Mother's Day is usually associated with gifts, flowers, and breakfast in bed, but how does a single mom with two young kids celebrate Mother's Day? In an article from xoJane, a woman shares her story about being a single mom and why she hates Mother's Day.
I freaking hate Mother's Day, I really do.
A day designed to celebrate the fact that I devote my life to the two small people that I allowed to use my body as a human incubator for nine months and then pushed through my very tiny birth canal, therefore allowing them to take their first real breaths. A day designed to celebrate the fact that as if that weren't enough, I now tend to their every need, every day, just to make sure that they not only stay alive, but that they make it to adulthood as productive members of society. Yep, that's what Mother's Day is all about right? Praising the unselfish acts that we, as mothers, go through on a never-ending, never-ceasing, never-slowing basis, am I right?
I freaking hate Mother's Day because I am a single mom. I drew an even shorter stick on this one because not only am I a single mom, I am an only parent, which means that I am the ONLY one invested in my children's lives without any help whatsoever from their sperm donor of a "father." After eight years of marriage I was left with a seven-month-old and a three-year-old when the sperm donor decided "kids weren't for him" and disappeared off the face of the planet.
I feel fairly confident in saying that being a single mom is the single hardest job in the world. The fact that I am the only person who is tending to the lives of two entire human beings is all-consuming. Knowing day after day that I am responsible for making sure these kids stay alive is a lot of pressure.
When the kids get sick and are up for days on end puking, guess who gets to deal with it? Me! When someone gets sick and needs to be picked up from daycare, guess who has to cancel her very important business meeting? Me! When Christmas rolls around and all the toys come in those stupid adult-proofed boxes with 87 zip ties, the need for three different kinds of screw drivers just to insert the batteries, and require an assembly of roughly 307 pieces that came in a large plastic sheet that needed to be punched out with fingers of steel, guess who's job that is? Mine!
Parent teacher conferences, swim lessons, birthday parties, homework, doctor appointments, dinner, baths, laundry, ME, ME, ME. It's all me. Oh yeah, and since there is no daddy, I guess I'm going to need a full time job as well.
No counting down the hours of a long day until the time that daddy comes home to help. No hoping that daddy will get up with the kids and allow me five more precious minutes of sleep. No help from daddy when I'm juggling a stroller, diaper bag, baby, and toddler at the zoo. No daddy to help out when all three of us are simultaneously puking. No daddy to run to the grocery store at 2am when the baby spikes a fever. No daddy to take pictures at the ballet recital while you juggle the baby on your lap.
There is no daddy when you wonder, as any parent does, if the job you are doing is good enough. No daddy to talk to when normal parenting fears creep in. No daddy to stand beside you when your child is in the hospital and you are scared. No daddy to back you up when you are feeling exhausted and worn down to the core. No daddy, no other parent in general, to care what happens to my child but me.
It's only ever me and I would like a break.
I would like a break from having to bite my tongue every time a wealthy stay-at-home mom complains about how much her husband travels. Geez lady, just be happy that you don't have to worry about how you are going to feed your kids if you get fired from your job because you took another day off of work to tend to your sick child. Are you complaining because your husband came home late for dinner and you had to feed the kids by yourself? I'd just be happy if my husband came home.
I would like a break from having to read the complaining Facebook posts of a friend whose dog is so "time-consuming." Oh I'm sorry, do you need to teach your dog how to read? Get your dog to school on time? Do your dog's laundry? Does your dog have a birthday party to go to? Does your dog need you cook for him three times a day? No? Shut the hell up.
Now don't let my tone deceive you, I love my children with every fiber of my being. Even though this was not what I signed up for, I wouldn't change it for the world. I signed up for the marriage. I signed up for the white picket fence, the house in the suburbs, and above all, I signed up with two parents, but dreams and reality don't always line up do they? I can't do anything about what I wanted, but I can choose how to react to what I got. Every time I see their faces, I know why I get up every day and do what I do.
It's because they are worth it. And I am not naive to the fact that many women who are unable to conceive would happily trade places with me. I really am grateful for what I've got, even if it doesn't sound like it. But as much as I love my kids, I am over-worked, over-stressed, and under-appreciated.
So, yay! Mother's Day, am I right!? A day of rest and pampering! A day where I will be showered with flowers, jewelry, sweet cards, and breakfast in bed, right?
Oh, wait. My kids can't shop. Or drive. They can't even cook. So wait. How is this Mother's Day thing going to work?
I freaking hate Mother's Day. A day where I will be reminded of how all my other mom friends, who do half as much as I do, will be getting a break that I feel like I deserve twice as much.
Happy Same Old Crap Day, Single Mothers of America.
— Eden Strong
Check out more great stories from xoJane:
- For Those Who Hate Mother's Day as We Approach It Yet Again
- Do I Really Have to Plan My Own Mother's Day?
- An Ode to My Mom For Mother's Day (and Every Day)