Troubles encountered in a single-parent household, finding the social supports needed, translated…
At the end of 2012, I’d decided to leave Taipei, and moved to Hualien. After I’d asked the opinions of some friends, I’d gotten to know how the local worked, the residences, the job outlooks, the daycare programs, and told my elders; from the moment this thought of moving came to me, to actually moving to Hualien, it’d taken me just FOUR short months’ time. As my friends heard of this, they were all very shocked, “Did you not have any doubts, at all?”, I’d always told them, “That, is the good thing about being a single parent, one person makes the decision for the entire family.”
We’d rarely seen single-parent households in this perspective. There were, unbeneficial situations for single-parent families everywhere you’d look; nobody to help you with the load, and you’d needed to, carry it all on your own, and you’d become too easily fatigued that you don’t pay enough attention to educating your own young, and there’s that higher chance of your child, being influenced by something bad, if the elders are willing to help out, then, there would be the criticisms of “there’s the generation gap, the children are easily spoiled.” A lot of the adults who came out of single-parent families described their coming of age, “It’s, like being from a single parent family is an original sin, whenever we’d done something wrong, the world would attribute it to how we’re from single parent families.”
Rather than saying, that being a single parent had caused the problems in raising a child, it’s mostly based off of how the parents see themselves as single parents, and adjust to a right methods of interacting, that, would be the key; and the “family” I’m talking about here, doesn’t mean just those who are related by blood, it’d also included those who are connected to the everyday living of the members of this single-parent family as well.
I’m not a strict person, and, I’d lowered my standards, compared to those stricter parents out there (like in the areas of setting up a routine), of course, this has to do with my making the money, doing the household chores, raising my own young, at the same time, NOT giving up on my own ideals: I can’t clean up the living environment to spotless, so how can I, ask my child to do the chores? I’d often come home late for multiple reasons, and after work, I’d had an assortment of businesses to attend to, how can I ask my child, who goes everywhere with me, to have a set schedule which she will sleep at?
Now, almost nobody tells me, “You’re making your child’s life miserable”, on the contrary, as my friends and relatives saw Mimi Chou learning to become flexible, to be knowing, along with how she’d interacted with the adults maturely. It’s just that at the very start, there would be, difficulties in the adjustment phase, when my child started not wanting to comply to my schedules, or when she cried and cried, it’d made the outside world misunderstand, and, they’d, said that I’m, a bad mother.
But, this, is nothing that can be achieved, by just the two of us, my daughter and I. For instance, on the areas of living routines, my close friends and relatives believed, “If you don’t ask of her, you’ll end up, tiring yourself to death.”, so, they’d taught her to do the dishes for me, or fixing up her own room; and when I needed to be away, there were friends, willing to chip in, to take care of my daughter for me, and during which time, she may be endowed with more care and concern; when I’m in conflict with my daughter, when our emotions were running high, there would be friends who will take over as my daughter cried, so I can, get away from the scene for a short while, so we can both have the rooms, to calm ourselves back down.
In this sort of a process, what my friends had provided was, how to, live with a family; they saw how I was in sorts of situations, and, were willing, to accept it, move in with us, to help us solve the problems. Or, more like, every family has its own different limitations and difficulties that need a way out, for single-parent families, as well as the nuclear families too. Labeling won’t help solve the problems, instead, it’d made it even harder for us, to find a way that best fitted us, so we can, keep on living our lives.
So, this, is the importance of having the social support you need, when raising your own young by yourself, and sometimes, family can’t understand, and you’d needed to, find that social and/or emotional support from someone else outside, and in this case, this single mother had found, she has a TON of friends who are willing, to chip it, to help her out.