Being a single working mom is not easy to handle in our culture; women suddenly find themselves stuck with loads of responsibilities which decades ago were shared with dads (an ancient term which once meant: a man who takes full responsibility of wife and kids and gives full financial and emotional support to his family). Nowadays, be it out of extreme working hours for men, mere irresponsibility or the escalating rate of divorce, women take full responsibility for raising their kids. Gallantly, Egyptian women can handle almost everything with tolerance, patience, love, care and sincerity, but society has no mercy and sometimes no respect for single women, especially the divorced, they add pressure by comments or scrutiny in judgments for the kids conduct and performance at work. Most women feel compelled to try very hard to be perfect in everything; at work, home and with their kids to prove to the world that they are doing great, that the kids are great and that their work level was not affected by being single. Well, perfect is a word that exists only in dictionaries and in a Danielle Steel novel, in real life, something has to fail. It is usually the women’s interior. When women try to be everything and do everything perfect, they lose themselves by trying hard to please the others, even if it is their kids. It’s somewhat easier during school days just to handle home works and exams, but it gets very complicated during summertime. Work never ends and kids deserve to have fun, and a mother needs a break, so which way to go and what to do is an everyday question. What do single working moms do during summer?
The key to surviving a multi-task life single handedly is to organize your time.
*Mornings: Cairo has a variety of outlets for kids to encourage kids’ creativity, activity and love of knowledge. It is easy to enroll the kids in one or more of these activities during working hours, the kids will have fun and you could concentrate on your work.
You could also arrange with a friend or relative to take them for a day at the pool while you follow, or stay at another friend’s house, while you can join later. You could do the same for her on your day off, so you get the benefit with out the guilt.
*Afternoons: Quality time is better than quantity, you could spend one hour in the afternoon with the kids quietly at home talking, playing or watching something they like, this is certainly better than taking them out again, tiring yourself and having no power, or will to talk or be with them. Kids usually have a lot to say and stories and dreams to share. They also need the quiet time to process whatever little experiences or emotions they’re facing. We usually relate their small bodies with the need to run and play. The lack of a father or a father figure certainly has an impact on their little minds and hearts, they may not know how to ask or how they truly feel about the absence of a dad, but they certainly need to talk about it…sometimes its better if they ponder on the situation, let them ask questions, let them release their grief or inquiries instead of bottling emotions which could have a negative impact on them when they grow up.
You could alternate activities, you could focus on one thing each day, highlight the day by a simple game at home, an afternoon out, a bed time story or by asking them to share preparations for a day out with them during the weekend. Kids could help in tidying up, cooking something simple or setting the table, this bonds you all together and keeps them busy and you not so tired.
We all make the mistake of going out everyday, spending a fortune on junk food, movies or toys, when we could relax with the kids, believe it or not, kids too need to unwind, modern kids have too many activities at school, sports practice and heavy social life, unlike us, there was a time when school days were just for school, but now its more like a whole year round crusade to have non-free time.
*You: When you are single, unconsciously you put pressure on yourself; you find you are doing more so as not to feel your kids missed out on anything, or that no one would give you that sarcastic comment, you feel you have to be successful all year round, every single day. But, this is not just the case, sometimes people throw bitter remarks just for the sake of it, and you feel the proverbial bump on the head, sometimes women are too sensitive to take a silly comment and add to their own pressures. Youyou so you can take care of them; no one is going to do that for you. If you are on edge or forever trying to make them busier, they would eventually be on edge too. There are a lot of ideas of how to take care of yourself; first of all, set aside fifteen minutes each day to organize your time, so you can handle the rest of the day. Whatever your plans are for the kids or at work, there has to be a time for yourself, give yourself an hour each day; read, watch a comedy, get a massage or facial, call someone who makes you laugh (friends and family are priceless but we need to forget about the hectic life we’re living than remind ourselves of how terrible it is). Swimming is great, go with the kids or better alone, a lot of clubs have a day for ladies only, so you could be free, veiled or not, its sometimes more relaxing to be un-invaded for a while, get a sexy colorful swimsuit, a good novel and have an hour for yourself. Scientists proved that a deep sleep is essential for our minds and bodies, sometimes a nap helps to revive as much as a full night sleep or an outing, why not treat yourself to new bed sheets, comfortable night gown or get a long hot shower and pamper yourself with a scented body lotion. Have a nice summer