Saturday, January 7, 2017

Challenges in Raising Kids Alone

From the moment my husband left for work abroad, I consider myself being a single parent – and raising the kids alone is included in the package. Hahaha! I thought raising the kids alone is as easy as ABC especially that I’m just working home-based and my kids’ ages are now 6 and almost 5 years old. Unfortunately, I’m dead wrong! Huh! Sad to say. For parents out there, here are some of the challenges in raising kids alone.

Me and kids with an empty tank going to a gas refilling station early in the morning
ONLY SOURCE OF STRENGTH
Before, my husband is my partner in raising the kids. We took turns or shifts in watching over them and doing the household chores. Now, this scenario will only happen every 1 month of the year during his vacation leave. And of course, that would leave only me as the only daily source of support in raising the kids – physically, emotionally and partly financially.

My husband’s allotment comes only every month-end, however, before it reaches my pocket it is already intended to a certain receiver, such as amortizations, utility bills and now school fees. Yes, I have work and my salary is already budgeted for our daily consumptions – food, milk, transportation fares and other things needed in the house. 

Sometimes, I dream of having extra for our leisure. I could not stand the pity sight when my kids see new toys from neighboring kids so I buy new toys (but cheaper) for them too and also I want to have something for my own as well. As a result, I render overtime and do sideline jobs just to fulfill that desire.

I couldn’t escape from being stressed especially when I hear them crying, quarreling and the usual issues during eating time. Ugh! It’s very frustrating to feed the kids when they don’t want to eat no matter how yummy the food is. Sometimes, I post a menu on the fridge or search on how to be creative with the leftovers coz my kids easily get bored even with the food. If in short budget and can’t afford the delicious ones, I’ll just pour their milk on the rice. They love it! 

MULTI-TASKING 
Raising the kids alone also means non-stop responsibilities. These responsibilities don’t stop at home. I have to maintain my roles: home-based job employee, sister, daughter, friend, wife, mother (and also a father) to cope with my kids’ behavior, milestones, and even their freaky tantrums.

During my previous 2-9 AM shift, or shall I say in-betweens, I still do my raising-kids-alone duty. Raine cries and call me to carry her downstairs at 3AM or beyond. I'm relieved if she just go back to sleep on the sofa, but sometimes she wants to play with me. And when she finally fall asleep again, Railey follows and asks milk. Same with Raine, it’s either he sleeps back or play. Oftentimes, they are up together and requests to watch Frozen or Cars movies. I could nearly memorize the script and songs of these blockbusters. Hahaha!

Raising kids is also playing with them. After work, I allot a playtime with them. Just simple horse-playing will do just to keep them away from quarreling over 1 toy and eventually destroy it. Later, I see to it that I nap for 2 hours with the kids after school.

At home, we study the assignments shortly. Maybe 30 minutes or less for I don’t want my kids to feel being drained. Sometimes, Raine study with him by doing her own coloring book so they enjoy the moment. Another playtime follows. I could work again or rest, depending on my condition. However, I couldn’t focus on work or can’t have the full rest coz my mind is on my kids outside. I’m anxious they might stumble down, get a fight or worst (I’m always praying these will not happen) might get bitten by dogs or any vehicular accident. Oh! Please God, help me watch over them!

After dinner which goes for 1 hour coz of the usual feeding problems, I used to play or tell a story to them or study time before we call it a night. At last! I can finally go to sleep. In the next morning, my daily routine starts.

So tell me, who is that mother who wouldn’t feel physically and emotionally exhausted with that?! I couldn’t blame other mothers shouting at kids, as they are raising their kids alone too. No timeouts!

Nevertheless, we do share the same tiring unpaid job of all! Like them, I yell at my kids and spank them – which I regret at the end coz those will truly affect their mentality and behavior. My only intention is to discipline them which is their father’s role but he couldn’t do coz of the distance. I would rather yell at them than hitting them because I might get carried away with my anger. And when I spank them I make sure that I hit them on the butt, it’s the safe part.

Which would you prefer when you couldn’t halt the outbursts of your kids, hit or shout? Be honest, we can understand. Wink!

LESS ME TIME
I really need a break from raising the kids alone, whether it will be a nap, beauty rest or if possible, a full sleep at night time. I could only have these when there’s an occasion, my kids are not feeling well or if I’m sick as valid reasons not to work on my dreary shift. But hey, I’m not stupid to wish to be sick just so I can get a good night sleep. Sigh! 

Aside from taking vitamins, I need a daily exercise. Before, I was happy coz we have Zumba at our subdivision every Saturdays but it stopped when organizers switched it to Badminton. I don’t play that sport so I do Zumba at home, however, it’s feels good to do it with others especially moms. 

Sometimes, I hang out with friends or go dine with my workmates but aside from that, I don’t go out much. I can’t enjoy the moment coz my mind is at home. Even if I call someone back home every now and then, still the feeling of going home early is inevitable.
Lunch out with the ECS moms

Dinner treat with my online team

Above are just some of the many challenges in raising the kids alone. You may advise to get a babysitter but thanks! I already tried and didn’t like the result. Raising kids alone is more chaotic when funds are going up or down and the odds are not on your favor.

Yes, this is how I set my alarms to keep track of our time. My kids can read already so when the alarm rings and I'm busy, they tell me what's in it before they turn it off.

Everything about a mom at home is just a matter of balance and time management.