Monday, September 20, 2010

Single Mommas: "That's just what we do"

Single-momma-hood. It happens. For whatever reason, however, happens. Some single momma's never intend to be single momma's, and hate it. Some start out in a 2 parent situation, and things 'don't work out'. Some are single from the beginning. Some choose to be a single momma. I'm sure there are other situations as well....but none-the-less, we are still Single Momma's.

So yesterday, I posted a blog about how I was sick, and woke up at an awful hour, trying to deal with the sickness. I went about my day, doing my best to nurse myself (and the Cadet, who's a little under the weather as well, and too 'big' for kiddie meds). I went to church, thinking that as the day went along, I'd get better, as long as I was drinking lots of fluids, taking meds, and taking it easy.

The music ministry always rehearses before we sing before the congregation on Sunday mornings, so I figured, "I just won't push it today". We were already joking that I'd be singing bass instead of soprano, because of how that cold had me sounding when I talked. We began to warm-up to on of the songs we'd be singing yesterday, and I could barely make it through. I'm so glad we were sitting down, because I would have had to! I could not draw in a proper breath to get through a 2 minute song! I knew I had to give it up for the day. I let the rest of the group know, humbling out a bit, because I LOVE worshipping with them, but I needed to take care of myself. I gathered my things, and went and found myself a seat in the congregation, all the while sweating and puffing on my inhaler. I ended up sitting in the third row, a couple of seats down from our oldest member, Miss Doris...a beautiful, 97 year old lady who is always one of the first people in the church, is always encouraging, still gets around on her own, and is such an inspiration. She just lost her final living family member, her daughter, earlier this summer. Yet she is still so faithful to God, and continues to live her life to the full. I sat a couple of seats down from her, because I didn't want to spread my germs to her and possibly get her sick, yet she encouraged me to come to the spot directly next to her. She told me "I usually get to see you onstage, you think I want to miss the treat of having you next to me?" I explained that I'm not onstage today because I'm sick, and didn't want to spread my germs to her. She then told me "Well, I will have to take my chances. Your flesh is weak, but your spirit is willing. Both of mine are strong and willing right now, so please, sit closer." How can I argue with that. As I sat, blowing my nose, sipping my ginger/lemon water and coughing, she rubbed my back, and continued with praising God, like this was nothing new.

For years, she was a single momma. Not that she meant to be, but she was. Her husband had passed away. She just did 'what we do'.

I passed on going to rehearsal after church, going to the youth ministry meeting, and instead brought myself and the kiddios home. I got on my nebulizer, took some cold meds and went to sleep. I ended up waking up, and going grocery shopping, but even that was physically draining. As soon as I came in the house, I got back on the nebulizer, trying to clear my airways. Being on the machine had a greater effect as well; the medicine helps to break up the mucus in my throat, so I was coughing and spitting as I sat there. After the treatment, I came back into my bedroom, to sit and chill. I let the kiddios know that I wasn't feeling well, and had bought them a DiGiorno at the store. Having a cooking 14 year old Cadet, I knew they were in good hands. The most I have to worry about, I thought, was the arguing over who would use the computer vs. the Wii. And that was exactly right.

Right around 8pm, I was feeling really short of breath, so I got back on the nebulizer for my third breathing treatment of the day. For some reason, it just wasn't working though. I mean, it was still breaking up the mucus, which is a good side effect, but what good is having side effects if the end result isn't there?

So I had Bean get in the shower at 8:30 as usual, to begin our nightly routine. Boy Wonder had gone into his room to draw, and the Cadet was the only one still in the living room. I called him into my room to tell him what my plan was. I let him know that I was going to the emergency room. The kiddios and I are all asthmatics, and have all had to go to ER's because of asthma, so he knew why I was going. Our nebulizer here at the house just wasn't strong enough for what I needed here, plus at the hospital, they have more specialized meds according to your symptoms. I let him know that I wanted to wait until everyone was getting ready for bed, that I would go, get treated and be right back home, since it wasn't a serious situation. He understood, and wasn't scared when I asked him if he was. He admitted he was a little worried though, but he was glad I was going. I told him to make sure he had his phone on and the ringer loud, and to text me as the night went on, and call me right before he went to bed.

As I went to the ER, I let a couple of people know, folks that I knew would be able to go and help the kids should I need them to, or that would be able to come and help me in the same way. I went to the ER that I knew wouldn't be crazy packed (thank God it wasn't)...but because I was so short of breath, and it was hurting my chest, I was immediately seen (so immediate that they printed my bracelet in triage, and I signed papers in my room, going to registration on my way out). I was checked into the ER at 9:10pm, and discharged at 10:51. I was back home, playing on Facebook by 11:28.

I was asked "why did you go alone" and "who's with you?"...I went alone because I had no one else to go with me. I didn't want to interrupt the kiddios schedule, and pack them all up to come with me. my kiddios are old enough to stay home for a couple of hours by themselves. I knew I wouldn't be gone all night, and if I were, I had people who could get to them quickly. I went alone because I had no one else here to go with me, but NEEDED to go. I'm a single momma. That's just what I do.

I make decisions all the time because I am a single momma. Last year, Bean and Boy Wonder used to come to my job everyday after school, because it kept them close to me, and it kept me from having to pay for after school care, something a single income household cannot budget for. I've had to swallow my 'pride' and go apply for government benefits, because they are all asthmatic and need medical insurance, as well as food benefits. No, it doesn't feel good, but I know that I go to work everyday, and that the kiddios SEE me working hard, and appreciating what we DO have, instead of 'taking advantage of the system'. Even the job I have-I wanted something that wouldn't have me bringing stresses home with me...where I can actually plan to go to parent/teacher conferences, where I can come home and help with homework. I have that job, and it has even taught me how to better deal with and raise them.

Back in the day (in college) I sold my (maternal) eggs to an in-vitro company...I got paid VERY well for only 6 weeks worth of work (like 2 months rent and all of Christmas well)...because its what I had to do. I've been making sacrifices for so long, that I can't even remember what most of them are to list them. (Last week, I didn't post because I had to let the cable get cut off...Bean needed a new school sweater, #KanyeShrug) But these are things that i have learned to live without, because I'm a single momma...and making these decisions now come easy to me. They didn't always...but over the years, I've learned to just 'let them'.

I came into single-momma-hood by choice, I like to say. We were married after the boys were born, divorced before Bean turned one. I could have stayed, but it wasn't the right choice. I made the decision to pick up the kids and go, and haven't really looked back. I wouldn't suggest this route for everyone, especially since everyone's case is different. But I had a great support system (still do!), and I have learned what works and what doesn't. I've found myself a little more independent than maybe I should be, and am still learning to let people in, and LET them help me if they offer. Single mommas will know that this is hard to do...since we have had to depend on self for so long.

Single mommas, speak out. Think about some of the things you "just do" for your kids, that others may never have to. Those of you who aren't single parents, take a listen. I cannot say thanks enough to the friends that I have (especially the men/fathers/husbands) who take time out from their own lives to help mine out. If you are able, find a single parent home, and 'adopt' them. I'm not saying that you need to provide for them financially...but maybe let the kids hang with you for a night so mom can go to a movie, or for a Saturday afternoon so she can nap/go grocery shopping alone/sit and watch a movie with a rating over PG-13, lol. Spend time with the kids individually; this is something that a single momma may not be able to do if she has more than one. Though this doesn't seem like much, believe me, it will be. Alot of single mommas don't get alone time, and would more than appreciate it, plus the kids would love a change of scenery.

I would love to hear what you guys think...

...until next time...


  1. This was a great post, parenting, let alone single parenting is THEE hardest job ever. I'm sure to let my friends without children know this. Like you said you can have the perfect set up 2 parent home and children and things can change in an instant, and there you are raising your children alone.

    A lot of things are sacrificed being a single parent household, but I can definitely say we do not lack for anything. We have a great support system of godparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. We are really blessed!

    Again, thanks for sharing :)

  2. I agree this was a great post. Parenting is HARD!! Period. I think if you are a real parent, man or woman, then you do what you have ifs ands or just do it. But I think that single parents doing what they have to do is so much harder becuz you don't have that permanent back-up, and I'm glad that you have a support system to help you out.