This week I bought in one of my homemade, “Apple Brown Kelli” cakes to work as a special little holiday treat from me to all of my co-workers. “This cake is good, who made it? Your father?” they all asked. They could not believe that I actually baked the cake, and from scratch nonetheless. I had to convince them that I made the cake, and yes, I do actually cook…and it’s even edible! I was appalled at first, but later took it as a compliment because my father, in my opinion, is one of the greatest bakers; and for my cake to be confused as one of his means I am just as good as the greatest. But it got to me thinking about the many assumptions that people make. Assumptions are made when people don’t know, or think that they know. What information do people base these assumptions on? I have the slightest clue. Is it because I’m a single working mother or because I’m young (I’m 30)? It could simply be for no reason at all. But of course my mind began to circle around assumptions people make about me, single mother, and/or working mothers in general.
Assumption: Working mothers, especially single working mothers, do not have time to cook healthy, home cooked meals
My Reality: This is neither true nor false. I cook throughout the week, but not every day; maybe 2-3 times a week. I do leftovers for lunch and sometimes dinner the next day. I’ve dubbed myself the official crock pot queen, which frees me up to run errands or do activities with Kenedi while dinner is cooking or warming up. I typically do not cook on Friday or Saturday. I go on a lunch or dinner date with Kenedi(something as simple as Chick Fil A), or whip up a ready-made dinner or pizza I can just pop in the oven. On Sundays I often visit my parent’s house for dinner.
Assumption: When Kenedi is away visiting with her Dad, I am sitting at home moping in a state of depression
My Reality: Totally false! I have a sense of relief when she is visiting with her Dad. I have my own personal relationship with my father and I hope that she has one with hers. So it’s during those times I know that they are forming their special bond, something I could never give her. Of course I miss her when she’s away, but I miss her just about every day when I’m away at work. During my work day, I often take a few minutes and look at her pictures and smile. Sometimes looking at her picture is the motivation I need to get through the day. Yes, she’s my world. But prior to having Kenedi I had a life and interests of my own that didn’t die just because I became a mother. Sure some are less important, but when she’s visiting with her dad, I spend the time to catch up on household responsibilities, I try out some things I’ve been pinning on Pinterest, I recently joined a gym where I can take yoga classes, I mix and mingle and meet new people and possible dates…I spend that time to focus on me so when she returns the focus is her.
Assumption: Single mothers struggle financially
My Reality: Trust me when I say, “Life for me, ain’t been no crystal stair.” However, all of our needs are met and even some of our wants, and for that, I thank God daily. The reality is that there are many single parents, and parents in general, who are struggling in these tough economic times. I only receive $300 a month in child support, in which I keep in a savings account specifically for Kenedi. I make sacrifices along the way to make ends meet. If this means I have to take public transportation Monday – Friday to save on gas, so be it. If I only get my hair done at the salon twice a month instead of every week, and going to the nail salon is a special treat, so be it. I shop at consignment shops, thrift stores, and discount stores. Living Social and Groupon are addictions for me. I am the deal diva! And no one would ever know unless I told them. It’s actually become a hobby of mine. I call it the gift of thrift.
Assumption: It’s hard for working mothers to keep their houses in order
My reality: This isn’t completely false. There is about 15-20% legitimacy here. There are times when I am juggling the demands of work, my business, and activities with Kenediwhere the laundry might pile up, grow legs and walk itself to the washer; or a mountain of shoes may meet me when I walk through the door, but situations like this come in spells and never stay around for long. Within a couple of days the disorder will start to get to me and get in the way of my productivity. It’ll take me longer to get dressed and out the door in the morning because I’m rummaging through piles of clothes and shoes. So ultimately I take the time to tidy up and organize. Now my car on the other hand, has been known to be a mobile closet, snack station, etc. But I’ve actually gotten better with that too. The mommy mobile has been clean of junk, shoes, and blazers for over a month! Snaps for Kharismatic Momma!!
Face it! There is always going to be an ASSumption about you. The trick is to acknowledge and appreciate the blessing of your reality. My reality may not be yours, and that too, is okay.