The reality of being a single Mum
No matter how confident you are in being a good Mum or how skillful you are, there are some days which gets the worst out of you.
I recently had an operation, a cyst and abscess removed under my armpit. A few days before the operation, I felt really sick and weak. To add to it, I had forgotten my phone when I went out the previous day and left my phone outside.
So, here I was on my bed in my 1st floor flat, with no phone to call anyone to inform them I was sick with my 25 months old and my 1 year old. I was so weak that I could not even go to the toilet or walk around the house. I thought about getting my laptop out and to try to contact people through social networks, but that was too much an effort which I could not bring myself to do.
I finally managed to get out of bed and to drag myself to the kitchen so I can at least give the kids something to eat. I made some toasts and chucked them at the kids. I kept the nappies and wipes next to me in the bed and periodically changed my kids nappies. My eldest is out of nappies but I knew I could not physically cope with any ‘accident’ so I she had to wear a nappy as well.
Luckily, I forgot to lock the doors and one of my neighbours ( who was expecting me that day) saw I did not drop by, and decided to check on us. So, she came to see us and went home to get some Lemsip for me. I can swear by the thing now! The very next day, I felt good enough to get out of bed, but my house was a proper tit; there was rubbish everywhere, breadcrumbs all over my bed, my floor was just stacked with toys etc. I could not handle it and had to clean it up.
I realised that I had a lump under my armpit, and as the days went by it became unbearable and I had to book an emergency appointment at the outside surgery hours clinic. I called my brother and asked him if he could look after my kids for a few hours, as I did not think I was going to be long. But from there, I was sent to the hospital where they said I needed an operation but they were not sure it could be done that night. So after hours of sitting in the hospital, I was sent home so I could come the next day for the operation.
My brother agreed to look after the children the next day but informed me he has to go to work later in the afternoon, and I did not think I would have to stay anyway. I went to the hospital as agreed for 8 a.m and was operated at about 11.45 under general anaesthesia. It was a first for me, I had had local anaesthesia but had never been put to sleep before. They put a drip on my hand, and I was asked to breathe heavily on the oxygen mask. Then, I felt a burning sensation through my arm which I recognise being from the fluid shooting through my veins.
Next thing I knew, some people were calling my name and telling me to wake up and to be honest I was quite enjoying that sleep. When you are a parent especially a single parent, deep sleep is not something you enjoy often, and becomes somewhat of a luxury. Just too bad, I had to wake up then I would have enjoyed a few more hours of sleep. I felt really good after the operation, no pain, but I felt like numbness down my right arm and mentioned it to the nurses, they thought it would go away.
I thought it’s probably due to being under anaesthesia, but 2 and a half week later it is still the same. It is weird how I know I am holding stuff yet I cannot feel it, just like I know I am typing and pressing the button but I cannot actually feel the buttons if you know what I mean. Anyways, I asked the doctors to come back home the same day as I had to look after my girls. So, I asked them to discharge me and I went home. It was so add trying to sort them out, and doing and undoing buttons, I realised how annoying buttons are, like they are so tiny to get in a tiny whole ( especially when you cannot actually feel them!).
It was already hard to be back home straight after your operation and then doing all the work you have to do as a Mum, it did get to me sometime then, especially when the kids were just trying to get on my nerves and I did shout at them which is quite unusual, I normally just raise my tone. But, there were times where I felt giving up as I got so overwhelmed. I manage to get back into the routine and learnt to use my non-sensitive right hand.
The most annoying part though was I had to get my dressings change everyday, and for this I had to go to the walk-in-centre. My local surgery informed me they do not do dressings anymore and I have to go walk-in-centre or treatment room. The treatment room in my area, is located in the same building as my GP but they are only open Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays so obviously the rest of the week I have to get into town and go to the walk-in centre. I can tell you this is a real joke. I have to get my kids to town in a double buggy and catch the bus with it. For those that knows how hard it is already to get a place on the bus with a single buggy, you should know that with a double you sometime have to wait for an hour or more to get on the bus, and obviously with dodgy hand I cannot fold buggy, hold kids etc. So eventually after waiting for ages on the bus stop I would get on the bus and get into town. Now, another waiting story. Although I am expected to come to the walk-in almost every day, I cannot book an appointment and have to just walk in and wait for my turn. So, basically add another 2 hours of wait there with a baby and a toddler. Obviously, the kids get fed up and start throwing tantrums and I am not allowed to go out, otherwise I have to queue up again. Then you get those people who give you the deadly stares as if they have never been a kids or never seen a child throwing a tantrum. And, they think what type of a parent you are, you cannot even control your kids?! Helllooooooooooooo! I am doing just fine as a parent and I bet you cannot even do half of what I am doing and you dare have such an opinion about me and soe would even pass remarks which you could do without. I am not there and enjoying a joyful ride either, and given the choice, I would not casually go to the walk-in everyday to sit there for God knows how many hours with my baby and toddler! I just hate how people label you as bad parents without actually knowing you. My children’s Dad is non-existent in every single aspect of their lives, and I have been doing everything for my kids long before my 2nd daughter was even born, so who give you the right to judge me?
Anyways, I needed to rant a little bit, and to add to it, I received a letter from CSA ( Child support Agency) today to inform me that I would be getting £20 a month for my 2 kids from their dad. The joy! Like seriously thank you for it, I can buy so much for that in a month for 2 kids. The list of things I can buy is never ending, I feel so rich right now : a month full supply of nappies, food, clothes, pay our bills…isn’t he being generous! But it is not his fault, the rule in this country is if a person is claiming benefit, then they only pay £5 a week for child maintenance no matter how many children you have. Big deal, innit?! So, the parents who have them have to deal with the emotional, mental, financial burden while the one who takes no responsibility actually gets away with more free time, more money, less stress etc….I must say this is Democracy, as still prefer Islamic law when it comes to all this at least if he was respecting Islamic law he would have had to provide for the kids from A-Z even if I had custody and even pay me for breast-feeding my little one. Now, I do not need his charity but it is my opinion that the law is very biased. I think providing for your kid is every parent’s duty, but some get away with it so easily. I love my kids and I know it is my responsibility to provide for them and look after them but I guess not everyone realise what their responsibilities are!
Ever so Proud_Mum aka ActionMum