Superwomans Child: Son of a Single Mother
She wanted us to have a home. Her husband died in and from then on, she had to take the responsibility of raising her four children. She cannot read. She can barely write.
I can climb as many as 30 trees. But that was before Typhoon Haiyan struck Visayas. I wanted to feed them three times a day but coconut farming was the only work I knew. Then I was torn between working in the city or staying at home because I have still have at home an year-old and a 9-year-old. Moving forward Norma is grateful for the many blessings her family received.
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Aside from the relief goods that sustained them for two weeks after the typhoon, she was also involved in the Cash for Work program. She decided to stay at home, do laundry or cooking jobs so she could look after her younger children. Looking back now, I realize that as a first-time single mom with a new baby on board, I was clearly emotional, exhausted, and stressed.
But in that moment, I was also struck with the reality of being on my own with a child to raise, bills to pay, a household to run, and only 24 hours in the day. No wonder I felt frazzled!
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More than four years later, I can safely say that being a single mother has at times been difficult and demanding, but it's also had great rewards. If you're a single parent -- by circumstance or by choice -- you'll no doubt hit some bumps and turns along the way.
Here are six strategies that can help you weather the rough times and enhance the joy of parenting. Carlena Seep-Gaither, a central Minnesota single mother of two, has long relied on a solid network that includes her best friend, her parents, and other parents in her community. Even now that her kids are 6 and 4, Seep-Gaither still receives an emotional and hands-on booster from her team when the going gets tough. For Tracy Shaw of Southbury, Connecticut, life wouldn't be the same without her Wednesday night supper club she and three other families from her daughter's daycare center take turns cooking meals , a reasonably priced handyman, a support group called Parents Without Partners, a circle of friends, and reliable babysitters.
It's sometimes hard for single moms to ask for help -- or even admit they need it.
6 Strategies for Single Mom Success
As single mom Leane Vinogradov, of Calgary, Alberta, aptly puts it: "I've often been to the point of tears and filled with guilt before I could pick up the phone. If -- like many single moms -- you feel uncomfortable asking for help, or worry that you're being a burden to busy family and friends, try to trade services with other parents.
Knowing that she had a babysitting partner nearby "saved me money -- and my sanity," she says. But single mothers need to be realistic about what they can -- and can't -- accomplish in a day, she adds. What's more, they shouldn't feel as though they have to overcompensate just because they're parenting on their own or going through a separation or divorce.
6 Strategies for Single Mom Success | Parents
For instance, it's okay to serve cereal or a fast-food meal for dinner every now and then, as long as your child's overall diet is healthy. And it's fine to have a less-than-spotless house if it gives you more time with your kids. No matter what your reason for being a single mother, you're probably well acquainted with a nagging sense of guilt -- about working too much or too little , not having enough time or money, being embattled with your ex, wanting to provide a sibling for your child, feeling that your family is "fractured" or less than ideal -- you name it!
But while it's always easy to find something to feel guilty about, "it helps to focus on what's good and right about your family rather than on what's wrong or lacking," Mattes says.
Ask yourself, for instance, whether your children are loved and well cared for; whether their basic needs are being met in a consistent, dependable way; and whether your home is a warm and happy place to be.