Ever wonder why that kid who lives down the street always looks unkept and has a parent that never seems to know what is going on? They appear frazzled all the time. It is because there is just too much happening in her personal life.
Single moms are strong people and good parents. They have to be in order to survive. However, sometimes when you work with or friends a divorcing single mom you may wonder if they live in a different world. Actually they do live in a different world. Many times it is a world caught up in stress with a terribly busy and hectic schedule.
One time my son needed some boiled eggs for an Easter Egg Hunt. This was a big deal to him. He reminded me late the night before about boiling the eggs. It was late and I was tired so my plan was to boil the eggs the next morning.
Next morning I got up, put the eggs on to boil and went to get the kids up. Everything went according to planned, that is until I found myself peeling the boiled eggs. I realized it when I was on the last egg. Can’t very well hunt peeled boiled eggs. As usual I was running late and it was too late to boil more eggs. What happened you ask? My son was one of “those kids” of divorce who had one of “those moms”.
It’s one thing to know a single mom and think you understand but it’s something quite different when you can understand the situation enough to develop empathy and can appreciate the frustrations involved in living in a single mom home.
There is no one to help you. I mean NO ONE! You are on 24/7 and that’s not for just a day, a week, a month or this year but for many single moms it is for years.
Inside the brain of a single mom:
I want to take you inside a single mom’s brain. This is a single mom sitting at a school concert. She looks very calm on the outside but inside there is unbelievable turmoil.
“Okay let’s get this concert started people. I’ve got things to do. Now if Chase’s group will just perform in the next fifteen minutes then I can sneak out of this concert and go across town, and if I don’t hit too many red lights, I can get there just in time to see Heather play soccer. If I can just stay long enough to see one quarter, are they called quarters or what? Oh well, I have to learn about soccer on another day, I don’t have time to worry about it now.
Let’s see where was I? Oh yes, I can come back here pick up Chase before the end of this performance and then we can rush back, get Heather, go home and make dinner. Oh yeah, I’ve got to remember to pick up some milk for breakfast. Then while dinner is cooking I can start the laundry. I hope those kids got the clothes sorted.
Did Chase say he needs tape for that science project? Oh well, I might as well get some tape while I’m at the store. After dinner I’ll have to remember to set aside some time to help Chase with that project.
After I get the kids to bed I’ve got to remember to go online and pay the credit card bill. Oh God, please let my paycheck get to the bank before the credit card payment. I’m going to have to remember to check the date online on that bill and make sure I can pay it after 1l:00 pm in our time zone and not get charged another late fee. I think there’s a three-hour difference in our time zones.
Honestly, I can’t keep up with when everything goes through the bank and I’ve got to remember that I used me debit card for the school fundraiser. Did I even give Heather that form yesterday morning? Then I’ll have to get my clothes ready for tomorrow.
I think I’ll wear that blue outfit but I have to remember to fix that tear. Gee, I wonder how many more washings that outfit can take? It must be five years old by now but I’ve got that important meeting at work tomorrow and I’ve got to wear something that looks half-way decent.
Whew! Maybe I can get to bed by midnight. Oh well, that’s earlier than last night. Oh, shoot I was supposed to call my mom tonight. I’ll have to remember to try and find time tomorrow night. I sure wish she would get on Facebook. Would make my life easier. We could have chatted while I was waiting for the concert to start. What time is my meeting in the morning…”
This mom will be up by 5:00 a.m. to start the entire process all over again and she’ll do it alone every day for years.
Ever wonder why some single moms always appear to be so frazzled? Or why you can’t get them to commit to anything? Maybe the above scenario will help you truly understand their plight. Most single moms really do want to do better by their children.
- They want to raise healthy kids.
- They want their kids to attend church and become spiritually healthy.
- They appreciate all the church does but many times they simply forget to bring their child to the Fall Festival or the Christmas party.
Understanding and being tolerant of the family’s situation will go a long way in accepting the child of divorce and the single mom raising that child.
“Originally posted by Linda Ranson Jacobs on the Kids & Divorce blog at, http://blog.dc4k.org Copyright © 2013, DivorceCare for Kids. Used by permission.”