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I wake up in the morning to the cries of hurt and anger
I wished I’d wake up to cries of joy and laughter
I wake up every morning hoping it will all be gone
But the fighting the war has only just begun
I’d play out in my mind that I could beg for them to stop just for a while
But no! What do they care I’m just a war child

I’d go to sleep every night with the fear of not being able to last another day
Oh please please help this child many would say
But deep down I know those peoples urgent call
Will be returned with bombs shooting or nothing at all
The shock that they turn to shooting even if you smile
Is abhorrent but what do they care I’m just a war child

I’d hope for a place to truly call home
But how can it be with all the peace and harmony gone
It hurts and pains to know the people doing this have neither regret nor remorse
But instead curfews and more undeserved punishment is what they’ve enforced
Enemies upon us our country reviled
But what do they care I’m just a war child

I’d cry puddles full of tears day to day
Hoping someone my mummy or even my daddy come by say its ok
But no one will ever care I’m just a war child.

© Lamzii

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Although I’ve admitted that there are some positives to being a single parent, it also comes with its obvious downsides. I feel like a lot of celebrity moms make it seem not-so-bad (I’m looking at you, but it definitely is not ideal.

I feel like I’ve found my footing as a single mom, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t hiccups and growing pains. Here are just 10 of the things I never thought about–or thought through–when I decided to separate from my daughter’s father:

1. Dating. Part of me genuinely believed I would never date again because I had a child. And what man wants a woman with a child? But there are guys out there who don’t automatically rule out dating single moms–for real! The problem, of course, is coordinating these dates. Finding a babysitter, sometimes at the absolute last minute isn’t always easy. Answering panicked phone calls from said babysitter during your date is even harder.

 2. Relationships. The complexities of getting into a relationship with someone other than your child’s father are the subject of a whole different blog post. Maybe even a book. But to sum things up, there is the question of when and how to explain the relationship to your kid; how much time your new boyfriend should spend around your child; balancing time with your boyfriend along with time with your child. It’s a never-ending juggling act and it is not easy. 

 3. Your relationship with the other parent. My ex and I initially separated on good terms, but that all went out the window when I (a) started dating something else and (b) took him to court for child support. We rarely speak now and when we do, I keep it as short as possible so that it won’t escalate. My daughter still obviously loves him very much, so having to lie to her about how “wonderful” he is is a real pain in my… 

4. Milestones. I was watching an episode of Glee and Idina Menzel’s character nailed this one on the head. She was explaining how it’s obviously hard to deal with a crying baby when there are dishes to wash, laundry to be done and no one to help. But it’s even harder, however, when your child takes his/her first steps, or says his/her first words and there is no one there to look over and celebrate with. Word. 

5. Stress. Feeling like your kid’s entire success in life rests solely on your shoulders is a quite a bit of pressure. Is she smart enough, will he get into that school, why can’t they stop sucking their thumbs? It helps to have someone who is equally invested in your kid talk you off the ledge when you feel like these little things signal total failure for your kid.

6. Alone time. Is basically non-existent. Fortunately, I really love spending time with my daughter and having her around me. But even so, there are times when I wish I just didn’t have to clean to the soundtrack of Yo Gabba Gabba in the background.

7. Money. Even millionaires complain about how expensive raising a child is, so the money factor affects all parents. But if, as single parent, you’re not receiving any financial help from the other parent, there’s even more of a strain.

8. Resentment. Full disclosure: I totally resent my daughter’s father for being able to hang out with his friends whenever, go on impromptu trips and buy whatever he wants because he isn’t responsible for the day-to-day care of our daughter. I would love to just go on vacay without tons of planning beforehand. That being said, I wouldn’t trade places with him in a heartbeat. He’s missed so much of her growing up–I just couldn’t live with myself if I wasn’t there for those firsts.

9. Guilt. When I see seemingly happy families with two parents strolling down the street when it’s just my daughter and me, I always feel self-conscious. My daughter deserves that, but I will never, under any circumstances, get back together with her dad. Because I’m so sure of that, I can’t help but feel really guilty.

10. Anger. When I put my daughter on time out, she’ll scream and cry at the top of her lungs, “I want my daddy.” It is literally like a knife through my heart. “If she only knew,” I think to myself. “At least I am here, trying to make you a better person. Where is he?”

Any other single moms feel my pain? What about married moms? Does being married and raising kids come with its own challenges? Share your opinion in the comments.

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IMAG0223

Sweet smiles

Of a child

Sweet innocence

Radiant skin

Beautiful within

Hours spent

Playing, laughing

Loving life

Sweet smiles

Of a child

Turning to giggles

Radiant skin

Beautiful within

Laughter contagious

Demanding love

Embracing the moment

Just the two of us

Gillian Sims

Photograph copyright Poetree Creations 2013

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1918

For a Child of 1918

My grandfather said to me
as we sat on the wagon seat,
“Be sure to remember to always
speak to everyone you meet.”

We met a stranger on foot.
My grandfather’s whip tapped his hat.
“Good day, sir. Good day. A fine day.”
And I said it and bowed where I sat.

Then we overtook a boy we knew
with his big pet crow on his shoulder.
“Always offer everyone a ride;
don’t forget that when you get older,”

my grandfather said. So Willy
climbed up with us, but the crow
gave a “Caw!” and flew off. I was worried.
How would he know where to go?

But he flew a little way at a time
from fence post to fence post, ahead;
and when Willy whistled he answered.
“A fine bird,” my grandfather said,

“and he’s well brought up. See, he answers
nicely when he’s spoken to.
Man or beast, that’s good manners.
Be sure that you both always do.”

When automobiles went by,
the dust hid the people’s faces,
but we shouted “Good day! Good day!
Fine day!” at the top of our voices.

When we came to Hustler Hill,
he said that the mare was tired, 
so we all got down and walked,
as our good manners required. 

 

2132_bishop_large
Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) at the time of her death was respected as a “writer’s writer” on account of her technical mastery and exemplary patience and dedication to her craft. Since then her reputation has risen steadily until she has become one of the major figures of 20th century American poetry. 

She was born into a comfortable home in Worcester, Massachusetts, her father being a business executive with a successful family-owned construction firm. However, this security disappeared with the death of her father when Bishop was only 8 months old, and the subsequent mental illness of her mother who was permanently institutionalised in 1916. Though her mother lived in an asylum until 1934, Bishop never saw her again. She was brought up by a succession of relatives, firstly by her maternal grandparents in Nova Scotia, under whose care she was largely happy, then by her paternal grandparents back in Worcester and finally by her paternal aunt in whose home Bishop remained for the rest of her education. In 1929 she entered Vassar College where she began writing in earnest and where she met the older and already distinguished poet, Marianne Moore who became the first of several poetic friends and mentors.

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