A 21st Century Journalism Project

In People on April 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Controlled Chaos

By Danielle Robits

            There are approximately 85.4 million single mothers in America (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/momcensus1.html).  Every day across the country many single mothers get up and struggle to provide for their children, which can sometimes be a very difficult task.

This is true for the person I interviewed.  Due to her request for privacy, I will refer to my interview as Angel.

Angel is a 36-year-old single mother of three who holds two jobs in order to support her family.  After high school Angel decided to become a certified nurse’s aide stating, “I enjoy taking care of people and wouldn’t want another kind of job,” she said

On the rare occasion that it happens, Angel enjoys spending time with her family and visiting the park with her children when time permits.

When asked about furthering her education, Angel responded, “I have actually been looking into becoming an ultrasound tech, and I’m not quite sure where I would attend school.”

Many single mothers have busy days, which can entail juggling work and childcare.  “My typical is waking up at 6:30am to get the boys school things rounded up and getting breakfast prepared, wake up the boys at 7a.m. get them dressed and fed and on the bus at 7:30,” Angel said.

After they leave, it’s cleaning time until 8:30 when the baby wakes up for his therapy teacher, who is at the house until 10am then it’s playtime until lunch then nap time.  At 1p.m., my middle son comes home with his TSS worker who stays until 3:30 when my oldest son gets home school.( http://www.ehow.com/facts_6770689_tss-worker-job-description.html)  Then I make dinner and eat by 5; then its homework time for the two older boys, then baths and movie time at 8p.m., ahh, bedtime.  Then it’s cleaning up the kitchen and laundry.”

When asked about the difficulties of being a single parent, Angel replied, “It is very difficult being a single mom.  It gets stressful at times and frustrating trying to handle everything, but at the end of the day it is so worth it for my kids.”

Many single moms find ways to cope with stressful situations.  Angel talks to her friends and family.  She says they keep her grounded.

Consequentially, every day several single parents receive government assistance in order to provide for their families.  Unfortunately, this is also the case for Angel.   “Yes, I do receive assistance; it’s an amazing help.  I am very appreciative for the little assistance I receive, though I would love to soon be able to handle everything on my own.”

Even though the assistance programs are out there, some families are denied certain aid.  Angel says, “I have been denied social security for my son who has behavioral problems who does receive outside help.”  She works too many hours per week to qualify for assistance.

Angel‘s life changed significantly after her son was denied social security benefits.  “I feel very unfairly treated because I’ve needed to cut back majorly on my work hours which has dramatically decreased my income with nothing to replace it, due to the fact that many support persons need to be in and out of our home to work with him.”

Relatives of single mothers sometimes play a huge role in the raising of children to help ease the stress. “Thankfully, my parents play a huge role in raising my kids.  They take turns spending 1-on-1 time with each of them,” Angel said.

Angel does not believe that her circumstances would be different if she was not a single parent.  “No matter what I as his mom will do what it takes to make him better although with another parent being present the financial burden may not as bad but this is life and for my kids I will gladly take and handle whatever cards are dealt,” she states.

Across the United States, the difficult task of waking up and providing for families is something single mothers face on a daily basis.  Throughout this interview, I learned that things are not always what they seem to be.  After listening to my insider’s daily routine, I decided ‘controlled chaos’ is the best way to describe it.





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