By: Mia L. Hazlett
Hey Sis, how are you doing? Nope. I didn’t ask about your kids, your momma, or your family. I asked how you are doing. You. As a world, these times are unimaginable. As a single professional mother, these times are trying to say the very least.
Can I say I’m fortunate to be an essential employee? Yes. Can I say I’m fortunate I can work remotely? Yes again. There are many among us who don’t have these two components to our job and no longer have an income to support the household. And sis, if you are one of these people, I don’t have the words for you. Screw thoughts and prayers. Bill collectors don’t seem to accept those as payments when your life is falling apart.
Or, maybe you are an essential employee, but you can’t do your job remotely. What a conundrum for us single professional mothers. Especially if your daycare is closed and school has shifted to home. How do you support your family, go to work, and watch your kids? I feel for you. That may mean nothing as your life seems to implode, but from the bottom of my heart, I understand your struggle.
For however you feel, understand these times are trying. I say trying because we are never perfect the first time we try something. So don’t worry about getting this right. Don’t worry if you don’t know who is watching your kids tomorrow. You’re not supposed to. Be pissed. Be mad. Be scared. Life just slapped you across your face, so stop responding the way you think you should and deal with the reality head on. Sis, get as messy as you need to right now as you get through this. I know this is an extremely isolating time, because we must socially distance ourselves, which puts childcare on the shelf. I mean, the one time you want to set your pride aside to ask for help, you can’t. Damn!
I remember sitting in my house the night before I was going to return to work. We were sitting around the dinner table, a rarity in this household. My oldest asked me if I had to go to work the next day and I immediately responded yes. I had the capability and permission to work from home, but I had it in my head to go to the office. There was something in her tone when she said, “okay”, that was unsettling for me.
It was the first time the reality of this pandemic set in and I only recognized the single and mother in my self-given title. Yes, I require the professional to support my family, but I couldn’t risk leaving the house and bringing something home to them. I couldn’t risk getting sick, because who is taking care of my daughters if I get sick? Shit, who is taking care of me if I get sick? Um, no one. We are not only the breadwinners, but we are the caretakers. There is no backup in our household when we don’t show up to run it.
Sis, we are going to get through this. Look at everything else life slapped us with and we got the hell up and handled our business. It’s not going to be easy, but all I ask is that you try to give it your best. This to shall pass. If you need to reach out, firstname.lastname@example.org.