I have found a wonderful supportive online community on Facebook and I belong to a Single Parents group. We trade stories, atrocities, vent our frustrations, celebrate our successes and make new friends. Sometimes, there are things you feel better talking to complete strangers about then you do with people who are closer to home. I don’t know why but it does. Well at least to me. I have been inspired by the ladies in my groups and have learned that through this all I am not alone in my feelings or struggles or thoughts. I woke up this morning to a blog post from one of a fellow mom’s Emma Shaffer post about her feelings during this time of year. The dreaded holidays. I know when I was coupled up I didn’t think about things that I think about now and I feel that now I’m privy to a broader world outside of my own four walls. Its no secret that being a single parent is hard and I have posted before how sometimes we feel lonely or forgotten and that it is hard to communicate that.
Emma’s post couldn’t have said it better. It reminded me that as a person, I need to voice my concerns and needs and sometimes that is overwhelming so we bite our tongues.Although the post may not apply to all, I am sure it applies to some. Id like to share her post with you as another perspective from a single mother and if you are interested in reading more please check out her blog at If You Say What You Feel
A Single Mom’s christmas list
I didn’t used to hate this question, though I always found it awkward. I loathe it now. What do people want me to say?
“Oh! I’d love a cute pair of red flats!”
“I would love nice maple cutting board. I love to cook!”
“I’m dying for a new attachment for my stand mixer!?!”
I always feel obligated to ask for things that feel like gifts to give. People like buying you things that they think are a treat or things you wouldn’t buy yourself. But do you know what I really want for Christmas?
I want groceries. No seriously, I want groceries. I don’t want to have to play “what else can we put on top of rice” game, and I don’t want to tell my son for the umpteenth time that we can’t go to the store and buy fresh fruit because mama doesn’t get paid for another week. I don’t want to get everything on my grocery list in my cart and then try figure out which third of it to put back. Do I put back the cheese, juice and broccoli, or the apples, milk and tortillas?
I want the money to fill my cavities. My dental insurance only covers one cavity every THREE YEARS, and I have 4 cavities. I have had 4 cavities for a year, and they are starting to get painful. I would seriously love to fork over the cash and have the pain be gone. You weren’t going to spend $400 on my present??? Oh, how forward of me.
I want you to come clean my house. Not because I secretly hate you and want to see you toil cleaning up my messes, but because I am fricking tired, and I just can’t do it all. Not even with a toddler who knows to take a rag to spills and pretends his plastic golf bag is a vacuum cleaner.
I want socks and bras and underwear. Please, PLEASE can you buy them for me? Taking a toddler into a women’s clothing store is my worst nightmare. I can never seem to justify replacing the bras that are only kinda pokey, and the underwear that is totally the wrong size, but not disgusting enough to be thrown out.
I want more sick days. I use all of my 2 official sick days and most of my paid time off on sick days for both me any my son. We always get sick in tandem, and that always makes for double the days needed off of work.
Among other intangibles: I want to feel less lonely, I want to leave the house on time (OK even half of the time having on-time departures would be nothing short of a miracle). I really, really want to be told I’m doing a good job, but don’t know how to ask for this, and then feel that the reply is genuine. I would really like to feel like less of a burden to society, but I know that I’m asking for a lot here.
So I guess I’ll settle for asking for cooking classes, bath salts and fancy coffee. Because if I ask for what I really need you might be uncomfortable. And then we might actually have to do something or feel responsible as a society for forcing single moms to fit their square peg of a life into a round hole of convenient holiday gift giving. Please just give me the gift of being able to ask for the help I need and not simultaneously feel bad about it. That’s what I really want.