Working Girl

by mssinglemama on January 6, 2010

I am not sure working like this is entirely healthy for anyone, let alone a single mom. My back and shoulders are a tight, tangled mess of nerves and poor posture induced kinks. My face keeps breaking out and my bedroom is constantly messy, always a sign of being too busy to breathe.

WorkingGirl

I need to buy one of those jacuzzi tubs or enslave a personal massage therapist. Between work, the house and Benjamin I rarely find a moment to myself – in the peace and quiet of the nothing to do.

How can us professional parents keep up with the childless who can devote 100% of their energy to their work? And isn’t there something wrong with this picture? Overworked workers, unemployment lines growing, parents who are left with no time to raise their children and young people who know having a child would spell disaster for their career.

Are we all just being taken for a ride? A ride that ends at the last and final stop when we wake up (too late) to realize we have worked our lives away. Shouldn’t we all slow down a bit? Seems like we’re all getting a bit carried away. Or maybe it has always been like this and I am just the mother of a three year old lost in the Land of the Toddler standing her gaping at the Land of Employment During a Recession.

The future scares me (just a little bit). Nothing to panic about.

It’s my neurotic paranoia setting in as the months fly by and I wonder when they will turn into years flying by. The end. I hate thinking about the end and I don’t want it to get here (not yet).

Not like this.

Life has to slow down first so I can enjoy the moments, or at, the very least, take a damn bath. One year ago I wrote this post for WeTV asking the real mothers to please stand up and I explored Gloria Steinem’s thought that the women’s rights movement isn’t over – that true success is not doing it all. I wondered out loud how we mothers could be held up to such impossible standards:

The pressure of motherhood in today’s world, if you think about it, is unbelievable — and it comes at us from every direction, every day, in every hour and in every minute. If we’re doing one thing, we’re often thinking about another. If we’re working, we wish we could be home with the kids. If we’re staying at home, we wonder what it would be like to have that career. But while raising a human is arguably the most important job on this planet, there are no exceptional clauses to protect mothers in the work place….

Today with the advent of blogs and all other forms of online communication, millions of moms are rewriting the definition of success by telling their own stories – re-writing the definition of success one word at a time. The real stories from the trenches of motherhood have emerged.

As a result, advertisers, politicians, employers and the media are no longer telling us how to think, or what we should feel but asking us for a seat at the table. As for whether or not it will work, we’ll see but at least it’s a start.

If you’re like me (crazed about making it work with so little time and searching for clarity) read Seth Godin’s free and new eBook, What Matters Now. Absolutely awesome. I read a new page every morning, savoring them before they run out.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the US should follow suit of European countries, like Germany, and give mothers many more freedoms to stay home with their little ones if they choose? Should we take a step back and demand mothers’ rights in the workplace?

Personally, I have an exceptional job and am treated very well at work – but the hours are naturally demanding and I have to keep up with people who don’t have children, so that’s tough personally because as much as I would like to slow down, I want to do it all. I want to be everything to everyone.

I am not unhappy or depressed. The rushed feeling is just killing me. Share your thoughts. Really curious about what you all think.

—–

The above is why it has taken me so long to announce the winner to my New Year New Leaf contest.

It was a tough call but I thought her post nailed the mission.

Each and every one of you who entered should have received your free copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored by now. If you haven’t, e-mail me and I’ll get you one right away.

You all inspire me beyond belief. Every single day. You tell me I inspire you, but – believe me – it’s the other way around.

Related posts:

  1. What’s a single working mama to do?
  2. The test for any single working mother: the morning wake up.
  3. Can this city girl handle the burbs?
  4. I’m not crazy
  5. How do you work it?

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Bobbi Janay January 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I hope that life begins to calm down for you.

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Cissy January 6, 2010 at 11:48 pm

I hear you! I feel totally spread thin between work and home. I just want a Calgon moment to take me away sometimes. Thinking of you and sending you well wishes.

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rbckim January 7, 2010 at 2:41 am

OMG … I am in the same place! I had a mini meltdown during the holidays and I was off of work in fact. It’s hard to describe how I feel other than to say what Cissy says above “I feel totally spread thin …” between work, the girls, bf, relatives, and friends. I want to make time for all of them but half way down the list, I lose steam and then I start feeling guilty or feeling frustrated that I can’t ‘do it all’. One of my gf recently told me that I’m too hard on myself and I need to just let some of it go … even if that means losing touch with some folks. I keep on telling myself things are going to slow down … but I know they won’t till the girls are much older or perhaps I’ll have to wait till they go off to college. I don’t want the time to fly by like this. There has to be a better way … there has to be !

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Pixie Stevenson January 7, 2010 at 5:24 am

Single Mama, I remember those days. I have a daytimer from the late 90′s when I was raising two teenage boys by myself. Just looking at my schedule then makes me feel overwhelmed. What I know today is that if I take a moment to breathe, a moment for self-care first that I can slow down, be calm, be in the present, do a better job at work, and be there for others. Think of you.

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Tammy January 7, 2010 at 6:58 am

You MUST take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else (or anything else). So cliche’ I know, but so true. The book is called “Co-Dependant No More.

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Dave C January 7, 2010 at 6:59 am

I know you aren’t going to like what I have to say, being a guy, but women should absolutely not be treated any different than men in the workplace. I was a single dad raising a kid alone from when he was 18 months to 4 years old. I never once felt like I should be treated any different and believe you me I felt the pressure you are feeling now. Luckily I had a career where I had understanding employers that understood that I had to come in early, work through my lunch and leave early in order to get the same number of hours in as everyone else.

It’s what single *parents* need to do, not just single moms.

My two cents.

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arscuore January 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm

I think Alaina’s point is that many of us (single moms) do not have understanding employers, and they NEED to be understanding. Wouldn’t it be great if they were understanding of HUMAN BEINGS, regardless of gender??

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Rachel January 7, 2010 at 7:02 am

I don’t have a full time out of the home job and I am not a single mother…but I still feel the rush. I think you hit it on the head that it’s not socially acceptable to by a mother working or not working these days. Which ever one you are doing has people asking you about the other.

I have to agree with Steinem that the fight is not over. We need to get to a place where women are supported any way they choose to mother.

Frankly, if the workplace slowed down for both sexes it will benefit everyone. I’m of the opinion that women who work have more challenges, but men have higher stress and bigger waistlines than ever before because of hours spent in the office.

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Juli January 7, 2010 at 8:20 am

It’s interesting, I am unemployed and still feel that same push and pull from fifty different directions. I said I would do the yearbook for my son’s school. I need to get to the gym. I need to spend some quality time with my younger son. I need to do laundry and actually put it away instead of digging through wrinkled baskets searching for a matching sock. I need to spend some time job searching. I need to make a dinner that contains at least a base level of nutrition. I need to figure out a way to pay the bills and still take care of everyone and everything. It’s sad that I actually miss the morning and afternoon commute of working. I miss talking to grown-ups. I miss deadlines and meetings. But I know that would only add to this feeling of being stretched and stretched, past the point where I’ll snap.

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Jill B January 7, 2010 at 8:28 am

Food for thought; but one line stuck out as food for thought – for non-solo people.

I’m not a mom or a lover – I’m flat-out solo. I end up being overworked and then don’t have the energy to even begin seeking out anybody – so I end up alone, and jealous of your good fortune. My coworkers see it as “you’re so lucky”, but all I feel is “I’m so lonely, and nobody notices.”

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mssinglemama January 8, 2010 at 5:42 am

Thank you for adding this Jill. I remember when I discovered I was pregnant with Benjamin, feeling relieved that I would never really be alone again. Knowing I would, at least, always have someone to hug.

Maybe make it a goal to make some single friends this year? That helped me a lot before he got here.

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Bad Mummy January 7, 2010 at 8:49 am

You must pick up a copy of STUNNED: The New Generation of Women Having Babies, Getting Angry, and Creating a Women’s Movement. by Karen Bridson. She goes into the history of the women’s movement and how we’re doing it ass backwards.

During WW II, when women were needed to work in munitions factories, they would arrive at work with their kids and their laundry. While the kids were in the child care centre, the laundry was also being taken care of. At the end of the day, they picked up their kids, their clean laundry AND a hot meal.

Back in September, after months of unemployment,, I took a part time job that would pay just what I’m allowed to make while collecting unemployment. This has made such a big difference in my life. I work 3 days/week from 9 until 3, so I’m never freaking out trying to pick up The Mook from daycare at 5:30. And on my days off, I’m taking care of myself. I was hit with a cough/cold on Sunday but I had all of Tuesday to sleep and drink tea and, lo and behold, I’m better. And last month, when The Mook was sick and couldn’t go to daycare, I brought her to work with me, where my work-mates were happy to have her (it helps that I work in an educational centre).

I really wish I could find a way to keep this sort of schedule/lifestyle, to the point of having The Mook in daycare just part-time. But my contract is up in March and my benefits run out in May and I just can’t afford to work part-time. *sigh* Even when I think it’s best for both me AND The Mook to be able to take care of myself so that I can take care of her.

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mssinglemama January 8, 2010 at 5:44 am

So buying a copy of that book.

Thank you and I hope the universe let’s your part-time job last longer, or that you find another to take its place.

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kristen January 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

I am working a professional job and raising a 4-year-old completely on my own. I feel the same as you a lot of the time, but I set my boundaries. I say no, personally and professionally, and I GET respect for it. Not the opposite. You need to set the times when your workday begins and ends and stick to it. You will still be as productive as when you were working more. And if you are not on one day, it will even out. Nobody will stand up for us but ourselves. This is not to say that I have it all worked out, or have found that miraculous balance. But I am a lot closer than I was a couple of years ago…

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Ali January 7, 2010 at 9:12 am

I hear you….loud and clear. The entirety of my single mommahood (then years plus now) I have struggled immensely with this: from working multiple jobs, to working too much, to working a sane amount but not being professionally fulfilled.

It’s a delicate balancing act and IMHO I don’t think that there is any one right answer. I think it varies over time. I too, quit everything, freelanced for awhile and came to the same conclusions you did (before, after, etc). Then I became bored working alone, stressed out at the idea of not knowing where my next meal might come from and took a demanding job with lots of fulfillment, stress and travel. It took awhile, but my child suffered. Still, I tried to balance it because we were financially secure, I loved what I did, but I too, always feel like I was dancing on the brink of insanity, a missed pick up, a practice, etc.

Then I freelanced again, regained my footing and even more quickly than before, I became bored to tears…then another high paying, high stress, yet fulfilling job with travel, international travel…which sounds so great in theory, and IS great for a time, but adjusting and kid duties when one’s parents are far away and…blah blah blah…needless to say, now I work at a very MELLOW position and again wonder…am I doing to shrivel up for not using my brain to capacity every single day? When I am ready to jump back in will anyone want me?

Short answer is I have no clue. I take my son to school every day, I don’t miss events (except my own) and for now…for now, this is best for us both. For how long…I don’t know. Like I said, I hear you….although that quote about “happiness comes when you’re too busy doing other things to notice.” seems to ring true for you now. Just sayin’…

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Kris January 7, 2010 at 9:22 am

I wish I had some great answer/solution but unfortunately as a small business owner and single momma, I feel pretty suffocated myself. I mean really, how do duel parenting households do it let alone someone without an extra set of hands? I mean even just someone to sit at home after bedtime so you can get groceries, work your 2nd, and 3rd job, run errands for home & the business, CLEAN your house, DO LAUNDRY for god’s sake?!?!? Let me know if you can tell me when and how to stop feeling inadequate, guilty, stressed, and basically all around a mess. *sigh*

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Zoeyjane January 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I know exactly what you’re speaking about and the fear of it is one of the major reasons I’d chosen to remain financially dependent on my ex – being home and available instead of working and less present (when I’m the WORST person, when it comes to balance) seemed like something I should take advantage of. Now, this year, and subsequent ones, I’ve made a promise to myself to become financially independent, to work more (for more money), and to pull up stakes and move us across the world.

This post came at the perfect time. And now I have some reading to do.

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QuirkyGirl January 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I’ve got nothin’. All these lovely ladies have said it time and again. I’ve been a single-parent for 9 years now and I’m still looking for the magical answer. The only thing I know to say (and believe.me. this was the hardest lesson I’m STILL learning) is that we have to accept the fact that what we can do and do do is good enough. We can’t be all things to all people. We can’t even be all the things we want to be to ourselves. So we have to try our best, search for balance, keep moving forward, and know that it’s good enough.

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jen January 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Some weeks I can’t see my kitchen table for all the crap that gets put on there from each day because I haven’t had time to clear it off. With working, my son’s activities, my stuff etc there’s not always time to think. I’m lucky with my job that it’s 4 days a week so it gives me that one day to decompress slightly.

You can’t be everything to everyone. Personally, I do what I have to with my job but know that my ‘career’ suffers because I haven’t got the time or energy to invest in it as much as I could if I wasn’t a mum. But I’m cool with that now. When I compare work to my personal life, my personal life wins out every time.

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Kara January 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm

you act like such a martyr because you have a child and a full time job. everyone needs a break now and again- even “childless” people- not just mothers or parents and you shouldn’t receive special treatment just because you are a mother. but then again I’m one of the “childless” with my naive optimism and care-free life. (ha sarcasm!) however, when i choose to have children, i will say the same thing… i’m sure i will be tired and busy but that does not mean i should receive any special treatment.
you use your kid and single mother status as an excuse and crutch for special treatment. give up the martyrdom, the whining is getting old.

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Heather January 14, 2010 at 12:47 am

I was single and childless for many years and now am a single mama—-all I can say to you is you don’t know what you don’t know

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arscuore January 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Like my grandma used to say, “You do your best, and that’s all you can do!” Chin up, MSM. A day of playing hooky every once in a while does wonders for me. And I plan to get a massage once a month this year, regardless of if I’m spending oil-change money to get it done.

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Carmen January 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Kara, with a full-time job, our “super-small free time” has to be dedicated to our sons. That’s why we are specially tired and, perhaps, we may sound as “victims”. unlike people who have no kids, our free time is reduced to, maybe, 15 or 30 minutes, just before we are going to sleep. And this could be a problem, because you have to adapt your mind, your body, and your relax, to these minutes.

But, we aren’t victims: we are only some girls, with a lot of dreams, perhaps a little scared in front of the future, but very, very happy.

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Phoenix January 7, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Speaking from the far side of single mom-dom (my son is now 28) I’d like to offer this piece: you can always work, but you’re kids are only kids once. Saying no to other things/people/etc. is saying yes to Benjamin and you. Opt for this precious time that you have together. It’s not necessary to do it all, however it is necessary to set priorities and take care of you, so that you have the time, energy and stamina be the best person you can be. Like Warren Zevon said: “Enjoy every sandwich!” And right now, that’s probably PB & J!

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Sam January 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

i was feeling exactly the same way. I’m trying to balance 43 hours a week, 45 minute commute each way, my own crazy medical issues, son with special needs developmentally and medically, a two family house I own and some semblance of a life. I just started working on Julie Morgenstern’s Time Management from the Inside Out last week to try to get a handle on what needs to be done when. I started a google calendar to track how I’m spending my time. Google Calendar lets you set up a calendar which you can sync with your work or home Outlook calendar. You can also set up To Do lists by category. It took an hour or two to set up, but I do feel better now. All the ridiculous to do list items that were rattling around in my brain are at least all in one place now. I feel a bit more in control just being able to see what all needs to be done and then consciously choosing what to do. It’s giving me better perspective on how my time is spent and what big changes I need to make to get things more under control. Financially, I’m going to have to wait awhile to overhaul my schedule, but I’m getting there. Good luck to all.
I think that the workplace needs to get more balanced overall for those with kids and without.

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Bradi Nathan January 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I just interview single mom and BlogHer.com’s powerhouse, Gina Garrubbo. She is living proof that it is possible to have and do it all. Embrace the chaos.
http://www.blogher.com/node/134624

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mssinglemama January 8, 2010 at 5:37 am

Fantastic! Thank you!

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Dawn January 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Kara is ignorant, let’s forgive her right now.

What you give in this life matters. Raising the future generation is BIG. Much BIGGER than anything you’ll look back on that will give you lasting happiness. Our first teacher is our own heart.

Always remember. Women stand on the shoulders of previous generations who had fewer options … never let anyone define you.

“A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is done, no matter how brave its warriors or strong its weapons.”
-Cheyenne Proverb

This I believe to be true. Follow what you know to be best, the world awaits.

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mssinglemama January 8, 2010 at 5:37 am

Thank you Dawn. This is beautiful and something we shouldn’t forget.

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Megan J in Ohio January 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm

When I was a single mom, I worked two jobs, went to school full time, and of course, had to care for my daughter. Luckily, I was very young, and had lots of energy!
As I have aged, I think I have learned that there are seasons in life for things. Right now is Benjamin’s season. I know it’s hard to not have time for yourself, but someday, you will have lots of time for yourself, and you will miss the time when he was small.
See ifyour employer will be flexible. I don’t know what you do, but my employer is a Web developer. I am able to work from home, doing copy writing and such. I am sure you know, many things can now be worked on from home. Maybe he would allow you to leave work when Benjamin is done with school, if you can work on whatever you have left after he is in bed.
I know so many people love to throw thier kids into a zillion activities, but if you wait until he is older, that is more time you can have with him now. Wait until he actually asks to do something outside of school, too. So many people have thier very young children in classes. Let kids be kids!
If you are able, try a laundry service, or hire a lady to come in once a week to tidy up and do some laundry, freeing you up for the much more important work of raising your son. Many ladies like to do this for a little extra cash, so you might be really helping someone out, without spending a whole lot.

I hope this helps!

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mssinglemama January 8, 2010 at 5:36 am

This is amazing Megan and so true. This is Benjamin’s time.

Thank you for this. I think that’s the best way to describe it and because of this age parents have to make sacrifices in their own lives. Perhaps even live poorer or with less until he is old enough for us to go back to the big jobs.

Wonderful thought and advice.

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mssinglemama January 8, 2010 at 5:35 am

UPDATED and clause to this post:

– I mention being a single mom once in this post. I happen to be a single mom, but have a tremendous amount of help from John Bear. This is about being a mom and how society makes room for motherhood (or not).
- I also think this applies to all parents, or whichever parent is the main care giver to the children. If it’s a 50/50 situation (even if married) than it applies to both.
- I was bringing this up, not to be a martyr, but to talk about today’s pressures on the modern mother. And yes, I was venting about being so busy lately. But not complaining.

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Robin January 8, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Things do not change much as our kids get older – it just gets more complicated. You in time will add soccer practice, music lessons, homework, curfew worry, or whatever. Then you wake up one day, and you are buying a car instead of Big Wheel, paying for college instead of babysitters. And then, your mom or dad can’t remember their name or if they ate their dinner. It is at that point you prioritize what to worry or bitch about. The rewards are simple. You get well adjusted young adults. You get to watch them go to prom, watch their sporting events, experience their first date, advise them (although they probably won’t listen), laugh with them, cry with them, go to graduation, plan the party, and the list goes on and on. Those are the rewards. They are simple but worth every stress we endure as parents. So mamas, don’t lose sight over the reward in the end. It was well worth it.

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mssinglemama January 8, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I think that’s what we all want. The rewards now are seeing Benjamin in the early stages of learning to read. And growing so big and strong. The rewards are there.

I think this is a very ,very tough time for everyone given the economy and the limited selections of jobs. It gives mothers even less options. We just have to keep on plowing through though, and learn how to manage our stress.

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30somethingmama January 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Oh yes talk about freelance life as a single mom. It’s a risk but if give us free time with our children. Unlike the mainstream advertising agency, which ia as you all know competitive and overtime-ridden, where i used to wake up earlier before I see my then 3yo daughter awake and then i come home at 12MN where i see her sleeping again. It’s too excruciating i tell you. And i began to ask myself, is the work worth missing my beautiful baby’s little moments? So I just quit after a spat with my unappreciative boss.

A mother’s career is so totally different when there’s no partner around to support you. And yes companies should offer benefits for single moms.

Goodluck Alana. We always find a way around every dillemma, right? We’re super moms!

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linda January 8, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Your post sooo hit home. Im trying to take tonite to veg a bit and get my mind back. I have just gotten over a terrible bout with swine flu that has totally taken its toll on me mentally and physically.I had to use all of my sick and personal days that I JUST got this new year to try to recover. I am a single mom of four wit ha full time very demanding job..its hard, it sucks.I feel guilty 99 % of the time . I feel like I havent spent enought ime with my kids individually, havent watched my daughter cheer all season, havent just sat and played in months etc. I am so fortunate to have awesome kids but dont have a scheduled plan wih their dad who also works a ton.So there are no “every other weekeds” type of things for me. I am also trying to balance a new relationship with a wonderful man but its very hard .As I sit here it looks like Christmas threw up in my dining room, I have a tree half undecorated, laundry in every imaginable place and three unmade beds. I used to be the most anal person about my house, I ironed pillowcases for Gods sake.So it has been so hard to let things go. I also am trying to find another house to move to in the next three weeks to no avail, and havent had enough time to put into actively looking due to my busy schedule at work and being so sick. I hate to complain but I needed to vent I suppose and share my situation.I guess maybe to make those of you that are in my same boat see you ARE NOT ALONE !! It is rough out here, even with a college ed., great kids, a great ex, a wonderful new man and a decent income…its hard.But I know Im not alone, and sometimes just knowing that makes me feel a wee bit better !!

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April January 10, 2010 at 10:36 pm

You are not alone. It is hard for all working moms to find the time to spend with your kids, do the things you need to do, and never have time for the things you want to do. I have been a single mom of 3 since 2000. My kids are all now teenageers,which is really stressful, and I work full time and attend college part time. So needless to say, I know what you are feeling. Misery does NOT love company in this departments and I wish I had some advice for you, other than – hang in there. The upside for your situation is you got your education beforehand, and you have support on your side. As crazy as your life is, I admire and envy you. I don’t have any support at all, my family all live 1100 miles away, I live in a college town so it has been extremelly difficult finding others “like me” out there. I know there are other single moms in the area, but they are hidden. They are probably just trying to make it through the day with little time to reach out for support and guidance. It is a tough row to hoe, but we do it and that is what makes us stronger. Unfortunately we can’t do it all – I wish we could. I remember a time when work required a lot of travel and I was completely stressed just trying to find someone to help with the kids so I could work and support them – thank goodness the travel has stopped. Imagine being 1.5 hours away (air time) and getting a call from the local fire department telling you your kid has started a fire and facing felony charges – yep it happened – not fun – at all! This happened after school when the people I left in charge (a military family) hadn’t got home from work yet and the little amount of time they were unsupervised (2 hours after school) they already got in trouble. Talk about stress! We all lived through it, after all of us attending a fire safety class and several “lectures” later – all this for burning a couple of twigs outside our townhouse by a couple of bored teenagers with 2 hours on their hands. Yes, it is an extreme single parent moment while trying to make a living, but one none of us will ever forget. I haven’t dared asking them to keep the kids since then. Be thankful and be grateful, while remembering it could be worse!

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superjen January 11, 2010 at 2:36 am

I have been very inspired while reading all of your comments here. I’ve been a single mom of two for the past 10 yrs.. have worked full time thru all of it. The guilt and torn emotions are something that I have now embraced and throw out.. how many kids talent shows and sports days have I missed for work?
I do believe that my most important job in this world is raising my children to become productive citizens in life, to give them a good example and to embrace every second of time that they are with me.
The job, well, it’s high powered but really.. to me, it’s just a means to an end… money to support the kids. I don’t try to compete in the corporate world anymore because I know my limits and priorities.
The children’s father has become over time, absent to the point that he is basically non-existant… I really do feel like a mother and a father. I am never locked into just one role. I have to be strong, strong enough to carry this family and be the rock.
Sometimes I long to have a rock to carry me, but I am a realist.. it’s not happening, I’m all I’ve got. I want to give all of you beautiful single hard working mama’s out there who have their laundry piled high, schedules out of whack, dark circles under your eyes and 10 minutes of time a day to yourselves,,, this will not last, so just enjoy the youth of your children and be the best example you can be for them. Show them strength and let them see your tears,,, but always come from the heart.
Take heart mamas… you are the heroes raising the next generation,,, and THAT is the MOST important job of all!!!

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the251 January 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I don’t allow my life to be led or defined by others and more importantly those without children. Successful single parenting to me means living life according to what I think is important. I don’t even try and compete and to be honest I wouldn’t want to because my priorities are different.
I devote 100% of my effort to work whilst I’m at work but that’s it. I’m not a blackberry fiddler. When I’m not at work I’m with my daughter, period. Without a degree or any behaviour akin to ‘presenteeism’ I’ve achieved a decent well paid role where I can stick to my hours. My experience has been that if you get your head down and work like a trojan whilst you’re in the office, delivering high quality work to time, you achieve far more respect than those without children who often seem to be at their desks but doing very little.
I don’t participate in as much of the idle chatter as they do. I don’t have the extended lunches or attend the post work soirees. But it pays huge dividends in other ways. Perhaps at the route is absolute, complete focus and discpline around the use of your time. That’s what enables me to not feel like life is running away with me. We blog, therefore we are slowing down to notice!

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Kmart Design January 12, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Hope that life has calmed down for you a bit now that the holidays are behind us. Know that you are not alone – one of our favorite designers is a single mom herself – http://ow.ly/VL4W

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Katie Sallee March 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm

My struggle is this..everyone says your kids are only kids once and so so so true! But, while my child is a child is still have to provide for
him. His father doesn’t pay child support and is actually presently incarcerated for this but I don’t think this will make him pay or even help me with him. I have recently gotten a full time job with benefits (yeah me!) but have had to take one off during the probationary period due to his sickness and the enormous amount of paperwork I have had to collect to get him in school, and court to pursue his father for non-payment. So much that it is already jeopardizing my job and I have been told he needs me here all day and every day. Hint, hint! So, I won’t be seeing him get on the school bus for the first
time on Monday, I have cancelled my eye doctor appt. and my kidney stones doctor appt. that I had upcoming. I have found a dentist to do Saturday appointments and my father is taking my son to his dentist appt. But, how can I manage this forever? Not going to the doctor. Not doing anything during the day to interfere with my job. I had to go to my son’s school conference that the school required and that was a big deal! What is someone to do when someone has to be the responsible parent and do EVERYTHING to the extent that I cancelled my own doctor’s appts. so that I won’t miss work? I can’t even really look for a new job because how can I go on interviews when I only have an hour lunch and it is to be taken strictly from 12 to 2? I just don’t know what to do. My boss said that it does make him question my employment if my son gets sick on a Wednesday and I not at work (Wed. is our busiest day). So basically he is saying there is more risk with me as an employee and it makes him question agreeing to employ me. I don’t know what to do. I told him I have no choice. I have to keep the balls rolling and I have to keep myself employed. What choice do I have? If I keel over at work due to my kidney stones, maybe then I can go get treatment I suppose. Any suggestions?

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