'You think life as a stay at home mom is bad? Try being a working single mom!'

We recently shared the story of mom Bridgette, who candidly revealed the harsh realities of being a stay at home mom (SAHM) in a viral Facebook post. 

"You forget what it means or feels like to be an individual; because your entire existence now revolves around that child," she wrote.

You can read the full story here: Mom says check on your SAHM friends, because they are not okay.

In response, hundreds of Parent24 readers wrote to us, via email, WhatsApp and social media, to share their experiences, including many working moms who shared their realities with us too.

This mom wrote to say SAHMs should re-evaluate their blessings. Read her experience below:

"You think life as a stay at home mom is bad? I think you should re-evaluate your blessings!

Of course being a full time mom is hard, heck being a mom is hard. But we choose to do it for the sake of our kids, and after a few short years they grow up, and go to school and we can take up our own lives again.

I totally remember that feeling of not being able to even go to the toilet alone, when you have to contend with the ever present babies. It’s the trade-off you make for not leaving your child in someone else’s care.

Try being a work from home single mother raising two kids alone, running a small business, having a disability and no help.

To me having two kids 24/7 for weeks at a time, being the only parent, taxi driver, decision maker and confidant is a daunting task, and I have been doing it since the birth of my son who is now twelve years old, and since my daughter was four, she is now 16.

Their father stays in Namibia and only visits with them for a few days every other month. Without the support of his locally based family who is uninterested, and no family of my own this is hard. 

Their father started working away from home for weeks at a time since my son was 4 years old and moved out of the country when he was 8. I am happy to report that he still sticks to his mandatory telephonic contact with the kids, and a bond, however tenuous, has been formed between them. 

You will note I call him their father, not their dad.  To qualify as a dad you have to help raise your kids.

They say it takes a village to raise a family. Well, in my case there is no village. 

Even sadder is the fact that the few friends I do get to see are single mothers themselves, all with uninterested and absent fathers. So us girls stick together as much as the kids, kids activities and house cleaning duties allow.

Loneliness comes with the territory darling! 

It takes a very strong person to have to do this, and people think it’s great that I get to work from home while raising my kids.  The don’t realize that worries about money and food, electricity tops my list. That my songbird of a daughter sings everyday, but that I can no longer afford to pay for lessons she craves with all her heart!

Going through things like loadshedding with no funds to buy a generator is something ulcers are made of.  

I don’t have time to feel lonely, when i have a minute i use it to withdraw and read a book, or spend time by myself in a hammock, to make sure my sanity is still intact and I am still the best me I can be for my kids. 

I chose to have them.  

I did not choose these circumstances for them, but neither did they, so we have to do the best we can with what we got. I deal with pain every day because of my health, so I can only do so many things per day, and I have to pace it so I don’t have more pain to deal with at night so I can get some sleep to be able to work, be productive and try to earn an income, and make ends meet.

Both my kids have also been diagnosed early on with ADD (attention deficit disorder) a subset of ADHD, so they attend a tutoring centre for home schooling for 4 hours a day while i’m at home trying to make ends meet.  I will have to do this for the rest of the time my kids live in my house, and rely on me to stand by their side until they take their first steps into autonomy and adulthood.

My ex pays his part of child maintenance but I would trade it for a partner to raise my kids any day, for them to have a dad.

So dear SATM go and count your blessings, kiss your hubby after a day at the office and know that this too shall pass. Some of us have far worse situations to endure, for many many more years.

And even now, I know that I am still able to formulate a plan for us, but there are moms out there without the privilege of raising their own kids, who have even less, and those few who choose themselves over their kids.

So tonight kiss your darlings goodnight after tucking them in, count your blessings when you let your hair down when the dad gets home, and go plan a date night.

Life is yours." 

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