I am a working single mom. I only have two hands, two feet and a brain that has yet to develop extra-human powers. And yet, like most working moms, I feel like I am being stretched into super human proportions every single day.
I need to work hard to bring in the money, but not hard enough that I will be promoted and spend less time with my kid. I need to be there for him for projects and assignments and grooming and attitude issues. At work, my boss demands equal amount of attention. I need to be there for him for projects, assignments and grooming and attitude issues.
There are moms who sit in the office, day-dreaming about quitting their jobs and finally giving their inner-Martha Stewart it’s time to shine. But they simply have to work. Martha Stewart has to wait because retirement is 20, 15 years away…
There are moms at home, who day-dream while they load the laundry, do the dishes, mop the floors…how did they end-up looking like Cinderella without the ball? Do they still have the chops to excel in the workplace? Is this all where that business degree will end up? But who will look after the kids and nurse them when their sick? Who could possibly transact with the bank, shop on a budget and know how to feed a family of five for less than P80/meal? Being a mom requires a Cinderella with business and medical degrees.
Far from a fairy tale, a single mom like me has to make that extra effort and sacrifice to make the kid feel less deprived of the father figure he needs. It’s easy to over-compensate. It’s easy to make mistakes.
Whenever it’s overtime season, he gets his weekly dose of Saturday toys. But at the end of the month, I look at the maimed robots, the one-winged airplanes and the gadgets and gizmos that litter his toy box. There goes my overtime pay. I could have stayed home and made his own toys with him. Then again, I may not have been here beside him all those times, but he had these toys to make his childhood happy.
Have I become one of those absentee moms who replace quality time with expensive toys? Surely an occasional lapse won’t really hurt. Am I right, or just making a justification?
One thing is clear.
Toy Kingdom lives happily ever after.