2020! How COVID-19 Revealed The Gender Hole For Single Mothers!

2020 … what a year! If everything wasn’t meant seriously, I would say something funny at this point. But there was nothing funny about it.

It was just too chalky full of drama, trauma, and weirdness!

On a health level, men appeared to suffer in greater numbers than women due to COVID, according to a study by the National Academy of Science.

This study showed that men didn’t take the virus as seriously as women, and they don’t wear as much masks and social distancing as women.

This first observation of the study made me see in the Abundance of Light how women are simply wired differently than men. Add in divorced mothers and you really have a clear picture of how we had to deal with this pandemic.

Caring for the family during this pandemic has shifted significantly to the side of single mothers. It is simply not in our thinking area not to wear a mask or social distance during this time.

Why?

How COVID-19 exposed the gender divide for single mothers

Because we are the main caregiver, the main breadwinner, the chief carer. We were school teachers, Easter bunny, birthday hero, graduation cheerleader, Thanksgiving boss and now Santa Claus for Christmas in 2020!

We can’t get sick!

We have used all of our being for the year to think as closely as possible about some order in order to achieve a new normal.

I don’t know all about you guys, but I’m tired!

“Stress arises from being here but wanting to be there.

Or…

by being in the present but wanting to be in the future. “

Eckhart Tolle

When I read this quote from Eckhart Tolle, I wanted to shout: “You have the right brother!” I never wanted to see the future more than now!

In 2020 jobs were cut and lost. The hospitality and tourism industries I work in almost disappeared when travel screeched to a halt.

Hotels closed and airlines reduced or stopped routes. Those of us who have kept our jobs have accepted wage cuts. And yet, as a single mother, I just keep moving forward.

Like I’ve done every day since I was awarded Single Momdom.

What makes me want the future through this feeling are my memories of the past, the memories of the good old days! Do you know … 2019?

This year was the financially best year of my career. I had some problems with our little dog Buddy getting very sick which resulted in expensive vet bills and then a major plumbing crisis, but I had the resources to take care of everything. That year I have done everything but break through my house and pray that nothing breaks or floods. When it happens I just don’t have the resources to fix it.

I’m not a handyman like the man I divorced so anything to do with cars or home repairs is driving me crazy. The next morning, I had a brief breakdown from hearing water dripping. I literally froze in my steps.

In a matter of seconds, my lack of finances was racing before me, only to be faced with my racing heartbeat when I was quick to figure out how to pay for another blown whistle! Then I looked out the window and noticed that it was raining and I heard the sound of the rain coming down the gutters.

I threw myself on the nearest chair and let out a sigh of relief. But this is the PTSD I’ve developed over the years as a single parent. And safest during this pandemic.

The world has just stopped spinning in a normal rotation and alternative routes had to be explored. And it was a challenge for me.

“It is neither the strongest of the surviving species nor the most intelligent that survives. It’s the one that best adapts to change. “Charles Darwin

So here we are again ladies … adjust, adjust, adjust to change!

But 2020 has brought us to a place where it’s easy to perform at Cirque du Soilel! A pandemic, a crazy presidential election, an economic crisis for the second time in 12 years and immeasurable fear in our society. It made us all a bit nervous and lived on our nerves.

But single mothers shouldn’t really concern themselves with knowing your true feelings. We just have to go ahead and get everything done. Too many people rely on us to show calm in the face of the crisis. But I have to say I slowed down the hamster wheel a bit.

I suppose as I write this article it is also my way of slowing my bike. I’ve found that I watch less TV. I hear my daily Amazon Alexa injection of soft music. I read poetry. I listen to the birds outside my window. I walk along the sea and read by the fire in my quiet corner.

I think I’ve curated a space for myself that will allow me to withdraw a little if the demands of the day allow me. While most people started the pandemic 20, I lost 27 pounds because I made up my mind to take advantage of the reality that I am not out for business, attending business lunches, dinners and receptions.

The Los Angeles freeways have seen one less car on the road, and I’m better off for it. I took stock of my health and decided that I can make the most of it when I have social distance. I might as well be leaner!

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid of failure. “Oprah Winfrey

As single mothers, how did we cope with 2020? How has this pandemic affected single mothers compared to fathers who don’t live in family dynamics on an average day? What exactly is this gender gap?

For me, my ex-husband has seen his children twice since June 2020. He shows social distancing. When he saw them, it was at the end of the masked driveway. Chatting for about 45 minutes and then the car door closes and he’s on his way back to his other family.

In fact, it may be another 6 months before he sees her again.

I stopped being mad at inequality and accepted what is.

After all, I’ve been a single parent for 20 years since my second child was only weeks old. I usually say to myself, “You have this Karen!” A verse I’ve said over a million times in the past two decades. A mantra that is good for me, no matter what the climate of the world is!

When 2020 comes to an end, I’ll take away the lessons I’ve learned …

I have the ability to continue to raise a family. Even within a pandemic with a reduced salary.

I also have the option to slow down my role and consider the kindness of the family that I have created and fostered myself.

My single parent’s rewards have never been as evident as they have been during this period. My children stepped on the plate and were with me the whole time.

I no longer seek the reward of my victims. They are there in front of me every day. I am a happy woman. I guess I’m my own queen and I’m no longer afraid of failure.

I leave you all a poem my mother wrote before she died. She found solace at the seaside near her home. I now find solace in her words on the days when I need her advice and the much needed resilience to continue believing in tomorrow this year called 2020.

A passage out

“A stroll on the beach”

I stand for a moment and listen, feel …

the sea breeze.

Watch the little waves

chase each other ashore

Knowing that I can never understand the ocean

Or life

Or how to write about the subtle attraction

or changes to the ocean.

I’ll try again tomorrow.

Meriam Helen Czuleger

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