No one's life is simple. Some people have easier lives than others and some people seem to have more than their fair share of hardships to cope with. A friend once said: At the end of the day, you want to go home with your own problems. There's some truth in that. I am always amazed by how some people cope with things I think I would not be able to handle. The reality is probably that you just get on with whatever life throws at you. All this rambling is my way of introducing the A Mile In My Shoes Carnival, created and hosted by Rebecca at Here Come The Girls. Click on the link to find out more - there's still time to join the carnival. This is what Rebecca says:
"I often wonder how people cope with the difficulties they are presented with. Or rather how I would cope in those situations. When I think about the single mums and dads, the people who have lost a parent, the children with an unexpected medical diagnosis or emotional and behavioural problems, I often think I wouldn’t be able to do it, without really thinking about what it is. It’s very hard to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and think what it must really be like. Yet that is what blogging does so brilliantly. You get to look into other people homes and into their hearts. It’s the perfect opportunity to share some stories, hopefully in a positive way. People are amazing. It’s incredible what we can cope with and I want to be able to celebrate that."
Here are my answers to Rebecca's questions.
1. What is it about your life which has made someone ask how do you cope?
I am a single mother living a continent away from all our family.
2. What is the best thing about the situation?
I have a child and I am a mother, as opposed to not having a child and not being a mother. To understand what this means to me, read this.
3. What is the hardest thing?
Having to be all things and do everything with no back up. I have to earn enough money to cover all our expenses, which isn't really possible when my working day finishes at 3.30 because I have to pick up DD from nursery. I can't go out without hiring a babysitter which is too expensive to do more than once every few months. On days when there is no nursery I am the sole entertainer for 12 hours straight, and in no fit state to do any of my own stuff when DD eventually goes to bed. I have to clean, cook, entertain a 3yo, and bring home the bacon with no back up and not even the promise of some adult company at the end of the day. Well you did ask.
4. What gets you through the day?
Nursery including the afternoon programme is until 4pm. After nursery we have regular activities to shorten the afternoon/evening. Monday is storytime at the library, Wednesday we go out for tea to my friend's parents who live nearby, Thursday is shopping day, Sundays and Tuesdays we play in the park. Then when we get home it's bath, supper, stories and bed at about 7.30pm. I guess the answer to this question is a regular routine, the promise of 7.30pm, and of course my evening company: blogging, fb and twitter (where would I be without you all?) Having said that - I also have to put in a couple of hours' work at night to make up the hours.
5. What would you change if you could?
It would be nice to have another income coming in, and another pair of hands around the place. If he were handy with a drill and spanner that would also save a lot of money and stress. If he owned a car it would be fantastic in terms of broadening our horizons and saving money on taxis. Love? Yes I suppose I'd have to be in love with him.
I've kept this answer to things I could change rather than things that I cannot. If you want to know how I feel about having only one child, you should read this.
6. What piece of advice would you give to someone finding themselves in your situation?
The women who come to me for advice are usually single women who are struggling with the decision whether to go it alone or not. I wrote about the best advice I ever got on this subject and I don't hesitate to pass it on. Basically it's about not scaring yourself out of it.
Once you are in my situation - although no one's situation is identical, I'd say that everything passes, every subsequent age gets easier, you find your way and everything can change from one day to the next.