First, let's start of with the undeniable fact that being a mom is a very difficult thing, regardless of the situation or child. Mom's wake up in the middle of the night to care for their child, they worry, they love, they sacrifice. All mom's do that (or most, there are sad exceptions).
I must mention that there are single dads too. I guess I should use the work parent from now on, not to exclude those amazing single dad's who do it all...
First, let me start by talking about this mom I knew many years ago.
She was a single mom, the father having dumped her years before. He was a dead beat dad who did not take care of his child in any way. He never sent her any money nor did he come to visit his child. During the time that I knew her, I never saw any family come and help out with the child. She was definitely alone. She did not work as work would have been impossible in her situation so she was dependant on social assistance.
Her son was a good sized young boy. When I knew them he was about 12-13 years old. Her son was also a paraplegic. He had a motorized wheelchair which enabled him to go outside and hang out with the other kids. He did enjoy the company of other kids even though he was a little rude to them. The kids always forgave him for his rudeness though, their parents probably having explained to them that he was probably that was because he wanted what they had and rather than cry he would get angry.
This young boy was taller and weighed more than his mom. He could not eat well by himself, he needed help. He could not go to the washroom or bathe himself without help. He needed to be lifted and put in his bed. He was totally dependant on his mother for almost every aspect of his life. That's why I understand that for her, getting a job was not an option.
One day while I was outside chatting with some neighbours, she came outside of her apartment crying. Her son had fallen while she was trying to transfer him from his chair to the tub. He was wedged between the tub and the toilet. She could not get him up and out, he was too heavy. Two of us, bigger and stronger rushed to help her. With her instructions we lifted him up and were able to put him in the tub. We told her anytime she needs help to never hesitate to come and get us. That day, even though my daughter was less than 5 and my son yet to be born, I realized that not all single parents have it the same. This mother could not be put in the same group as other single moms who have financial support. She could not be considered the same as those with healthy abled children.
Not all single parents are the same. No matter how much some would say that as a group, we have to stick together, we just don't all have the same challenges. (It could be argued the same for none single parents I know.)
Take a former friend of mine. She has one child. While her parents were alive they would often take her daughter for a day or two or three to give her a break. Now since both of her parents lived apart, they would each take her for a few days a month each. Her older brother, being the godfather would often take the child at least for one day every month. Her neighbour who absolutely LOVED children would reserve her child for one weekend a month since the kid, up to the age of about 7 was the cutest thing ever seen on two legs (or so so many thought) She also had her ex, the child's father who would come and get the daughter every two weekends. Later on I would fill in for her deceased parents, taking care of her daughter every weekend she was not gone to her brother's, her other friend, sleeping over at a friend's house or gone her father's. I would also take care of her daughter most week nights as she always had things to do, people to see. We lived together see and since I was staying home to take care of my children anyway...
Once, she had to take care of children every day for about 4 months or so, without a break and she could not handle it. She was sinking into a deep depression. She'd get to go out in the evening after I came home from work and she could also get some time during the weekends but it was too much for her.
Can you honestly say those two should be considered the same????
I consider myself half way between these two scenarios. I don't have the hardest case nor do I have the easiest case. I have the added challenge of my own disabilities. They may not be recognized for CRA or the Parking authority but it's there nonetheless.
Well thanks for reading and till next time