“When a baby comes along, it is a blessing.”. How will a woman feel such if she was left behind by the other person whom she entrusted herself to? I had my share about being a single mom. At first, it was a combination of being ecstatic, furious, and anxious. I will explain one by one. There are funny sides as well. As we continue, please put your shoes to mine to better understand me.
“A person is inside of me.” I uttered when I discovered that I was weeks pregnant. I already imagined ribbons, dolls, toy cars, balls, cradle, rattle and other baby stuff. I was thankful that finally someone will be with me all the time. I have now someone who I will watch over and someone who will watch over me. Although it was a difficult challenge to be a NaTay (Nanay and Tatay at the same time), I was more ecstatic than anxious.
It was the most furious event of my whole existence when my ex-partner denied the child in my womb. “How can someone be so irresponsible to reach the point of forsaking his own?” I had no choice but to be by myself and my little one.
I asked myself, “How can I be able to manage someone else’s life when I cannot manage mine?” There were so many questions with regard to raising the child on my own, our financial status, our social status and my reputation as a woman. We all know that we live in a world with too much rejection and deviation. My uncertainties include social acceptance and limited opportunities. “What is next in life now that I am a single mom?”, “Will there still be somebody who will accept me and my child, taken as a packaged deal?” (naisip ko pa yun!)
Hundreds of questions emerged from that one particular situation. I did not know what to expect. I was full of mixed emotions which varies from each day that passed by. It was year 2004. Surprisingly, when I told my guy friends about my pregnancy, it was like they were with me in every stage. My friends and family were there as well. I never felt alone at all. I cannot believe that the few good men I met before I got pregnant was still willing to be with me “in a relationship”, and one even wanted to raise the child as his. Whoa! Was it true? Yes, it was. That was one of the anxious part, the main concern was, my love life will never be the same again. But, there is really a rainbow after the rain. I did appreciate their offers but since I was in a delicate and emotional state, I declined all the offers. Sorry guys!
After I gave birth, I decided to stay single and focus on my girl. Yes, she was and she is still a very lovely one. I prayed every night to the good Lord to make her a lovely child, obedient, loving, smart and responsible. God, answered my prayers. Years passed, I recovered from the pain of my C-section and the emotional distress. I decided to stay single. After some time, I tried to engage in several relationship but did not succeed.
What are the struggles?
- I felt I did not have equal opportunity as a single mom; judgment and discrimination have been always around. I was preconceived as malandi (a flirt), unequipped to handle bigger roles, and prone to mistakes.
- For once, I felt less of a person than I was because I got to compare myself to single ladies of my age. I thought they were more qualified or privileged to be in a relationship.
- During those years before I got married, I worked 6 times a week. I rendered overtime in the call center I worked at to earn more and get greater incentives. I get to rest only on Sundays. (Curacha, ang babaeng walang pahinga). Yet, of course I had to spend quality time with my daughter. Thanks to my Dad; he took care of her while I worked.
- I worked a double job. Call center representative at night and pre-school teacher in the morning for several months. I took advantage of every avenue to earn. I also sell imported goodies at work and sometimes food packs. Hindi ako si Darna. 🙂
- I was not able to work in the industry related to my field of studies since my concern was to have a higher pay. Yet, it was a rewarding job.
- I do not have the luxury of shopping or do the activities I used to do since, I had to take care of my daughter after work or rest from my 6 day work. On paydays, my salary went straight to milk, diapers and other basic needs.
What else? The 6 items mentioned above looks simple, but what comprises each struggle took a long time before it was over. It was years of everyday battle which seemed no ending. I had realizations and lessons that made me a better person than I used to.
I want to expound each struggles, but those will be really long ones. I will keep some details for my book.
To all the single moms, I have profound respect for you. Continue to work hard for the kiddos. Single moms are super heroines without a cape. People who do not understand single moms will always loiter around and bring you down. Do not mind them, they are not as strong as you.
Please spare the single moms from the judgment. They work to survive.
Feel free to share your experience as a single mom or anyone you know. If you liked this post, please like my Facebook page for more social relevant posts.