by Ana Santos
I love being a single mom.
Of course, at the start, I did not always feel this way. I was 27 and so while my friends were starting to enjoy perks of the corporate world or busy planning their marriages, I was leaving mine.
I felt older than my 27 years and found that no one could relate to me. In an old blog post, I wrote: “I was a prodigy of some sorts. I was neither here nor there, I was an outcast among the couples, newlyweds and newborn parents.”
I had never in my life felt such isolation.
I had no one to go to who knew how I felt, or what it took for me to leave a marriage and all the promises of a lifetime with it. I remember that the process of healing started only when I willed it to start. And only when I realized that I would be miserable only as long as I allowed myself to be.
Fast forward to 10 years later, other girls still ask me: how you do you do it?
What surprises me now is that guys are asking me the same thing. Not because they have become single dads, but because their friends – some, in alarming number — have become single moms. Some are surprised that in their mid-20s, they and their friends still don’t know better.
And what surprises me even more is that there still seems to be little in terms of support for single parents. Sure, there are things like the Solo Parent Law, but the things that really matter to single moms on a daily basis like managing finances, finding a good yaya, legal rights and simply just maintaining your sanity are still missing.
I found myself again jealous of other countries with sophisticated and efficient welfare and health care systems that were sensitive to the needs of single parents. So, like a lot of things that I decided to do in my life out of envy and jealousy, I decided to put together a workshop called “Single. Mother. Fabulous!”.
I, together with fellow writer Karen Kunawicz, will talk about single motherhood. You can bet that Karen and I will tell it like it is and talk about both the warm, fuzzy joys and the knee buckling travails that are overwhelming in equal amounts.
This is a free workshop for single moms to talk and learn from each other’s experiences. Our partner, The Body Shop, will conduct a demo on how to put on make-up in the least amount of time because that’s the one thing single moms never have enough of. And if there’s one secret to surviving single motherhood, it’s that you need to look good before you feel good.
I am still thinking about making this a building block series covering other topics like legal assistance and rights, creatively managing finances, finding the right yaya and yes – even the often dreaded territory of dating again. It will really depend on the response to this first workshop.
I will end by saying that in the years that I have made a life for me and my daughter, I have come to know a certain happiness and contentment. There were many people who openly showed pity and disdain, but there were far more people who helped us and gave us their unwavering support. It’s time to pay it forward and reach out to other single moms who are just starting this journey.
There is clear line that separates being alone and being on your own. Knowing this difference is the key to making your own happy even after ending.
The “Single. Mother. Fabulous!” workshop will be on Sunday, November 14, 2010, 9-11am at the 2/F of Starbucks Ortigas Home Depot. This will be a FREE workshop, but slots are limited, please reserve a slot at 0927.307.9608. This is a trademark event of Sex and Sensibilities.com, because single moms are the SASsiest of them all.