Hello Everyone! As you all know I am a single mom to a beautiful 7 year old girl. I am not generally a complainer but it has been so difficult raising her myself. I am hoping there are other moms out there experiencing similar single mom challenges that can share their experiences and advice with me.
To give a bit of a background, I choose to be a single parent before Mila was born. It was a choice to keep her knowing that I would have to raise her primarily by myself. That being said, I hate complaining or asking for help because I figure if it was my choice, I should just deal with it and make the best out of the situation. I am also fortunate that I have a good job, a home, good health and resources available to me. So, theoretically, I should have nothing to whine about. However, in hearing about other parent’s struggles, I think I may not be in this boat alone and there may be others like me out there.
Here are some of my top 5 single mom challenges:
Always running on low
Am I the only one that is constantly tired? I swear I wake up tired! My day starts at 6:30 am when I get ready for the day, feed the dog, pack our lunches and start the process of waking up my daughter. We eat breakfast on the go in the car and drop off at school by 8:00am. I pick up my daughter at 6pm from aftercare and depending on the day, we then rush to whatever extracurricular activity is planned for that specific day. We don’t actually get home until 7:30 pm. We then reheat something in the fridge for dinner, do homework, watch a show, do bathtime and prepare for bed. The day does not end until about 9:00 pm when my daughter goes to bed. At that point, I am dead physically. How do moms find time to workout, cook dinner everyday, look rejuvenated in the mornings, all the while having their kids look oh-s0-perfect? I have tried to change things up a bit so we are not always on the go, hair uncombed, eating reheated food or skipping showers. However, it always seem like I am running on my last leg!
I am a permissive parent. I usually give in easily to tantrums, begging and whining. I think I do this because I just don’t want to deal with the effort it takes to be authoritarian. Even when Mila was a baby, I never allowed her to cry. I would rush over and instantly try to soothe her. So, as she grew older, she learned that she could easily win with me. I try to please her in whatever way I can. Now that she is 7, it is coming back to bite me. She has a hard time accepting the word, “no” and puts up a fight every time, making it very hard to discipline her. I am having a hard time setting and maintaining boundaries. What can I do to change this pattern? Is it too late?
Ipad Ipad Ipad
I often times use the iPad as a babysitter. I feel so guilty admitting it but I let my daughter get way too much iPad time. Is this really that bad? I read and hear parents talk about how bad it is for kids and that they only do 30 minutes or none at all. I have tried to limit her iPad time but I always go back to it because the time she is on the iPad is the time I can check my email, take a shower, eat dinner, do my makeup or maintain my sanity in general. Don’t get me wrong… we do lots together. I just feel like compared to other kids, mine is on the iPad way too much. Any thoughts?
There is little to no vegetables on the plate. Mila turned into a picky eater at age 3. Prior to age 3, she ate anything I put on her plate which included an array of vegetables and fruits. Now, there are about 5-10 things she eats and anything that is colorful gets left behind. We sometimes do playdates and I see kids eating broccoli, carrots and even spinach and wonder what am I doing wrong? I can never get Mila to eat anything healthy! I have tried hiding stuff in her burgers, doing healthy eating reward charts, peeling out skins and even taking away her favorite things from her if she doesn’t eat. She will literally go to bed hungry if its something she does not like. Recently, I was able to get her to eat a pieces of carrots, apples and blueberries. That’s as far as I have made it. I feel so guilty that I cannot feed her healthy food. Am I gearing her up for future health issues?
Last but not least…one of my main challenges as a single mom is feeling guilty for wanting time alone. Occasionally, I will get a sitter for 2 hours and go grab a glass of wine. These 2 hours are so precious to me! I hate it when it ends. Other days, when I am early to pick Mila up, I will sit in the parking lot at school for 20 minutes instead of going in right away. I just sit there and watch the trees. Shouldn’t I be excited to pick her up early to spend extra time with her? I see some parents taking days off from work when their kids have off so that they can all spend time together. Meanwhile, I would rather pay someone to watch my child so that I can go to work. My workplace is my vacation away from home. I feel so guilty but it’s true. Are there any others experiencing this besides me?
I obviously love my daughter. Without her my life would be empty and meaningless. She makes me happy and I honestly cannot imagine my days without her smile and hugs. I brag about her little accomplishments every chance I get. She is my pride and joy and I would give my life for her.
If there is someone out there experiencing the same things…you are not alone!