I was going to title this “Life as a Single Parent,” but I know nothing of what it’s like to be a single father. Truth is, all I know is what I’ve seen from the single mom’s around me and from what is now my life. Lets start by defining, in the best way I can, what a single mother or father is. Or better yet let’s say what it isn’t. A single parent is NOT a person who has kids and is not with their childrens father or mother. No. It’s much more than that. If you have children but are not actively in their life, or what have you– you are NOT a single parent. You are NOT a single parent if you have your kids every other weekend. No. That does not make you a single parent. You’re a parent sure, but you are not on your own. If your children are with the other parent the majority of the time, if you only see them when its convenient for you, if don’t contribute anything positive to their life then I’m sorry but you are NOT a single parent.
By definition a single parent is a person raising a child or children without a partner. That’s me. Raising my kids all on my own. Before the events that led me to this life, my husband told me (in front of our children) that he didn’t want to be a father. He wanted his freedom and to hang out with his friends and do what he pleases. He wanted only to see them when he didn’t have plans already. Like I said before… this does not make you a parent. This, in my eyes, makes you an asshole. He didn’t see to want to see our children until the court decided it was in our childrens best interest not to see him for the time being. Everyone loves what they can’t have. But lets be nice. Or at least I am going to try to be as I sit here attempting to write this while I feed my children dinner and go over my daughters sight words, and do the kids laundry… all at the same time. Multitasking is key.
I am the sole and only provider for my children for EVERYTHING. I am the only parent who puts food in their mouths, clothes on their backs. I am the only parent who takes them to their activities, makes sure they brush their teeth, makes sure they are fed and clean. I am the only parent who makes sure my daughter’s homework gets done. They get a boo boo? I kiss it and make it better. Someone is sick? I take them to the doctor. One of them wakes up sick in the middle of the night? To urgent care I go. I am the only one who pays for anything they need and pays for their child care. No I have not received child support. Child support is a joke if you ask me. Let’s break this down.
I have two children which means they are entitled to 25% of my husbands income. They receive 100% of mine. How is this fair to our children or to me… the single mother. If we were raising them together, like we used to, our children would be financially set on 100% of their fathers income and 100% of their mothers. But hey, lets just keep the amount the non custodial parent has to contribute to a minimum right? Disclaimer: If my husband was actively and WANTED to actively be in their life I would not stop him nor would I be fighting with him in court over this. What should child support be covering?
I am the definition of a single mother.
My every move, my every moment, everything I am and everything I do is for my children. I work as much as I can to make sure they have a roof over their heads. Yes, I am more tired than I have ever been in my life. I’m not going to lie. Life of a single mother is nowhere near easy. On my days off I spend it doing crafts with the kids, reading with them, taking them wherever they want to go– the beach, the park, the library, fun 4 all, chuck e cheese, dave and buster, adventureland, the list goes on and on. I don’t get a break very often, and is it normal to feel guilty when I do? Yes. It is.
I am a single mother. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I love being a mother to my beautiful babies. I love seeing the smiles on their faces when they first wake up. I love helping Ariana pick out what she wants to wear to school. I love taking my son to get his hair cuts. I love all the hugs and kisses I get, and hearing them tell me how much they love me too. My children are my every day and every day I am their mom.
So you see, for those single parents who really are not present in their children’s lives– shame on you. But guess what? The only one losing here is you.