As a single mom, you are head of the household. Every decision is yours to make, everything that needs to be done is your responsibility, and every time there’s a problem, it’s yours and only yours, to handle.
The thought of writing this blog actually came to me because of something awful that happened a few days ago. I woke up really early in the morning, went downstairs and started making my coffee, like I always do. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move really fast across the kitchen. I’m thinking I am having hallucinations, at this point, until I saw it again. It was a mouse!! I started screaming my head off, sounding like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween.
What did I do? I frantically called my friend’s husband. Trying not to laugh, he ended up coming over with a couple mouse traps. Within a day and a half, the mouse was caught. Mind you, I had to pick up the trap and dispose of the mouse. Sickeningly difficult.
Here’s the thing. If you’re a single mother, you obviously weren’t happy when you were married, so you got a divorce. Or maybe it wasn’t your choice. Maybe he left you.
Either way, as unhappy as you were, you had a man in the house for things like this! He could fix little things, change light bulbs on the ceiling, kill spiders, shovel snow, mow the lawn, run downstairs with a baseball bat if you heard something in the middle of the night, and the worst one, deal with the mouse.
Things like this, and other scary things cause me to temporarily put aside this whole independent, strong, self-sufficient, self managing leader role where I claim not to need anyone. It makes me crave the comforting feeling of safety and warmth and strong arms of a man taking care of me.
Ironically, that’s a great feeling to have. It makes me feel feminine and pretty and sexy and soft. And it’s a feeling of vulnerability, because no matter how much a single mom is thriving, making her household work, managing everything and dealing with every problem that arises, I guarantee she will always miss the strong body of a man sleeping next to her night after night after night, and waking up next to someone who is her partner, her family, her soul mate, and the father of her children.
The harsh reality is, a single mother became a single mother because the man sleeping next to her was the father of her children and none of the other things.
The good news is, the single mother is now free, and if she someday wants a man in her house again, and if she’s willing to open her heart, she’ll find him. That’s the romantic in me talking.
I’d say this to any single mother. Keep staying strong. Use your head. If there’s a problem, find a way to fix it. And stay tough. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. It doesn’t help! Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your male friends and family, or your neighbors. I find that people are very willing to step up when I need them. Play that single mother card whenever you can, I say! Why not?
One more thing, find yourself a really, really good handyman. I did, and it changed everything! Dan is the best!
I have to say one other thing, I feel really bad about killing the mouse. He actually looked really cute, and I hated to set a trap. Someone just told me about these traps called “Have a Heart.” Next time…
As for single dads, I’m sure you have your own set of things you miss. Sure, you can change the filter on your furnace, clean your gutters and hose out your garage every spring, but if I had to guess, what you’re missing as a single dad is the smell of home cooked meals, clean bathrooms, your dry cleaning hanging neatly in your closet, and every bed in the house made every morning.
Being single parents is hard for both men and women. The pluses: you’re alone, but you’re not with the wrong person anymore, and that makes things like unchanged ceiling light bulbs, un-hung pictures and yes—mice– so much easier to take.