One fine day a fellow mum posted on a Facebook group something along the lines of “with COVID19 happening I wonder if restaurants are going to offer takeaway delivery breakfasts or lunch with a Mother’s Day theme, since we can’t go out to brunch”
My heart contracted reading that post.
This is the part where single motherhood sucks. Because over the past 2 years (since I became a single mother) there has not been a home cooked breakfast in bed, or a present, or a surprise brunch/dinner date, or a directive of “you stay in bed and just relax honey I will look after everything this morning”, or even something homemade by my 3.5yrs old beautiful daughter because – well, there is no one reminding / guiding her to make me a present.
Statistically speaking, at the 2016 census, there were 959,000 single-parent families with children in Australia. The Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) predicts that in 2041 single-female-parent (aka us single mothers) are projected to make up 13-14% of all families and 80-82% of all single-parent families. In contrast, single-male-parent (aka single fathers) are projected to increase the fastest of any family type, increasing by between 44-65%.
Last year, for Father’s Day, I ordered three sets of “best father” and “best grandfather” embossed tumblers. For my ex-husband, my father, and my (ex) father-in-law. Some of my friends thought this was unnecessary, as my ex-husband didn’t do anything for Mother’s Day 2019, however I thought – no, its important for my Ariella to know the meaning and value of Father’s Day, and to appreciate it and give her “thanks” to her father, who have done his best to be there for her and fulfil his parental obligations. I plan to continue this tradition in 2020, even if its just a small gift. I am not expecting anything in return, as this will probably just end up in a big wave of disappointment.
This year the absence of a “traditional” Mother’s Day will be amplified, especially those with either younger or older children. Our youngest (especially if you only have one, like me) may not be fully aware of Mother’s Day, and older children may not be able to visit their mothers freely due to COVID19 restrictions. Like Easter, we will have to modify the way we celebrate Mother’s Day. We may be limited to internal small family only celebrations, and/or technology zoom meeting celebrations.
For me that means no spa day, or single mother brunch, or a girls’ night out. I will have to make do with my favourite steak and sashimi being delivered, a bottle of my favourite drink, and maybe a movie.
But you know what? I am LUCKY. Because I know that my “suffering” as a single mother on Mother’s Day is nothing compared to some. There are those with multiple children, those estranged from their children, those who have been a single mother for years and years, those who feel “alone” as they are estranged from family or live in a remote location, and those who do not have the funds to buy themselves a cupcake to celebrate their awesomeness.
To all my fellow single mothers – Here’s to YOU. Happy Mother’s Day. Know that you are not alone. I see you, and I salute you. And hey, maybe we can zoom or do a Facebook “party”!
Dr Diaswati (Asti) Mardiasmo
As Chief Economist of PRD Real Estate I am committed to monitoring a wide variety of macro and microeconomic trends, both within and external to Australia, that directly and indirectly impact the Australian residential real estate (housing) market. I am proud to be part of the Reserve Bank of Australia Liaison Program, acting as an independent professional from within the property industry.
As Chief Economist I am the face of PRD Research to many events as well as providing commentary on current real estate trends to various print media, online media, and as guest commentator on various TV news channels.
I am also passionate about supporting my local community, which led me to accept the role of Secretary for the Queensland Multicultural Council Inc in 2020.
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