By: Angel Haart
As I watch my cousin leave the house with his friends, yet another time, I am reminded about the double standards we have been programmed to endure. A mother should be at home to take care of the children, a father has to go out and provide, and get his ‘me time’. Why? Why should it be like that? Let me clarify.
Some of us live with our parents or a family member, while some live on their own. Can you just ‘leave’ the house, and you know another person would continue where you left off? Who will be willing to ‘keep’ the children until you get back from having a few drinks? I’m reminded daily that for a mother, worst yet a single mother, our functions are absolutely different. We are not privileged enough to go to a party. We are not privileged enough to ‘take a mental health’ day. God forbid we actually do what the judgement would be. Maybe death by the galleons?
Here I am, playing a card game with my children, and watching my cousin leave to go, while his daughter is taken good care of by his mother, my aunt. Do I dare say that I would like to go out with friends? Immediately a remark about bringing more children would be made. Or the question of ‘who is taking care of your children?’ I can’t just ‘walk out’ and know that someone would make sure they are fed, bathed and get to bed at a proper time? I dare not mention that I want to go out and enjoy a few drinks.
This type of behavior is normal for the opposite sex. Even a certain type of understanding would be given to married women. I mean, they have to deal with a man so they must need time away from all. Right? Even a divorced mother can still extract a little ‘understanding’ from those around her. Is the same empathy extended to the single mother? Not in my world. I have to either wait for my children to fall asleep before I can leave. Which may end with me also falling asleep during the wait. If this happens, you are hoping your friends understand and ‘cut you a lil slack’. You may have even lost friends because of this, as they won’t bother to ask you out. It’s either you need to find a sitter, or you fell asleep. Plus you have those rare occasions that all is aligned. Babysitter found, you stick up on rest and primed, waiting to take them to bed and behold…….a sneeze it a fever ensue. What is your next option then, which would make you win ‘Mother of the day’s award?
Single mother’s do need time away. From children, work, family, the demanding world. We do need to socialise. We do need a day off from the daily, and sometimes hectic schedule. We do need to relax, put our feet up, and enjoy a massage every now and then. We do need these things to perform our duties in a productive, holistic manner. We do.
When last did you take time away from the children single mother? When last did you enjoy the beach without having to ‘scope’ the horizon every minute, making sure ‘them ain’t drown’? When did you sit, bought your favourite ice cream and enjoy the ambience of your surroundings?
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