have with her. So how did I survive as a single mother? At this time, child support was not in place, and he did not offer to help monetarily for my daughter. Here is a break down of the bills that I had, and the income I was bringing home.
I averaged $700.00 every two weeks/ $1,400 every month.
Rent was $500 (included water) a month.
Electricity was $175 a month.
Internet was $80.00 a month.
Vehicle Gas was $100 a month (due to working out of town).
Groceries were $200 a month (I did not have SNAP at the time).
Renter’s Insurance was $20 a month.
This added up was $1,075 a month. I was left with an average of $325 for the rest of the month. In order to have some left from each check, I divided my bills out properly.
This budget did not include house essentials, hygiene essentials for both my daughter and I, and it did not include work lunches. Things did get tight, however, I still managed to save and was able to do activities with my daughter without fearing my next bill.
So why do I argue the fact of a single mother, compared to a single woman?
In my situation, I am told that I have absolutely no idea on how to be a single mother, and that my significant other should basically “kiss ass” to his children’s mothers because they have done it for so long. For one, the first mother decided to be single and will remain single. For two, if you truly knew my life, you would realize, that I lived on my own with a new child with NO help other than a loving grandmother of my daughter who was willing to watch her cheaper than normal daycares. I did not receive government assistance at the time, I did not receive SNAP at the time, and her father was not involved by any means.
Now trying to manage the apartment was a bit more difficult with an adventurous one year old. Cleaning was impossible with her nosey self snooping through cabinets. In order to clean, I would distract her with her favorite movie and toy, and I would set up a baby gate at the room I was working on. For the bathroom, the gate was important because she was not able to touch the chemicals used to clean the tub or toilet. I used my weekends as the relaxing, cleaning days. We went to my parents on occasion, but a majority of the weekends were used for family time after cleaning was done.
I did not get days that I could hand her over to just clean! I did not have the luxury to go out every weekend because the father had the child. No, I stayed home as a mother should and tended to my daughter.
I am not saying we do not need “our time”, but I did not have the option to do so. Every mother deserves “me time”. Whether it be to go get your nails done, clean, or simply grocery shop with out little, nosey fingers grabbing everything they see. Is it not nice to do so??
For the people that do not get credit for being a single mother! Kudos to you for being the bad-ass momma that you are! It takes a very strong woman to not only be a mom, but to be a dad as well. Coming from the same situation, I know it is hard. But you have this! God put you on this earth for a reason. Look at your child. There is your reason.
I was scrolling through Instagram and seen a post, that I had to share to my page. It read: “If God brought you to it, he will get you through it”.
That is so true. He will not put you through some thing that he knows you will not make it through. Being a mother is hard. Fight for what is right, and stay strong.
Hang in there momma.