April 8, 1996
This week's story originated in the Picture Province, New Brunswick. Shauna MacPherson, a student of the Grand Manan Community Academic Services Program (CASP), communicates the challenges and joys that single motherhood brings. Shauna was born and raised in Manitoba, where her parents worked for the RCMP. Her interests include reading and walking with her daughter, who is now age two. She hopes to return to study in the Grand Manan CASP in the near future.
The day I became a single mom was on February 15, 1994. The day that my daughter was born made me very happy. But I was scared to hold her at first. Because I thought that I was going to drop her. The day that my daughter and I came home was very exciting because there were friends and family waiting at the ferry for us to get off. I couldn't wait to get my daughter home so she could see her new home and room.
I enjoy being a single parent because we get to spend more time alone. I can talk to her and she sits and wonders what it is I am saying to her. We have a lot of fun when we are on our walks because I make a noise and she tries to imitate me. My daughter also likes to wave at all the cars and smile at everyone. We have a lot of fun playing with the dogs and all her toys.
We also have a lot of fun going shopping and looking at all the new clothes and toys. I like to see her face light up in the store. In the summer is when my baby has the most fun because she can play outside and she is not under foot all the time. A mom can sit down and read to her child for hours and hours and she loves that. The fun part is when you go to the beach - you can make sand castles.
There are some single parents that are living out on their own and find it difficult to handle, because they have to be both the mother and the father. Plus they would have to do everything around the house and they never get a break from that. In my situation my baby and I are living at home with my parents so when I need a break they are willing to help. But when you are out on your own you have to make sure that everything is budgeted out to fit in all your bills that you have. You never get to go out and have fun with your friends that much. It is hard to find a babysitter who will babysit for a half decent rate.
There are days that I wish my daughter's father would be around to see her grow and play everyday, because you never know what you are going to say when they start asking about where daddy is. Someday I am going to have to explain to the baby about her father, and I don't know exactly what to say to her. The only thing a single parent can do is take everything day by day and minute by minute until the right time comes along. Then you sit them down when they are old enough to understand what you are telling them and you have to hope that you have the right answer to their questions.
But now I have a boyfriend who really cares about my daughter a lot. It really makes me happy when I see them having fun. I'm really looking forward to see what the future brings us.
[Used with permission, from the "The Learning Times", Vol. 2, #1, May 1995, published by the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick]