His grades in school aren’t the best. In fact, he falls on the end of the list. But as always, I am not bothered by his class standing and the numbers that reflect on his report card.
As his mom, I know where my son excels. He is good with public speaking (ehem), dancing, and building things among many others. Trust me, he can build amazing lego structures and can solve rubik’s cube in minutes (even seconds). Did I mention that he is self-taught?
You see, I might be bragging about my kid’s exceptional skills but I want all #parents to realize that sending your kids to school and pressuring them to get straight As will only do so much.
When they are already out in the jungle, they need to be equipped with more than just theories, with more than just grades.
Hone them with skills even without seeing its corresponding numbers. Let them figure out what they love. Let them develop high #EQs apart from impressive #IQs.
So, can you just imagine if you are – gulp – single?
Anyway, while it is not technically a ‘walk in the park’ to raise and support my kids on my own, I sure learned a lot of valuable lessons while in the process. And you know what, I actually enjoy being one.
What I Learned from being a Single Mom
There are a lot of challenges when you are a single mom. There’s, of course, the financial side. Can you just imagine having one body and working your arse off for your two kids – who are by the way, both in school? Here’s the thing, we can all survive. But thriving is a different story.
I was always ambitious and I want to give the best for my kids. Thus, I learned to prioritize. I learned how to eliminate unnecessary expenses such as ‘TOO MUCH 7-11 and MC DONALD’S DATE’ in order to send them to a good school. I learned how to cut off my ‘social – life’ allowance, so we can spend more on hotel staycations. I decided not to have cable TV, so we can spare money for more activities.
Working Twice Thrice As Much
Most of the time, people would ask me if I solely support my kids. For almost a year, yes. But I am already in talks with their father so we can split the cost. But you know, child support is a different story and you can find another post from here.
A side note though. If you can patch things with the father of your kids, please do so. Do not be selfish and give your kids the liberty of having fun memories with their dad. This doesn’t mean you need to be together. But as much as possible, be civil.
Let’s go back, shall we?
When you are a single mom, you become open to all sorts of jobs and sidelines. And when people ask me what I do for a living, trust me, I actually don’t know where to start. Let me give you a quiz and can you guess what my job really is?
a. I am a proofreader
b. I am an online writer
c. I am a virtual assistant
d. I am a host
e. I am a corporate trainer
f. I am a real estate broker
If you answered just one, or two, or three, you are definitely wrong.
If you answered all – DING DING DING DING, you got it right!
It’s good that I like doing a lot of things. But you know what, it can be pretty exhausting. Like what I do with my budget, I prioritize. I maximize my time, and I organize my tasks in such a way that I will have only few backlogs.
Does it work?
However, if given a chance, I will just leave 2 jobs and focus on those. I am thinking about being a host/ corporate trainer and real estate broker. However, while these 2 give me the biggest chunk of savings, these aren’t ‘regular’. Until such time that my days are filled with hosting stints and huge sales, I still need to take on the other jobs. 🙂 It’s all good. All good.
Warning: If you are going to take that path, you know – multiple jobs, there will be days that you will get drained. It will take a toll on your emotional state. When that happens, try to assess yourself. Is it still healthy? Are you still spending quality time with your kids? If no – drop it.
Dropping my High Ego
If you don’t know me, I have a strong personality (that’s what other people tell me), and I’ve got such a skyrocketing ego (this is both a blessing and a curse). I had that attitude that I can do anything without help. THAT IS SOOOOOO WRONG!
I need help. While it’s not really about money, I needed help with a lot of things.
a. Who’s going to look after my kids when I am out?
My family is very supportive. I couldn’t emphasize this enough in my posts. It’s easy for me to schedule client meetings and to accept hosting gigs because I know that there will be someone to look after my kids.
For those who can’t leave their homes to work, you can always get an online job. If you want to know how, I can help you. 🙂
b. How can I raise my kids properly?
I consider myself in the early stages of parenting. And boy, I suck at it. I needed help from the seasoned ones so I can be guided. Of course, there are old parenting ways that I disapprove of, but that’s also a way for me to learn how to have my own parenting style.
In addition, it’s a challenge for me to raise my son as he is looking for a father – figure. I am lucky to have my father and my brother to fill in that spot. And again, it’s good that their father is now more open to spending time with them.
Last words: Being a single mom can be bearable if you have a personal system in place – and a strong support system. At first, it can be overwhelming, nonetheless – extremely rewarding.
P.S. Few days from now, my kids and I will be on stage for their recognition day. My kids will receive a handful of medals and while I do not gauge their skills based on the academic achievements alone, these little things mean so much.
To all parents, most especially single moms or single dads – Congratulations. You are doing a great job.
I am a single mom and somehow, I understand the battle for child support. In this post, I will try to explain my views on this hot topic. You may, or may not agree with me so I welcome comments.
When raising a child, money is really important. I won’t pretend that I don’t need help and quite frankly, life will be a whole lot easier if there is a fixed financial agreement from both parents.
For months, even years, I was affected on why my kids do not receive enough support. And I will be very honest – it sucks to wait. And it sucks more that other people think you are begging for money.
You see, I have an overflowing ego (and that is something, I need to change a bit). Because of that same ego, I did not ask for proper financial support. Until such time that I badly needed to.
For those who do not understand the ‘financials’ of raising kids, here’s a quick overview.
School’s Extra Curricular Activities
Food and Vitamins
Emergency (medical expenses)
The last 2 are not mandatory, but highly recommended. We live in the province and the cost of living is generally lower. But to give you an idea, I spend at least 30k for the kids, and this does not include my rent and other bills.
So yes, working for 2 kids isn’t exactly a walk in the park. In my case though, I am lucky because God has given me great jobs to support our financial needs.
But let’s go back to a different take on ‘child support’.
It is actually more than the money.
Supporting a child is much more complex.
Our kids need time and affection. They need to have someone to look up to.
It’s not enough that you send them money. Instead, make them feel why you are sending them such.
If you are working overseas, make sure you call them regularly. Check on them. Greet them on special occasions and give them genuine words of wisdom.
But, if you can spend more time with them, do so.
Personally, it is easier for me to talk about delegating finances. And it is understandable if one will not be able to provide the amount he or she should be giving.
But TIME, AFFECTION, EFFORT? These are the things that are considerably FREE. Why would you deprive your kids of that?
So again, child support isn’t just money. There are more important things, fortunately free, to consider.
I am not your traditional mom who stays at home, washes the dishes, irons the clothes, teaches my kids after school and …well,the list goes on. (you get it right?)
I am one of those moms who need to work twice as much because apart from the dirty dishes, we need to earn and settle the bills.
Here’s a secret, though. I wanted to quit my jobs to focus on being a traditional mom… And this feeling often happens. I wanted to take such role because I am certain on how exhausting yet fulfilling it is to be one.
If only I have an option.
If only I can relax and stop all the expenses.
Reality check, in cases like mine, we need to hustle because as clichè as this may sound, money doesn’t grow on trees.
Sad to say, there are still closed-minded people who believe we are incapable of becoming good moms just because we are holding reports and not pans most of the time.
I have few questions to those who belittle working moms.
-Why is it so easy for you to tell that a mother is lazy if she opted to work in front of the laptop and not in front of the stove?
-Why do you judge moms as if they are incompetent when they can’t fold shirts and iron pants?
– Why do you give them looks of disapproval just because they can’t regularly review the kids from school?
– Why can’t you understand that we have different lives and in our case, we need to work to survive?
I say, stop branding us ‘Lazy’ or even ‘good for nothing’ just because we don’t fit your description of being a mother. We salute the hands-on moms, but you need to know that it is not easy being a working mom too. We have our own battles and the least we can do is to support each other and to not drag us down just because of our differences.
It’s about time to celebrate all kinds of mothers whether she’s wearing a bun, or sporting a purple hair.
When I became a mom and my son started going to school, I already created a mindset that I wouldn’t push them to get skyrocketing grades. What matters to me is that they learn, they do what they do best, and that their social behaviour develops properly.
Why am I writing this post?
I know some parents would push and sometimes force their kids to get good grades. While there is nothing wrong about having great grades on the report card, I sometimes feel that as parents, we should allow our kids to enjoy school, most especially in the first years. Forcing them to get straight As at the age of 4 or 5 is never going to be fun! Except if your kids really show the interest in such.
Where am I coming from?
Let’s backtrack a bit and you know, give you an idea where I am coming from.
I used to be grade conscious. I remember being one of the top students in the class, crying over an 86/95 score in an exam. It wasn’t healthy. For me, my ultimate goal was to get good grades, and not to learn. Obviously, that’s not a good motivation.
Ask yourself again, “Why would you go to school?”
If you answered, to get good grades’, I sincerely think that it is a shallow reason.
Going back, I got tired of it and come 3rd grade, I was not included in the honor list.
For a 9 year – old, the world shattered.
And then 4th Grade Started
For some reason, I felt that I was quite mature for my age. At the age of 10, I told myself that I wouldn’t force myself to get high grades. Instead, I decided NOT to stress myself on academics and just focus on things where I am good at.
I was good at speaking and singing. I have bagged awards year after year (and I think my batchmates were already tired of hearing me sing). Kasi even the national anthem during the flag ceremony, ako na yung kumakanta! Anyway, I even represented my school in big speaking competitions and won. Trust me, it wasn’t your usual competition where you’d already know your standing. It was hard and it was months of preparation. I knew I was good at it, so I worked my arse! Yabang noh?
Point is, I knew back then that the school is much more than Science and Math or whatever subjects we had. I was a firm believer that we have different kinds of intelligence. Mine was a bit more on the artsy side, you know – music, linguistic and interpersonal intelligence. Sometimes I wonder why I got in the Science Curriculum section. Brad, yung mga classmates ko sobrang talino! Haha
I don’t want to make this post very long because I have a call in 30 minutes and I need to finish my reports. Again, I’ve seen parents getting sad because their kids were not able to make it in the top list. But for me, we have to show them that grades are not the gauge for success. You have to set an example that you believe in them, regardless if they get a 100 or a 75. For me, the traditional schools can measure a minute part of one’s intelligence. But boy, the world is so big and your kids have so much to offer.
From there, see which areas your kids are good at. Then hone it.
Imagine this, they are improving their skills, while enjoying their childhood. Don’t torture them by feeding things which they are not yet ready to swallow. Although, I suggest that you help them create a study habit. Ah, which reminds me, can you help me with this one?