I’ve always considered myself to be a go-getter (at least once I became an adult). When I wanted something, I went for it. If I liked something, I did it. If I wanted to say something, I said it. I believed not doing so was a way of diminishing who I was. I grew up in a single parent home raised by my mother, so I’ve seen a heavy influence of a woman managing the household, children, work, and relationships. I remember after I had my son I couldn’t imagine how my mother took care of four kids by herself. Most people think of the cost that comes with raising children, but it takes more than money to support a child. It takes patience, kindness, being stern, staying true to your word, being observant and pouring out love every day on that child. It hasn’t been easy for me to do that for my one child so to do it for four and still treat them as individuals my mind couldn’t wrap around.
In being a mother, there were some days I would wake up, sit on the edge of my bed and cry. I was overwhelmed. Being a single parent will do that to you. I was tired. Cook breakfast, get the kid ready, get myself ready, load the car, drop off kid, go to work (pray I don’t get a call from the school about kid’s behavior), pick up kid, run to the store, go over kid’s homework, cook dinner, wash clothes, clean house and the cycle went on day after day after day. Doing all this while encouraging your child, building their self-esteem, asking about their day, paying attention to their interests, protecting them from predators and others who’ll try to take advantage of them.
I recall when someone told me that I made being a single parent look easy. Instead of going through the reason why being a single parent was not easy I just stated the fact that it wasn’t & left it at that. I even began to think about getting married just so my load would be lighter. I thought, “At least I’d have someone to help with the cooking, cleaning and dropping the kid off at practice.” I want my kid to be well rounded which means I must get him around things that will help widen his perspective. That not only takes money but time…lots of time.
My own mother didn’t put all of us in activities, ask about our day or take an interest in what we did. Mainly due to the enormous amounts of overtime she worked to take care of us kids. When she was home, she slept a lot. Also, my siblings and I were extremely messy. As a kid I didn’t understand why my Mom would be so upset when she’d walk in the house after seeing the house thrashed, the kitchen messy and at least one thing broken. Now as an adult even I get a little irritated if I come home from vacation without the house being cleaned…and I’m the one who is supposed to clean it.
For a long time the main focuses in my life were my career and my son. I buried myself in doing what I could do to become successful. I watched my mom work hours after hours to support the family and didn’t see why it was wrong for me not to do the same. My mom taught me great work ethic. She was loyal to her company, and I was loyal to the company I was with. Even if they were disloyal to me. I began to adapt to the thought that as a woman I could have it ALL. I could be with who I wanted, say what I wanted, go where I wanted, do whatever I wanted. I began to move further away from my femininity and closer to the thought that men have been getting away with so much for so long and it’s time for women. Women in education, the workplace, sexual discovery, skies the limit! I didn’t need a man to lead me. I didn’t need a man to be the head of my family. What I needed was a helpmate. I needed someone who could help lighten my load. A man who when I walked in the door I’d see finishing dinner. I needed a man I could shut my brain off with allowing him to run my bath, lay out my pajamas and hand me a cold beer. I needed a man who could sit, look handsome and not talk too much.
There were times when I would pray about meeting such a man. I didn’t understand why the Lord had not brought my future husband. I’m a hard worker, I’m attractive, I know the ins and outs of money, I have good conversation, and I can run a house with my eyes closed. I could even raise a few more kids (whether I birthed them or not). So why was I single? As years came & left my thought about who I was as a woman pressed on me. I even went into a “self-discovery” phase where I bought jewelry to accent my body and began getting piercings all over. I dabbled in crystals and other things trying to uncover my undiscovered sexuality. To me doing so would be enlightening and I was expressing myself beyond using my voice (I’ve now repented and denounced what doors that may have opened in my life).
To be continued…