Friday, September 08, 2006

The Single Parent Trap

If it takes a village to raise a child, where does the village go when you need child care? The child care isn't for me to go out and hang in a nightclub, although my desire to perform stand up comedy requires that I am in this enviroment. My need for care comes from my being gainfully employed.

For the last few months my child care situation has been stressful to say the least. Child care providers deserve to get paid. They need to make a living. Just like its my job to perform a duty and get paid a decent wage, so do they. My dilema is this: If that "decent" wage isn't enough to cover your health insurance, utilites, travel expenses, family needs, and child care, what in the world are you working for?

It seems that lately I was working to pay my child care provider. If I worked overtime, I paid her overtime. She had my check spent before I did. Having other peoples hands in your pocket will keep you broke. Other people calculating how much you make and how come you don't have any money at times brings an anger that I simply cannot describe.

I am a parent that lives in the city that never sleeps, but I have no blood relatives near me. I moved from Upstate New York to live the American Dream of getting married and having a flourishing career. Once I woke up I was still single, but had a beautiful babygirl that I love.

Blended families - mommy lives here - daddy lives there - mommy married so and so's daddy - daddy is dating so and so's mommy...too much laying up to even begin to find a reason for. Send the child here, take the child there...frequent flier miles that get you nowhere.

Can a single parent work with the other parent in harmony? I can't answer that. Well then again, if you only take the child to the absent parent when it is convient for them I guess so. If I'm going to work, sure. Anything else, haha-hehe-hell-no!

It takes a village to raise a child. What if you live in a village where nobody knows your name, and nobody speaks your language? Where in the world do you live you ask? Trust me, I ask myself the same question. Is this America or...I don't want to sound racist so I won't elaborate. We're all God's children right? Well then why do you live there? I did mention something about a "decent" wage didn't I?

For me the only thing to do is keep on pushing, keep on trying to work it out. I don't believe you should stay with someone for the sake of the children. Hell, if you didn't like them before the child was born, arguing over who is going to do what isn't going to make a difference. So why in the world did you have a child with that person in the first place? I know you don't really think I'm going to answer that with anything that makes sense?

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. True. But it sure does make you gasp for air a few times. I love my daughters. I didn't know I would be a single parent. I was raised with both of my parents in the home, but it seems like no sooner than my brother and I left they got divorced. You can be married and still be a single parent. Some say as long as they eat dinner together everynight it's okay. If you're chewing and looking at the back of the newspaper thats covering your husband's or wife's face, you're not eating together - you're eating at the same time.

I just let out a long sigh. I'm living what is in store for me. I'm loving what I'm living. The Single Parent Trap isn't one that can hurt you, but it will definitely keep you hustiling until you get it right.


LenaMarie said...

I've been a single parent for 8 years and have learned to make myself available/flexible for the other parent and then they will do that for you. If it's my weekend, and I want to go to a concert, I won't count it out, I'll ask him first to see if he can do it.

It hasn't always been that way, you have to work yourself to that stage in the relationship. I wish I was in NY, that cutie pie baby can stay with me anytime!!!

It's hard when you don't just leave your kids with anyone. It definitely limits my social life but I made a choice about what I will and won't expose my kids to and me going out is not as important if they have to stay somewhere that I don't know the people that well. So I don't have a "babysitter". If their dad or my parents aren't available, then I don't go.

Shai said...

I have to say my situation is harder. He is in the military and does not live close. The thing is I have my daughter her whole life except for 5 weeks when she stayed with him. She did not want to go back because of her horrible stepmother. His whole family had a problem with her, 2 other children from his family stayed to only come back not wanting to go back.

It has been a very difficult 16+ years. I thought because we were bestfriends and grew up together, we could compromise. I have gone beyond flexible and he still can act like a jerk. My child has hurt issues he seems to act like she will get over. And they have a very fractured relationship.

I have to say the man has to be very mature and open. Way too many think the children are with the mom and do not seem to wonder who they are doing and do things for them whether close by or long-distance.

Shai said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Precious_3 said...

I just wanted to say you are so cool girl. I had a good friend in my younger day who was so helpful to me when the kids were smaller. I had to be at work at 4:30 a.m. at McDonalds ( hey it was a transition position) (LOL)any who. He would stay with them, get them up in the mornings get them dressed an dtake them to daycare and school for me. Talk about your extraordinary brothers, I had one. The kids are teenagers and I just wanted you know , you well get through the lean times and they'll be grown way to soon. I was blessed to be able to enjoy both my children until they were 3. I worked nights. God works it out everytime, I know I lived through it. Love ya !