And this is the first time I will talk about how difficult it is to be a single mother. I have always been proud of my kid and I don’t deny being a mother. This is the very first time, I will write something about her and our struggles in life together. And I am writing this so that I can at least inspire others with how strong I became as a person.
It takes a lot of courage to be a single mother. You have to be emotionally, spiritually and most especially financially stable for you to be able to raise a child.
When I got pregnant, the father of my child and I were not okay. I wasn’t even aware that I was pregnant since my monthly period is irregular. Until I reached the last month of my 1st trimester when I received a message from him asking me to check if I am pregnant because he said, he felt like I was. Bought a pregnancy test and checked with my 2 friends and voila! Yes, I was pregnant. It took me a long time before I informed my family about it. But the only thing I knew then was, I WILL BE A MOTHER SOON, whether or not I was ready, I was already decided that I will bring this child to the world and I will give her life. I wasn’t ready then YES, but it was quick. It was so quick that I already saw myself giving birth to a beautiful child.
FAST FORWARD… Before I gave birth, I was already annoyed and I was just trying to be patient since I was still pregnant and it might not be okay. Until after I gave birth, and I was still annoyed seeing him around BUT I told myself, I have to act normally in front of my family because I can’t just show them that I am not ok, or they will get hurt. No matter how annoying your partner is, you still have to protect them because the imperfection of your partner will always be seen as your imperfection too. (I think) so I had to protect him from my family.
Truth is, he was okay then. My family (especially my parents) treated him like as if he is their own child. But since he was still young that time, and he has a lot of family issues, he cannot decide on his own. His relatives usually decide for him. Which triggered my patience and made me decide that I don’t think I can stand this life with him, not having the courage to decide on his own. I woke up one morning and I felt like I don’t love this person anymore. I don’t see my future with him. I then asked him to leave the house and just go back to his family. He begged and asked me if he can still stay and to try to fix things over. But I have already decided. I told him that, now that you are already a father, you cannot even decide for yourself, what more in the future. I asked him to leave and I ended everything that day. Since then, I knew that I am already a strong person. I was fragile for a long time and very sensitive, but when I became a mother, I CHANGED.
FAST FORWARD… I changed my number and started anew. My parents didn’t ask me about what happened but they knew all along that something is wrong. I am the only girl among my siblings and I knew then that I caused them so much pain even without telling them the reason why.
My child grew up not seeing his father… UGH, well for the past 12 years of her existence? There were only less than 20 times. YES. 365 days x 12 years, that’s a total of 4,380 days. Days, months and years have gone by, he still gets the chance to see my kid (actually up until now) whenever he wants to. The problem is, he never really wanted to. Given the chance, I wouldn’t want it any other way. But my parents told me that I have to think of my child’s sake. That she may grow up not seeing or knowing who her father is. So for the longest time, I thought of my kid and how she’d feel about it. There were times that his family reached out and visited my kid but my child didn’t really want to spend even a day with them. I can’t blame her. She grew up not seeing them. She was so scared of going out with them and that they might not bring her back to our family after a day out. And for the record, I never said anything bad about them. Benefit of the doubt. Maybe she really felt like she cannot trust them because they didn’t exert some effort seeing her or visiting her when she was growing up.
Raised my child with the help of my family. Her first word, her first walk, her first smile and everything. Sending her to school, attending to her needs. It was just my family who guided me and helped me. Did they? for quiet some time, yes. They sent her some money for school, or birthday gifts but not always. Very seldom. And not constant.
Until one day, I realized that maybe, it is already time to forgive. So when he asked me out, I said, okay let’s have dinner together and let’s talk about our kid and her needs. When I was about to sit, that night, he suddenly asked me. “Why did you leave me?” I answered quickly. “After almost 10 years? You now have the guts to ask me? And I answered right away. The day when I asked you to leave was the day I felt like I don’t love you anymore. I didn’t even see my future with you. Your family has a lot of issues and instead of teaching you how to have a better family, they even tolerated your mistakes.” He was shocked and he spoke in a quiet manner. “Why didn’t you tell me then?”, I answered, “And what is it for? You should be thankful. That I broke up with you because after that, your life became better. You were able to graduate on time, you were able to buy your own car, you lived your life like as if you do not have any responsibilities, you were even able to travel abroad without thinking that you have a child to support.”. And then he said, “But my life would’ve been even better than that if you were with me along the way.” And I said, “No. Because I knew then that I was not made for you. My life became different from how I grew up in the past when I became a single mother. The struggle was real, but I don’t regret any of it when I see my child.” And then he became more quiet. And I suddenly said, “If you have a girlfriend, get married. You deserve to be happy. We were not made for each other. You always tell my family that I am the only girl who treated you this way. And that my heart is very hard to please. I am telling you now, that not all women are the same. 9 out of 10 will love you for who you are, and 1 will teach you for you to be a better person.” It was difficult to be in a relationship that you were not even sure if it is really meant for you or not. Not to mention that he has some other kids to support. The only thing I asked him and his family was not money, but to ATLEAST visit my child once in a while. But they never did.
My family and friends know me really well. They call me “Pusong Bato” which means having a heart as hard as a rock/stone in the urban language. Because I don’t get hurt anymore. I don’t cry. The only thing that makes me cry is when I watch drama series. I swear! Kidding aside, I became this person when I learned one day, that I had too. I had to be stronger than before because I am the only person who can be this strong for my child. One day, my family will one by one die, my child will one day get married, and I still have to be even stronger tomorrow than what I became today because the only person who will take care of me in the future is just ME.
The struggle of being a single mother is real. I have given up a lot. People may not see the way I see it, but nobody knows it but me. It took me a long time to realize yes, but hey! I have changed. I even became wiser. Even in having a new relationship or commitment. I have to be. I have to learn from my mistakes.
For the past 12 years, I have learned that life doesn’t end where your troubles start. It ends when you’re done finding a solution to your problem. But do problems even end? No. You will be facing a lot of problems in the future and you have to learn how to anticipate things and find a solution yourself.
Why did I suddenly share this to you? Because I know that I am not the only person who is experiencing this kind of situation. That I am not the only single mother in the world, and that maybe, some of us in the club are having the same situation but do not know what to do. Maybe some of us do not even have the courage to speak up for themselves.
I say, stand for your right. We have given up a lot and experienced a lot of trials in being a single mother, but hey! We are still alive, it only means we have survived!
And guess what? My child is now about to graduate after 6 years in the elementary school without seeing his father sending him in the morning, or attending to every performance she has had in the past.
I always remind my child that I may not be able to give her a complete family but she has a family in me. I was, am and will always be thankful having the best family who guides me and helps me and my daughter all the time.
One day, my child will have her own family and I will never think twice treating her the way my family treated me when I became a single mother. I always tell her that she needs to be tough and she needs to have a good heart all the time. Believe in God and lend a hand to people who are in need. It’s not about having new gadgets or having a complete family. It’s about being a good person in and out.
I am very grateful and proud that my child is now about to start a new life in high school and I know that we will still be facing, even more, problems in the future together. But what matters is she got my back and I got hers too.
Thank you for reading and I hope this inspires single mothers and fathers out there!
This is the Anonymous Writer, 33 years old, single mother and this is my JOURNEY…
photo (c) imjaydejavier