This is for the single parent. I am not saying my situation is any different from those who are single parents, we all have something to inform any who will listen. As you may know, (and if you don't yet, you might someday) parenting is hard. Fortunately, I was blessed with one little trooper! From the day he was born, he has been a great eater, sleeper, and pooper. He has a pleasant disposition, and always wakes up with a smile on his face!
I have one, and he is my world. Until recently, I was able to work as a paraprofessional or substitute. I normally have a job, but up until two weeks ago, I decided that the near panic attacks I was having, were caused by the stress of going back to a job that could not pay my bills. Daycare alone was taking over 3/4ths of my paycheck, and I would bring home pennies.
Mind you, my situation was by choice. I chose not to marry my ex, and with it, I do not receive child support. Most of you may be thinking, "Are you out of your mind?!" No. I'm not, because I would never trade my situation for what "could have been." I love being the single parent to my sweet baby boy. Yes, at times it gets lonely, but I have settled too much in my lifetime to have anything less than "perfection." That definition, of course, not being the exact dictionary definition.
It irks me, though, that I have a BFA and a MAT, and I still can not get a viable job. Being the sole provider, and the only parent my son has, I have always needed to have a job which allows me to bring home enough to feed my child, pay my bills, and then spend at least 4 hours with him before he goes to bed. I want to help shape and mold his growth. I finished my Masters while pregnant and HAVING my baby...yeah, I know how to multitask.
It's unfortunate though, because no one wants to hire anyone without experience. However, how am I supposed to get the experience without being able to work?! I have been out of undergraduate for 5 years. 5 years! And I can not give you a set amount of experience in my Graphic Design area. I even began tacking on certifications in the hopes that someone would see how versatile I am. No one wants to hear of your troubles, though. Unfortunately, I can't help expressing them when someone inquires what I have been doing for the past 5 years.
Many of my friends have recently decided to be "stay-at-home" moms. How lovely. It's a privilege when you are in the position to stay home with your children while your spouse works. After being raised by an amazing mom who has stayed at home with all 5 kids, I know the hardships, struggles, and negatives that can come with being a "stay-at-home" mom. And as a mom, I know perfectly well what comes along with having a child hanging on your leg (pretty much) 24/7. It bothers me when I hear many moms say, "I don't know how you do it." (referring to working while having kids)...and my answer is usually to yell back in my head, "Not every one has the choice!" It's not in a spiteful, or rude manner, but to those of us who want the privilege, it just sounds like they are rubbing it in.
Unfortunately, though, in all of this venting, it hasn't changed the fact that I have a dwindling bank account and a shortage of wipeys. Call me a scrooge, but the next time you want to tell me, "it's not so great all the time being a stay-at-home mom," put yourself in the shoes of single parents you know that are unemployed, void child support (whether by choice or not), and working to make ends meet and BARELY seeing their children before bed time.
Maybe my life is like an arrow right now, you have to be pulled back, in order to be released to soar great distances. I continue to do what I love most, playing with my child, painting, writing, and working toward my PhD. I have hopes and dreams, a lot that may seem unattainable, but not lost. If given the choice, I would choose to stay-at-home with my sweet baby boy until he begins to grow out of his "I don't need mommy so much stages." It makes me tear up thinking about how fast time flies. I work on being the best mommy I can, without giving him the inclination of the adult hardships I live with every single day. To him, life is like discovering a new color every day and finding out you can paint the world any way you want.
There is always going to be someone worse off than yourself, but that it no reason for you to be overlooked. Whether it's emotionally, mentally, or physically, every thing you can do to help someone know they have a friend, is a wonderful feeling. A recent change I made in my routine is to speak aloud that things I am thankful for, instead of saying the things I "need". Whether you pray or not, the world responds to positive feedback, and it is to everyone's advantage to talk about the things they are thankful for. It was a revelation that had been spoken to me many times before, but I never truly appreciated it's integrity until I began to do it myself. It makes you think about the most precious parts of your life that you want to hold onto most.
I know this was a personal blog tonight. My mind has been tampered by the notions of unemployment and spending time with my child. Thank you for reading down this far. I am sure there are multiple opinions running through your head. Every one is entitled to their own opinion, at least I feel better about mine tonight.
I am thankful for my sweet baby boy, my amazing family, shelter over my head, clothes on my back, the food I have, and the talents and skills I possess. I can feel the stars commencing their alignment...
Now into the depths of an eventful slumber.