Being a single mom opens your eyes to the harsh realities of life. I’m sure a lot of single moms ended up being one not entirely by choice. Yes, we choose to end an unhealthy relationship, we choose not to be a martyr, we choose to uphold our dignity and self-worth. But we didn’t choose to be part of a broken family. It was never our intention to have fatherless children. And we never planned to be the sole provider and breadwinner in our family. We didn’t choose to have our hearts broken, to experience the pain of unfaithfulness, selfishness or abandonment. We choose to be brave despite the fear eating up our insides, despite not knowing whether we would be able to bring food to the table, provide good education to our kids, or just give them a happy childhood. We are kept awake at night worrying about how we can support ourself financially, much less our kid/s. The peace comes from choosing to allow God’s will be done in our lives and to rely solely on Him. When we chose to be a single parent, it was a lot like jumping off a cliff not knowing where we’ll land.
In our situation, we get to know if our family will stand by us and help us. Want to know who your real friends are? Try being a single mom 🙂 We get to know who will judge us “disgrasyada” and speak behind our back, or who will love and accept the real us, human beings who are not perfect, whose mistaken choices would have a lasting, visible repercussion. Don’t get me wrong, however. We NEVER consider our children as mistakes. They are the blessing behind the hardship, the cloud in the silver lining. They are the inspiration who make us strive on, no matter how difficult life and the world gets.
I was inspired to write this when I read my friend’s post about the scarcity of gentlemen. A man grabbed the parking space she was patiently waiting for with her baby in the car. In the supermarket, another not so fine example of the species bumped her while she was carrying her son. The man didn’t even bother to lift a finger to help with her shopping bags that fell to the ground because of the collision.
I remember having experienced the kindness of strangers in unexpected situations. There was a time I went to the mall with my daughter who was just a baby then without anyone to accompany me. I took Amara’s stroller and we rode a cab. The dilemma came when we were alighting from the car. I had to carry my baby in one arm and with the other try to bring down the stroller and unfold it… a nearly impossible feat to manage by myself. A couple of men who were smoking just outside the mall entrance hurried to assist me unload the stroller and open it. I felt so thankful, especially since I usually am irritable at smokers spreading their cancerous smog at the non-smokers hehehe.
That was the first time I went to the mall just by myself with my baby. I remember feeling very strange dining at a restaurant as a lone adult, taking care of my months old daughter who’s usually very unruly at the dining table since it holds a lot of items attractive to her curious eyes and which her hands would like to grab and play with. The same dilemma arose on the line to get a cab going home. How would I be able to manage folding up the stroller and lift it to the cab while carrying my daughter? My angels came in the form of the two foreigners just ahead of me in the line. They took care of lifting the stroller inside the cab, which I was able to fold when I placed my daughter briefly on the backseat.
Fresh from the Christmas party of the single parents caring group, the message of our builder Bro. Randy Borromeo comes to mind. It is pure grace that we are able to rise in our situation as solo parents. Indeed. Life is not easy for most of us, solo parent or not. But with the grace of God, we can do it! And get by with a little, or a lot, of help from our friends, family, community and, unexpectedly, strangers.