Single mothers are a common phenomenon in our country, where the alimony debt is estimated at 152 billion rubles. But women who raise children on their own need not only unconditional material, but also moral support. They also need visibility and a platform to interact with. We are publishing this letter to a single mother who, like many other women in the same situation, faced many difficulties, but was eventually able to cope with them. The original of this monologue was published on NEN, and today we decided to reprint it on the CHIPS Journal.
I am 38 years old, and my son has already entered the wonderful adolescence of continuous contradictions and his only correct opinion. We have been living without a dad for many years, and in my life I have not met a man with whom I could share my life.
Over the years, there have been a lot of things: despair, lack of money, serious problems with the child's health. Year after year, I went through the stages of anxiety known to single mothers, self-flagellation in the style of "I'm a bad mother, I can't devote enough time to him", fatigue and depression.
And I really want to write a letter to mothers who find themselves in the same situation and tell my story. After all, there are many of us, and we all know that it is unrealistically difficult.
If you are now reading my letter and feel on the edge, if you think that you are not doing anything in any area of life, then I have two news for you - bad and good.
News number one: it will always be this way. You will always be unable to keep up with something - if your career goes uphill, then household chores and the child will squander; at the moments when it will be necessary to focus on the child, everything else will pause. Trying to do everything and immediately lead you to burnout and depression, and this is too much of a luxury for a mother who is raising a child alone. Trust a person who has been severely depressed for two years.
News number two: you will learn. You will learn to highlight the main thing and score on the secondary. Scoring correctly will become your main skill. A perfectly clean home and super healthy and varied food is great, but there just isn't time for that. But you need to find time for yourself, for your needs and requirements, for visits to a doctor, manicurist, beautician. It's time to just hit the show when you have no strength left at all, or have a drink of wine with your girlfriends.
Over the years of my parenthood, there have been a lot of both funny and sad. There were periods when, despite all my efforts, he looked like Kurt Cobain after a week of drug addiction - after five minutes his shirts became wrinkled, his trousers were dirty, he forgot everything in the world, he had to repeat everything ten thousand times, but he still forgot. I lost count of how many times we were looking for a shift, sports uniforms, cardigans, lost in the bowels of the school. One day he managed to lose his guitar. And last year I could not understand for a long time why he had a dirty head all the time until it turned out that he was washing himself with hair balm. Now I can laugh at this, but then all his deuces, losses and lack of collection, health problems, I attributed to my failure as a mother.
There were moments when I thought that I was suffocating from constant endless responsibility, when I thought that I no longer had my own life and my time. I was torn from the feeling of how much I love my son and how tired I am of this responsibility, school, household chores and work. And now I can honestly say that in many ways I dug myself a hole. I was the same person who, in difficult moments, stood opposite with a sign "bad mother".
Today, to that tortured and desperate myself, I would say this:
Simplify everything that can be simplified, at a certain age children really lose and forget everything, so buy a lot of cheap things and do not waste your nerves on quarrels over another loss. You cannot work at the same pace and schedule as your childless colleagues, you cannot be the same mother as those who have husbands who are ready to help, but if he is alive, healthy and happy, then this means that you are doing everything perfectly. Lower the bar, because you have to keep pace everywhere, which means that your goals should be proportionate to your strengths.
Rest! You, like air, need time for yourself and your interests, because the resource must be replenished. Your peace of mind is much more important for your child than a perfectly clean house, ironed clothes and 125 dishes of correct and healthy food. You rest not to the detriment of the child's interests, but so that he has a healthy and calm mother.
And delegate! Be sure to seek help from relatives and friends, and if you have the financial opportunity, hire tutors.
The main thing that I have accepted and understood over the years is that I am the most ideal non-ideal mother for my child. And everything that happens to me, how I cope with my mother's role, is normal.
It happens that I do not have time to properly cook and do the housework. There are blockages at work, and I come at night. I hate helping with lessons, so I hire tutors instead of teaching him myself. Sometimes I break out of fatigue and scream. This is bad, and I know that this is not possible, but I ask my son for forgiveness for every breakdown. I explain why this happened. The main support of our relationship has become sincerity - I no longer try to hide my fatigue, I can cry in front of him, talk about what worries me, I no longer try to seem like a supermom, because I am a human being, and people have moments of weakness.
We can chat, lie on the couch for half a day, laugh and fool around. At one point, I clearly realized that I have not only obligations and an eternal duty to everyone, I have a friend, support and support. Now I know that our relationship with my son is much more important than the picture in my head about what ideal parenting should be, more important than ironed shirts and photo shoots of a busy weekend on Instagram.
I no longer compare myself with moms who have husbands, we are in different weight categories. And to be honest, I don't compare myself with anyone else, comparing myself with other parents is a useless undertaking. Everyone has different health, different resources of strength and financial capabilities.
Now I look not at what I can do, but at how much strength I have and how many primary tasks are in front of me, and I distribute them so that I do not have to sacrifice myself. The woman with the bad mother sign hardly ever comes to my house.
Recently we were leaving the clinic, and he took our things from the wardrobe, and then suddenly shook my coat and helped me get dressed. Fast and elegant. I realized that there was a young man in front of me - caring, handsome, intelligent and ironic. And I raised him.
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