My name is Jaimi, and I am a 31-year-old solo mother with two boys aged 10 and 11.
My journey as a solo parent has been to say the least hard, frustrating, incredibly lonely at times, sad, and to be quite honest, poor. Money poor, time poor, and me poor. Me poor is time and money poor put together. In other words I don’t have time for me and I don’t have money for me.
BUT, parenting in itself has been rewarding. There is not a thing in the world I would trade for raising my children. They are both happy, talented and funny young individuals. While I don’t have weekends or holidays off, I do work full-time so there is 40 odd hours of the week I have a life outside of my children.
My journey though – how it began and comparing it to where I am now – mentally, financially, and looking into the support systems in place is very important. I am a kiwi living in Australia so the better part of my story starts in New Zealand.
And I find before I even start to write this that I still hold some shame in myself for becoming and continuing to be a solo parent. But fighting through that here goes –
The struggle is very real.
I have an image in my head of myself in hospital with my two sons. My 11 month old is screaming from his hospital crib ‘Mummy, mummy, mummy’, over and over again with his little hands reaching through the bars, his face bright red and covered in tears while I sit on the actual hospital bed breast-feeding my three-day old baby.
This was a massive breaking point for me. I was alone, I had no help, no support, and both of my children needed me right then at that point and I couldn’t do it. My son had asthma and this was his third trip to hospital, but my first with a second child. My son had gone from having me whenever he needed me to having to wait for my attention.
I wanted nothing more than to go and get him, pick him up, calm him down, and put him back to sleep with me. But I had a three-day old baby that I could not ignore and only one of me to go around. So what happened at that moment?
I cried and I cried and I cried. I sat there bawling like my son in his crib. I cried for not being adequate enough for him. I felt broken and lost.
Maybe because of my son’s ongoing screaming, I can never be sure, a nurse walked in. She said ‘Oh dear’, and promptly went and scooped my son out of his crib where she held him until he went to sleep. She turned to me and said kindly, ‘You need some help don’t you?’. I nodded back through my tears. A social worker was assigned to come and see me while we were in hospital and we agreed it would benefit me to have some support in the home setting.
After that I had the same social worker every week for two years. She was amazing and she was a support pillar in a foundation missing many of the important ones. She was there when nobody else was and I felt like she was my best friend. I looked forward to the days she came over.
This is not my story as a solo parent but a day in my life as one. It is a snap shot of my experience and I hope to continue to talk about my struggles and success stories throughout this blog. I appreciate comments and experiences of your own, and I will try to answer any questions asked.
On this website I would also like to share things that could benefit me, you, and anyone else looking to save money and looking to generally live a better and easier life. I will be adding affordable recipes, budget advice, how to live with less, greener, frugally, and more! I hope you follow me through out my journey from the past until now with my stories as a solo parent. I hope that you can laugh and cry with me as I overcome and go through struggles that are only possible from this side of the parenting field.
The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.