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It’s Single Mom Wednesdays

In case you haven’t heard, there are a whole lotta great new things happening on MochaManual.com. We’ve gone daily and my new blog fomat will feature special days just to talk about special stuff. Monday is for inspiring Mompreneur stories, on Wednesdays I’ll be talking about the stuff we single moms need to know and share ,and on Thursdays, I’ll be sharing my divorce diary and chronicling my crazy life in the D-lane. Plus, this month, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ll finish the month with some great Latina guest bloggers every Friday. Whoo hoo!

But today is Wednesday. And no single mom conversation can begin without discussing the eternal quest for childcare. Sometimes I’d rather not go anywhere at all rather than deal with the Herculean, synchronized swimming, logistical nightmare known as arranging child care.  

Yesterday, I got stuck in a major traffic jam coming home from Manhattan (Long Island Expressway I curseth you!!) Despite giving myself an hour and a half for a 45 minute drive, I was not going to make it home in time for the school bus. Crisis! My usual local teenager had an afterschool activity. The “wasband” was MIA–as is often the case. So I found myself on the phone trying to call a neighbor whose daughters also ride the bus and asking her to collect Kayla and Michael for me until I arrive. The problem is, the mother speaks mostly Spanish.

So there I was, in frustrating bumper-to-bumper traffic, doing my best high school Spanglish–hoping mis palabras were  bueno enough for her to not leave my kids stranded on the corner. Ay Caramba!!

There must be a better way! I often read all these great suggestions in magazines about childcare collaboratives, coupons, tradeoffs and other nifty ideas for childcare. And I’m wondering are there any mocha single moms using these suggestions or others. Or does our fear of asking for help, or lack of community prevent us from getting the support we need.

Since my parents moved to South Carolina, I’ve been struggling. I have no relatives nearby and if there is ever a time when I feel so freakin’ alone it’s when I need or want to go somewhere, and I’m standing there scanning my brain for who can watch the kids. Maybe I have a cultural block to really allowing a stranger to keep my children (you know how we do!). Maybe my mommy guilt coupled with my superwoman syndrome won’t let me admit that I need regular help, instead of my patchwork solutions.

I don’t know, but I’ve got to figure this out. Are there any suggestions out there? HELP!!!

 

In motherhood,

Kimberly

Comments
5 Responses to “It’s Single Mom Wednesdays”
  1. Khalebo says:

    Hey lady! Do you have a parent with whom you can take turns [I know perish the thought!]
    My cousin Wema has about 2 parents in her network. They take turns watching each other’s kids for a specific day, which allows the Mommies a break.
    Just an idea… Good luck in your quest for answers.

    • Kimberly says:

      I would love to try to establish that. There’s a downside to being in the “burbs,” there is very little mocha nearby and it seems like all the other moms already have their cliches–trust me, as a networking queen I’ve been trying to infiltrate for years! LOL! I have one girlfriend with whom I trade off sometimes but a little while ago she moved farther away, so its a bit of a trek for both of us. Sigh!! still working on it…still working on it.

  2. Denise says:

    I will never forget the first time a I had to go to a “stranger” for childcare. My beloved Mother had passed away, she had been the one helping me with my son while my husband and I were together and when especially after we separated. There was a woman in my buiding who watched children. I knew her from when I was growing up. The walk to her apartment felt sooo long, I had never had to ask anyone for help and was scared. But it worked out, she would watch my son after school. Then the crossing guard at my son’s stop offered to walk him to the babysitter. I couldn’t believe it. She and I became very good friends, to this day I love her to death. I had never had to rely on anyone,and I was so grateful to have these women help me. My sister kept saying “You have to reach out” , but my feelings of guilt and inadequacy made me reluctant.( She also had been an incredible blessing, as we lived together and she was practically a second mom), picking him up from the bus, etc. . My “wasband” was helpful sometimes, but I couldn’t always rely on him. Being reluctant and feeling sorry for myself didn’t make sense, and EVERYONE needs help: the working mom, the mom who does not work at home but who also relies on others for carpooling and pick-up / drop-off help, etc. My son is 14 now, so childcare is not much of an issue, but of couse he has to have an eye kept on him!! My suggestion would be to first recognize what an awesome job you are doing, working and raising your children at the same time, and watch what you see other moms do, ask friends whom/what they know, because “patchwork” only works for so long before something falls apart. ( I have experience with that too!) Good luck.:)

    • Kimberly says:

      Thanks Denise for sharing. I am certainly learning to reach out more, but I know my own guilt that I even have to ask gets in the way. It’s also amazing how people come into your life to help you sometimes when you’re too stubborn to ask yourself. Love that!

  3. Grace says:

    This sounds like my life’s story. I was a prideful person because I was used to doing everything myself my mother passed when I was eleven. So asking people for help or assistance was never in my nature.

    I moved from Ct to Jacksonville, FL with my best friend and as soon as I got here. Her and her family would not help me do a thing. I was alone with two beautiful little girls a newborn and a 2yr old, in a city with no family. I eventually joined a church, and got to know the people there. along with babysitters, they had a daycare that helped me financially so I could work. People would buy my children things around the holidays. I didn’t have enough money to travel back home regularly.

    I say try to find a local church where you and your family feel loved and invited. Your needs will be met without you even having to ask.

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