Single parenting during Covid
Sun May 09 2021
So many single mothers are struggling; particularly those of us with abusive exes who don't protect us or our kids from Covid (this is anecdotal, but abusive dads seem to often be Covid-deniers or anti-maskers). Many of us are hanging by a thread financially, being sole providers, losing jobs, and have no one to help out. Some have long-Covid and struggle with health issues while doctors mostly don't take it seriously. We fear for our lives because we're all our kids have. Many of us are also still dealing with emotional, financial and legal abuse by exes. We watch people with "pandemic privilege"--work-at-home jobs, savings accounts, family support, and loving partners-- complaining about how hard this is, how bored they are, how much they miss vacations, and we push down our anger and envy. Each time our kids come home from visitation, we wonder whether they've been exposed, and whether they/we will get sick, and how we will manage if so. Some of us carry the knowledge that it would be our exes' greatest dream for us to be hospitalized or die. We wait for Covid to end, knowing that when it does, many of the problems created by it will take years to overcome. Our kids are our first priority every single day. We feel guilty for sending them into the risk they face at school. They come home telling us their friends are still taking weekend trips, or coming to school sick, and again, we swallow the anger. We feel forgotten. Double-parent families receive double the government Covid relief. We get by on $1800/month (if we qualify). Any progress we may have made before Covid feels lost. Friendships have been changed by the pandemic privilege divide. Bank accounts are overdrawn. We can't afford food delivery and we can't leave our kids at home when we go to the grocery store. We go to bed exhausted and wake up the same. We feel so terribly guilty; it was bad enough that our kids ended up with abusive fathers-- now they're living through a pandemic. We smile for them by day and cry once they go to sleep. We have to be strong, so everyone believes that we are. This is not just my story; it the story of many women I know. Take a minute to appreciate all that you have if there's someone next to you who loves you, protects your family, pays some of the bills, and will be there to care for you if you or the kids get sick. You have a lot, and you're blessed if your biggest concern is lockdown boredom. Enjoy it. Hug your partner. Take a break from being annoyed with sharing a home office and see how very lucky you are to be in this with someone who has your back.