Things are not always easy when you are a single parent but they are not impossible, especially when you have the support of family members. If you do not have friends and family nearby then it is imperative that you get into some kind of a support group. A wonderful support group to get involved in is your local church. Most have programs for Mother’s Day Out and it is a wonderful place to meet people, make friends, and get the help you need. It is important to reach out and find support when you have children and you are on your own. After a divorce there are many times when you cannot depend on the ex for help or in fact, you do not want to ask. You must find sources of help when times are difficult even if you do not have family nearby and even then sometimes you need extra support!
I recall a time when my daughter was nine or ten months old. We both came down with the flu simultaneously. There we were lying side by side on the bed with the stomach flu. Of course she was my main concern but it was so hard being sick also. So I called up Mom who came right away. She was happy to help, but within a day she was struck down with this horrible flu as well. Next we called my Grandma, Mother’s Mom, and she was happy to come. Within a day’s time she was down for the count as well.
I was truly blessed because I could see that my daughter was the most amazing child already. When she had to throw up she would sit up quickly and look at me: this was my cue to put the wastebasket in range so that she could throw up. How many children do you know at the age of nine or ten months that will hold it until you get a wastebasket? Amazing, darling child of mine. She and I would just lay there and look at each other, too sick to move unless we had to.
I wanted to make sure and get fluids in her; she was still drinking from the bottle at this point. I think I had some Pedialite or something similar that I was trying to give her. She was drinking pretty good but then throwing it up. Eventually though when we started to get better she wanted to drink more. She had a particular kind of nipple she liked, I have forgotten now what they were called but they were fatter and sort of fit the shape of the mouth better than the pointy, standard kind of nipples. I believe they were called Nuk. Anyway, she had gotten to the place where she had one she favored, it must have fit in her mouth better, I do not know. But especially now that she was not feeling well she refused the other nipples and only wanted this one.
Well, it broke. It was worn through and had ripped which caused a whole lot of liquid to come out. She was not happy. I offered her another standard nipple, but she did not want it. I did not have any more of the Nuk nipples that had not been worn through. I gave her the old one and it gushed again. She threw it. I gave her the standard one, she threw it. I did not know what to do. I did not have any more of the shape she liked. So, sick as I was, I set out to go to the store. I left her with my sick Mom and Grandma.
As I hung over the steering wheel of the car trying to drive I really did not think I was going to make it. I felt like I was going to pass out. I knew a friend that lived not far away so I drove that way because I did not think I could walk into the store looking and feeling the way I did, they might just call an ambulance to come pick me up! Either that or think I was messed up on drugs and call the police because I looked awful! This friend was more than willing to help; even though I told her of the dangers of coming into that den of sickness. I asked her to go to the drug store and get the nipples and come right over.
When she arrived we tried the nipple. No deal, my daughter threw it. I asked my friend to boil it so it would soften, which she did. No deal, my daughter threw it again. Okay, I tried. Now we had to come to grips with the situation. I had the good nipple, the bad nipple, and a Sippy Cup. I gave her the good nipple first, the bad nipple next, and then showed her the Sippy Cup- these were her options. We had to go over it several times and then it was like a light came on and she grabbed the Sippy Cup and began to drink from it. That was the end of her bottle drinking days.
What a time for this to happen. I thought we might ease into the end of the bottle era not be thrown into it during a full-fledged outbreak of the flu. But sometimes things just happen that way and even though it’s not the way you plan things they often work out in the end. I didn’t see how any of us were going to make it through this horrible flu but we did by God’s great grace.
I found out some wonderful things about my sweet little daughter during all this. How considerate she was and still is but how truly stubborn she can be if she wants something. I just thank God that she has always been level headed and hasn’t had her mind set on things that were not good for her! She still makes the best decisions when given all the options. I’m so thankful.
We all made it through the flu that year. We talk about that time and laugh. I just praise God that we are spared the true memories of the pain and sickness after it’s gone. We remember how bad it was but in our memories the reality of the pain is forgotten. What we don’t forget is the love from family and friends and the help they offer in our time of need.
As single parents it’s so important to have support and help. We cannot always bear everything alone. There are times when you need to reach out and get help. I can’t stress how important it is to get a support group. I typed in “Support Groups for Single Parents” and tons of sites popped up. Here are a couple sites that came up that may help you. http://www.parentswithoutpartners.org/, http://www.singleandparenting.org/. There were many others so I suggest that you look when you have the time. And like I said before, if you live somewhere that these support groups doesn’t meet, you can always try your local church.
There are many others just like you who are desperately seeking help and support. Don’t go it alone because you don’t have to. Anyone who has ever had children knows what a hard job it is when you have a spouse, let alone when you are on your own. It’s not a sign of weakness or failure to ask help, its wisdom. There are times when all of us need help and to reach out to others is the best thing for our wellbeing and our children. Do it for yourself and those precious ones that depend on you.
Paul Taylor started www.babysittingjobs.com which offers an aggregated look at those sites to help families find sitters and to help sitters find families easier than ever. He loves writing, with the help of her wife he has contributed quality articles for different blogs & websites.