Wednesday, August 6, 2014

#SOLO: What It Takes To Be A Single Parent

Wednesday, August 6, 2014



Last July 20, 2014, GMA News TV’s Reel Time presented their latest documentary about single mothers who were able to survive despite of bringing every responsibility that two people needs to share – hence, a father and a mother, in that case. I was featured along with my son on their #Solo episode, with two other single mothers, businesswoman and actress Bettina Carlos and 37th Gawad Urian Best Actress Angeli Bayani.

Reel Time presents #Solo. Credits to Reel Time Facebook page.
There are estimated 14 million "solo" or single parents in the Philippines, men and women combined. For whatever reason, these people are on their own because of a death of a spouse, separation or abandonment, previous adulterous relationship, and other circumstances that made them a mom and dad at the same time. Being a single parent also entitles you to series of problems related to finances, time management, child discipline and decision making.

Being a single mom to my only child gives me a lot of realizations in life. Since the day that I was on my own, I learned to be independent. I learned to think of the things that would benefit not only me, but also my son. When he came to my life, I started not to think of myself anymore. Whenever I buy something, my list would consist of things for him. I rarely buy my own stuffs. I mostly use what I have before, and make sure he gets what he needs and what I want for him.


When me and Carlisle's father broke up, I never thought that I would be alone since then. I never think of him being 'that' kind of person - one who would run away from such big responsibility. I was filled with fear, anger, disappointment. Acceptance came late in me that I needed to be confined to a hospital due to dehydration. I had Hyperemesis gravidarum, an uncommon disorder in which extreme, persistent nausea and vomiting occur during first trimester of pregnancy.

I came to a realization that I'm living not only for myself now, but also for my little one. I got up, got discharged from the hospital and since then, I ate everything that I want to eat. I take care of myself. I got back to work (yes, while I'm on my second trimester), and saved my salary and earnings for my delivery date and needed things.


On the morning of March 31st, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy that I later named Carlisle Von Patrick. Where did I get his name? Carlisle - a fictional character from the movie, Twilight; Von - a mutual name that I and his father agreed; and Patrick - from my favorite cartoon character Patrick Starfish. I was too overwhelmed of the fact that despite of being alone, I managed to give birth to a healthy and amazing creature. At last, I got someone that I can claim of as my own.

Did his father know that I already gave birth? Yes. That's what social media is all about. Bring news to the people that you want to disappear. Inform someone with something that you don't want them to know. I can't forget his Facebook message three days after I gave birth.
"Congratulations. Sorry."
Congratulations - as if it was not his son that I gave birth to. Sorry? No, I can't accept it. It's not that easy. As much as I want to fix everything, and give my son a whole and happy family, I know that it won't be possible anymore.


Since then, it's always Nanay and Pogi eversince. I swore to myself that I would never get in touch with that boy again (yes, I treat him as a boy because if he's a man, he would  Since then, I accepted the fact that I will always need my family in raising my little boy. I can get a helper, but not a nanny. I don't want anyone that I don't know to touch my boy. I don't want anyone that I don't know to be close to him that they might stole his attention and love for me. Every night, I am a full time customer service associate. Every day, I am a full time mom for Carlisle.

With all the care and security that I am giving him, I felt that it was all useless. February 2013 when Carlisle was diagnosed to have a rare brain tumor called Craniopharyngioma. It was so rare that the only way to get rid of it is for him to have a brain surgery. Surgery at 10 months old? I was so afraid at that time. Everything went back to me. What did I do? Was it because I got too emotional on my first trimester? I felt that I was the worst mother any person could have.


I cried to the Lord to save my son. I made promises to him, just to make my son survive his 12-hour operation. And thank God, he did. We spent almost five weeks at the hospital, two of it on PICU. He got 50/50 on his post-operation, but still, the Lord saved him.

As of today, Carlisle has been taking maintenance medicines and we are attending his constant follow up checks to his doctors. He's been on physical therapy since last month. When we have a schedule to his doctors, I go straight to the hospital and I just meet him with my sister who takes care of Carlisle whenever I'm away.


I must say that despite of everything, God has been blessing me of everything that would make me a better person. He blessed me with my son - for me to experience the genuine joy of life. He blessed me with these trials - for me to be a stronger person. And he blessed me with the people around me, my family, my friends - for me to hold on to someone when I'm at my lowest.


               





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17 comments:

  1. You are doing a great job of raising him. Don't ever let anybody tell you you're no better. Be proud! Not many could do such feat of raising a kid, much more raise it alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Garette! I'm trying my best to provide him everything that he needs and as much as possible, lahat din ng gusto nya. Sana tuloy-tuloy na ang paggaling nya! :)

      Delete
  2. Being a mom doesn't really require a man on your side but I know someday you could find your prince charming like I did I was a single mom before to my eldest then I found a guy of my dreams we are happily married now for 8 years and parang walang iba kasi he treat's my eldest and our youngest equally. God Bless you and your Baby :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Razel! Not thinking of being in a relationship anymore, I'm more focused on my son. Tsaka natatakot ako they might not accept him, or worst, pagbuhatan pa ng kamay. But if God permits, why not, di ba? God bless you, too! :)

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  3. Hi Mayu! Being a solo parent is not that easy and I salute Moms like you. You are a strong woman. Carlisle is so lucky to have you as his Mom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks Rhodora! I'm more blessed and lucky to have him as my son. :)

      Delete
  4. I salute you for being that selfless woman Mayu. Your child is lucky to have you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you TweenselMom! I'm luckier to have him in my life. :)

      Delete
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