Yes, that’s right. I’m a single mother and I don’t have a job.
Doesn’t make sense, right?! I’m sure you have many questions, or maybe you don’t have any.
I’m a full-time mother. I have my son five days a week, which equals out to be precisely 71% of the time.
But I’m consciously aware of where he is and who he’s with 100% of the time.
Sure, I could get a part-time weekend job. And I’m planning to. But here’s how it really is:
1. I don’t sit around all day, and I’m not jobless because I’m lazy.
I mean, I’m probably a bit lazy. But who isn’t? I sure as hell don’t just sit around all day without a job because I just don’t feeeel like working. Trust me, I hate working. Or at least I did about two years ago when I last had a “real” job. But sometimes I feel as though working and leaving my son with someone else would be a break for me. “But you get two days off every weekend!” you exclaim. It’s true, I do. But I still make sure I know where Kayde is and who he’s with. A mother’s job is never done, blah blah blah. Sad, but true. And working isn’t the best thing for me right now. Yes, I need more money. But we’re not suffering because of it. Kayde has more than any child would ever need, and he has the best of it all. I find ways to make things work and make ends meet. Besides, if I had a job, I’d just be spending that money on some stranger watching my kid. No thanks.
2. I don’t get to sleep in.
At least not every day. Occasionally, Kayde will snuggle me until almost noon. But that comes with a price; he was probably up every half hour with respiratory issues the night preceding. He also doesn’t go to bed until he chooses (the perks of sharing a room with your mom for the time being), which sometimes means 11pm. This means I don’t go to bed until at least 11pm.
3. I don’t get to shower regularly.
I’m lucky if I get more than four showers in a week. Yes, more than just showering every other day. For example, this week I’ve taken two so far. I know, I’m gross. But when you have no one to watch your child, and he doesn’t go to bed until almost midnight, that’s really your only chance to shower. What’s worse, is that he can sense when I’m not there while he’s asleep, so I have about fifteen minutes before he cries and doesn’t stop until I snuggle him. I’m not capable of fifteen minute showers.
4. I change every diaper, give every bath, and wake up every time.
Besides the one or two days that he spends at his father’s house, I am responsible for everything. That means every morning poop is mine to clean, every bath is mine to give and clean up after, and every time he wakes during the night, I have to wake up as well.
5. He is not my only responsibility.
Not only do I have to be consciously aware of Kayde every second of every day and tend to his every need, but I also have other things to accomplish at the same time. I take college courses online. I somehow manage to do very well in school, while being beat in the leg with a wooden train track. I do the laundry, and the dishes, and clean everything else, while Kayde is behind me making messes. I cook dinner and bake cakes, while Kayde insists he needs to be held every moment that I’m in the kitchen. Not to mention running errands and watching friends’ toddlers.
6. It’s lonely.
Even though I always have Kayde around, I still get lonely. 90% of my conversations are with an almost-two-year-old. The topics and vocabulary are very limited. Sometimes I want a job just so I can have more social interactions with anyone older than twelve. And at the end of the day, when Kayde finally passes out, I have no one to talk to. No one to share my daily experiences with, or share the tasks that come along with caring for a toddler. It’s exhausting, and I’m alone.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Kayde. He is the very best part of me. I wouldn’t change the fact that I have him, and I don’t regret a thing. But it’s not easy, whether you’re with your child’s father or a single mother, whether you work full-time, part-time, or not at all. Raising a child is tough.