Friday, March 20, 2015 Mommy Time Single Mother
How I Survived Being A Single Mom
I know you. I feel you. I can read your mind. I am you. A Single Mom. It was eleven years ago when I made a beautiful mess in my ...
I know you. I feel you. I can read your mind. I am you. A Single Mom.
It was eleven years ago when I made a beautiful mess in my life. I got pregnant out of wedlock and was forced to be married to a person I didn’t see my entire future with and whom I knew I had a lot of differences wtih. But we still got hitched anyway, because the family cared too much about what other people may say. But we learned our lessons well, right after that mistake. I remember very well saying, “I don’t want to get married.” My voice and feelings were less important than the situation we were in.
We tried a year, but separated soon after desperately trying. I felt alone, but relieved. I felt scared, but ready to face the consequences. I was easily judged, called names, and even taken advantage of by some people. I had a lot of insecurities. I struggled financially. I raised my child solo.
I felt ALONE but RELIEVED.
I know very well how depressing it felt especially when I was out with my child at a mall and see another child with both his mom and dad beside him. They looked very happy and of course complete. My heart would crush many times at the thought of having no one to help me raise my child. But still, I was relieved. I would rather be alone, than be with someone I didn’t trust anymore. I would rather be alone, than be stuck in a unit where love and respect no longer linger. I would rather be alone with my child, than argue with another person. I was relieved. I knew, things happened for a reason. I didn’t understand what, but I knew then that being alone was the better situation for me and my child. I’d rather be a single mom.
I was SCARED.Sometimes, idealists, moralists, including the perfectionists expect one truth for married couples. To be together for better or for worse. But if I could only tell them to open their eyes to other realities that not all end up like that or like them. I was scared for my future, my son's future, how he will cope with this new normal. I was scared of the questions he might ask about family, and how correctly I could answer them in a manner he will understand. I was scared if I could successfully bring him up a fine young man even if I would do it solo and without a dad figure. I was scared about everything and anything that concerned my son. I would look at him as a baby and cry. I even felt sorry and guilty for partly being the reason for our situation. But beyond the fears, I stood firm with my decision. I knew it was for the better. I knew that I have the support of my family. I conditioned myself to that I'll be a better and more involved mom. I was ready to face whatever consequences my decision would bring. I was never prepared for anything. What I was about to embark to, wasn't the norm, it's irregular and totally brave. I faced each day with strength in my heart which ultimately came from my son.
I was JUDGED.
Oh boy, I was called so many names. Want a few examples? Separada. Dala-nang Ina (instead of dalaga). And a lot other worse names. People in the neighborhood talked about me, they love rumoring as their past time. They formed cruel impressions about me. I was mad at them. I resented living where I was. My parents were affected by what false buzz was spreading about the reason why I got separated and why I became a single mom. But of course, they could keep guessing and wouldn't get the real story from me or any of my family. Why? Because I didn't owe anyone an explanation. Honestly speaking, yes at first I was deeply affected because it was truly unfair for strangers in the neighborhood to pretend to know my whole story, when they only heard about it from other people not even connected to me. I feared how the rumoring would affect the people I love, my son and my parents. But knowing the truth and holding on to it kept me going. It lifted my spirits up to fight for my situation back then. Is being a single mom worse than aborting a child? Is being a single mom worse than abandoning my responsibilities for my child? Is being a single mom worse than accepting the mental and psychological abuse a woman gets in a marital relationship just so she could keep the marriage intact? NO. So I started caring less about what others say about me and protected my child from them by not exposing him to people and places I feel he won't be safe. I am answerable to God and not to them. I carried on.
I was INSECURE.
Having no father present for my son in his daily life was a big insecurity for me. I felt incomplete as a parent. I felt sad for my son, but of course I didn't let him feel that. It was difficult to go out every weekend to spend family day without a complete family. Whenever we strolled the mall or park and saw a family with both parents present, I was heartbroken. It was tearing me apart. I had questioned myself as a woman, as a mother. I doubted my decisions and sometimes regretted it. It got to a point when I was obsessed about having a father figure present whenever we'd go out, only to realize it was wrong and not helping the situation. I learned to just concentrate on what makes me happy. Because when I am happy I become whole. And the only reason of my happiness is my son. I focused on him and depended more on God and His plans for the two of us. I depended on God to take care and keep both of us safe. I became less and less insecure. The insecurities, weren't 100% gone right away, but I didn't notice it haunting me anymore. I spent more time with my son and truly, he took out all the negativity I was feeling back then.
I STRUGGLED FINANCIALLY
Being a solo parent to a child who has his own needs (and of course wants) was hard. Difficult was an understatement. Other families with one child, earn double to be able to support the needs of the family. Talk about vaccinations, milk, diaper, clothes, food, then later on educational expenses added to the list. I had to support him by myself. Back then, after being a stay-at-home-mom for two years since I got pregnant, my bounce-back job wasn't a dream job. I started as a junior officer, it was a level or two higher than a staff position. Of course, it didn't pay enough to say that we lived comfortably. It was heartbreaking when I had to decline some unbudgeted requests from my son. But we survived. God indeed PROVIDES! Seriously, it's a mystery how with the measly salary I was earning back then, I was able to support him with all his needs, send him to school and even have extra for leisure activities. It was a miracle for me. I learned to pray more and depend on God more. He answered all my prayers. He never failed us and He never will.
Everybody deserves a second chance. YES us too SINGLE MOTHERS. We deserve a second, even a third (and a lot more) chance at LIFE and at LOVE. We have a very loving God. We have a very forgiving God. We have a generous God who provides what we need in order for us to be able to take care of HIS wonderful creation and gift to us mothers, our child/children. HE will not abandon us. God looks after mothers who unconditionally love her child and do everything she can to survive.
If you worry that no one would love you and your child anymore, STOP. Because that is not true. While God is molding you as a more responsible mother and the best person that you could be, He is also molding another person who would accept you and your child with all his heart. You don't have to rush. You don't have to look. God will bring him to you. Believe that will happen because it happened to me. Just have faith and pray for it. God will give you what you ask for and say YES to persons and situations that are best for you and your child. He is faithful to you.
You see, people should have more respect for Single Mothers. Most would frown upon us for the choices we make and the way we decide our lives to run. Some people don't know the pain, the sacrifices, the heartbreaks, the stressful and depressing moments, and the buckets of tears we cry when we think of the future of our child/children.
To people who don't know what we go through, instead of judging and discouraging the single mothers, please do pray for us, inspire us, encourage us, and lift us up. Instead of talking about us behind our backs, ask us how we are. We are imperfect, and so are you and everybody else. We made this choice not because we want to be more independent or we don't want to commit or we want to party more or because we're selfish. We made some life choices most probably because it's for the better.
Dear single mothers reading this, feel my warm hug while I tell you that you will be better. Your child will have a good future. God will provide. You will SURVIVE. Because I did. It was not an easy road, but with prayers and a strong faith in finding and believing in God's promise, I SURVIVED.