|Although I have never been a single parent, I witnessed my Mom take on the challenge with me for many years. As a full time working mother she couldn’t afford afterschool care, therefore, I became a latchkey kid in 4th grade. I was so thrilled! In my head, after she first handed me the key, I screamed, “Freedom!” I could already envision the final bell ringing at school and biking home as fast as I could to scarf down Nutter Butters and Oreos while watching the Mickey Mouse Club. Or I could go rollerblading instead of doing my homework, yes! This newfound freedom I was about to experience would be incredible.
My dreams were crushed. Even as a single parent she found ways to keep a tight rope and structure even when she wasn’t there. I was to come straight home and start on my homework and chores. If I didn’t answer her call at exactly 3:30, I was grounded. For good measure, she would always call again before she left work; goodbye rollerblading. As soon as she walked through the door she immediately checked to see if the TV was warm; goodbye Mickey Mouse Club. And believe it or not, she counted the snacks; goodbye Oreos. She never counted the fruit.
As a single mother, my mom had a plan! I couldn’t be more grateful that she took enough time out of her day to make sure I was staying on track.