Single Parenthood Can be a Comedy of Disasters
There is a certain glamour to being a single parent; or rather, a perceived glamour. On daytime talk shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Tyra Banks Show, there have been whole episodes dedicated to talking teenagers as young as thirteen out of having babies, because they think it’s like having a Barbie doll, only that talks back. What they forget is that it also cries, pees, poops and refuses to sleep all night...and that’s just for starters. I talked to some single parents who acquainted me with how it really is down there in the trenches.
There is a general agreement that having a child is one of the single greatest things a human being can do, and certainly being a parent is one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs on earth. It can also make one prematurely grey, go completely mad or want to run down the street stark naked, screaming your lungs out. Angeline* is a single parent who had her child while still living with her parents, and attending college at the same time. She had to wake up at 5am to be on the road by 6am so as to arrive at school on time. Also, since the baby also woke up at 5am, hungry and wet, she had to be up anyway to clean and feed; while brushing her teeth, dressing one handed and making sure her books were all packed- there is a reason why women are born multitaskers. God forbid that the baby feels sick at night. Then it’s walking up and down rocking the child, trying to get it to keep quiet and stop screaming in her ear. Meanwhile, fielding complaints from the household to keep it down. All she could do is apologise and lie through her teeth that she’ll get the baby quiet ‘in a minute’. At least if she was living with the father, she could give him a glare should he complain about the noise, and inform him that it’s his baby too!
House helps are a nightmare when there is a baby involved. Many won’t stay for more than three months at a time, unless one is very lucky. The...