Challenges of a single Mother in the West – 18 Apr 13

I mentioned yesterday that I was not talking about single mothers who get stressed while raising their children. Some of my single-mother-friends asked me why I excluded them from my writing. I assure you all, dear friends, that this was not my intention and I happily write another diary entry dedicated to all of you hard-working, loving mothers! Oh, and before the single fathers feel left out, I am talking about you, too – there are just more of the female type, so I hope you won’t mind if I generalize and talk about mothers.

There are many different reasons for women not to be in the traditional setting of a family. Sometimes the child was not planned and conceived in a spontaneous intimate night with someone whom they didn’t know or didn’t want to be with for a long time. In rare cases the child was conceived when the mother was raped and she decided to have the baby nevertheless. Some babies’ fathers were taken from them by untimely death through accident or illness. In most cases however I believe the parents decided that it would be best if they would not raise the child together because their marriage had come to an end, a point where there was no love anymore.

Whether it was their conscious decision to raise the child on their own or not, single mothers have a lot of tasks and shoulder them all on their own. It is amazing how these mothers manage to raise their children and at the same time stay emotionally and mentally balanced themselves! When they have to go to toilet, they need to put a playpen into the bathroom so that their child can see them and can play in a safe environment! The same goes for showering – you cannot just put your baby in another room to play while you take a shower! Even when the baby sleeps, they have to take a really quick shower with the baby monitor close-by – so that they can get to know if their little one woke up!

They obviously have to manage with less sleep, too, as they don’t have the support of a husband in the nights! A lot of babies take a long time to find a sleeping rhythm that does not include waking up in the middle of the night several times! It will always be them who have to get up! Yes, I have to clearly say that the work of these women is admirable and highly respectable.

At the same time however I have to say that I feel sorry about the lack of support that they have because I know from my own experience how much more relaxed life is when you share this responsibility! Of course, once they go back to work, they have to find a daycare-center, a crèche or a Kindergarten so that their child is taken care of. Even for other important work to which they cannot take their child along, they may need to hire a babysitter or nanny – because they cannot be at two places at the same time. There is a difference however in between sharing this responsibility with a family member or with a paid help, who has seen the baby maybe once or twice in its life – whoever has made this experience knows the emotional difference!

This makes me feel again how much better it is to live with your family! When you have your relatives to support you, to help you, to be there for you. They also enjoy being with the baby, so it is a win-win situation for all, even the child! Even if you don’t always agree with each other’s opinion, isn’t it worth so much more to have each other around when necessary? No matter what the constellation of your family looks like – if there is any possibility to get together with your relatives, do it, it is good for you, for them and the baby!

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