Single Parent Series: Better Days Will Come
This is our third story from the Single Parent Series. This single parent overcame so much, and much of her introspection is bred with wisdom.1. How old are you?
2. How long have you been out of your relationship? Were you dating or married?
It's been 2 years now that I have been out of my long-term relationship. We were never married, but we had kids together and live together.3. How long have you been a single parent?
I have been a single parent for 2 years.4. How many kids do you have? How old are they? Does their age make it easier or harder?
I have 4 children; 3 girls and 1 boy. My oldest is a daughter and she is 9, my second daughter is turning 6 soon, my third daughter is 4, and lastly my son is 2 years old. My oldest daughter is always the one who have been helping me, so things are a bit easier for me. Now I am showing my second daughter to help out her older sister since she is 6 years old, and some days things do get hard from time to time. My son is the most spoil one because he is the baby in the family and the only boy. Some days, my kids will see my cry and my oldest will hug me and tell me that everything will be alright. I am blessed!5. Do you live close to family? Does that help?
I live on my own for the past 2 years. My family is around, but they are more into themselves then helping out; I help them more than they do to me. I do mostly everything on my own and I wish sometimes that my family would help when I need someone, but I am okay with it now.6. Who helps you watch your kids if you're working?
My children all go to daycare since I applied and got child care assistance, which is really helpful, but I copay as well--biweekly. For me, I am not those other single parents out there, who get the help from their siblings or families, and sometimes I would think, if only I got help then it would save me some money, but all this is just showing me what I am capable of. Not all families are there to help like how you hear it in other people’s stories.7. What type of schedule do you have your kids on so you don't go crazy?
I put my kids in daycare because I have to work first shift so my kids can be in daycare since no one watches my kids for me. My routine is wake up 5:30am to get myself ready, 6am wake my kids up to get them ready for daycare, 6:30am leave the house and get to daycare by 7am, catch the light rail to work by 7:30am, leave work at 4pm to pick up the kids before daycare close at 5:30pm, get home and cook for the kids, make the kids shower, bed time is 9:30pm latest, and it repeats.8. What are some things you would do if it you did not have to worry about being a single parent?
Some of the things I would be able to do more is my Archery hobby because I feel like Archery is a great stress reliever and it makes me not having to think about so many things all in one time. Archery is about focusing and aiming for that bullseyes—like aiming for your goals in life because I always believe that anything is possible if you put effort and don’t self-doubt yourself. But I can’t do my Archery often because I am always worrying about my kids if they will take good care of my kids since I became a divorcee or having no one watches my kids. My kids will always tag along with me everywhere I go.9. What are some struggles you have gone through being a single parent?
Being a single parent has it struggles, especially being a Hmong woman. People will talk; saying you’re a bad parent and doesn’t know how to care for your kids. People will shame; calling you a ‘hoe’ or point out your flaws. People will think you’re ‘easy’ to sleep with. People will badmouth about your kids when the kids have not done anyone wrong. No one is there to help me and there are times where I just cried when all my kids are sleeping because I never wish upon my kids to be fatherless or motherless; I never wish to be a single parent. You have to mainly do everything on your own.10. Any tips you can offer to other single parents?
Be you! Focus on you and your happiness, along with your kids. If you are not happy, so are your kids. You can be in a relationship whenever you want, but just know that at the end, will they follow through on the same page as you, and truly love your kids. There is nothing wrong with being a single parent because it just means that the Lord above have something else for you. Every lesson is a blessing. You are stronger than you think you believe; just don’t do bad thing that’s all. People can talk all they want because they don’t really know the real side of the story of how things came to be for you.11. How do you feel about making a commitment to someone who does not have children? Why?
I don’t think I can ever date anyone who does not have children. Why? Because they don’t understand what it really is being a parent. You have to sacrifice many things to raise a child(ren) and you have to put your responsibilities first before your needs. I rather not put myself in a situation that hurt the both of us or even the kids at the end.12. Are you currently dating? What is it like to date as a single parent?
I am currently engaged and I am thankful to have met my wonderful fiancé, who is also a single parent of 2 boys. We both have been through so much together and I feel like it made us stronger and understand better as parents, and our relationship.
Prior to that, after my separation from my kids’ father and me, I didn’t date anyone until I met another single father of 4, and I met that person via Tinder. His kids was the same age as mine, and we both have the same exact gender; where he and I both have 3 girls, 1 boy. I thought it was a good short relationship, even though everyone has told us how we matched and was that perfect couple, but it ended so soon because I found out that he cheated and lied to me the entire time-- by talking to his ex-wife secretly and a girl cousin. He made excuses that he feels like he was neglecting his kids, but I found out the truth later on, since I would drive to spend time with him and his kids because he couldn’t—along with taking my kids too. Therefore, to me, the excuses were invalid. He later confesses that he still had feelings for his ex-wife, but yet he couldn’t let me go too. I decided to be that person who has to let go completely so I wouldn’t hurt myself. Why be with someone who you thought know how it feels like to be cheated and lied to? Someone who at the end made up so much lies and made people think you’re the crazy one instead.
Since then, I didn’t want to date anyone anymore, and wanted to just focus on myself and my kids. I thought relationship was just not for me, but then strangely I met my fiancé, who was around when that incident happen, and he was the first man to ever chase after me, and showed me how I should be love and treated. In the back of my mind, I am still afraid that my fiancé will do what my ex-boyfriend did, where he got back with his ex-wife behind my back, but so far he has shown me that he is not that kind of person.
Dating as a single parent has it pros and cons like any other relationship—not really much difference. The only thing I can say is that; find someone who cherish you and your kids, and would want to build a future; someone who knows what they want in life.13. What did your family think when you became a single parent?
My family was disappointed. As a Hmong woman, it is like a disgrace to be divorced, and it was always about reputation. They did talk a lot at first, but now they are okay since I’ve shown that I can do things on my own without a ‘husband’.14. What's the best part of being a single parent?
The best part of being a single parent is nothing about it. What is the best part about it? No one wants to be a single parent, but it happen and all you can do is stay strong for your kids and guide them the right direction.15. What's the worst part of being a single parent?
The worst part of being a single parent is that sometimes you feel like you’re alone and no one really understands you at all. Even if you are dating again and someone have a similar situation as you, it seems like you have no one still. You just want the best, but sometimes it seems like it isn’t the best as a single parent.16. What do you want people to know and understand what it's like to be a single parent?
Things in life are temporary, but your kids are not. Your kids will grow up and you will have to be that role model for them. Being a single parent has taught me that I can be both mother/father for my children and that anything is possible if I set my mind to it. Some days are gloomy and some days are bright. You choose what you want, not others’ opinions. People will always talk behind and in front of you, but you have the choice to just ignore them because they are not you. Only you know yourself better than anyone else. Being a single parent is not a choice to some of us because sometimes it is the other person who decided to let go of the marriage, so don’t blame yourself too much. Better days will come.
To read the additional stories in this Series, click on the links below:
If you are a single parent, and would like to share your story, please email us at kaolee @ thestoryclothshop.com. Thank you for reading along!
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