Pulling The Single Mom Card

It’s almost 11pm and I’m still working. Yes, I know lots of people work late (I was in the restaurant biz for 13 years). I’m not complaining. I chose a job (read: I got tired of being laid off) in which I get to work late in order to have a somewhat flexible work schedule.

More flexibility means I get to play a SAHM during the day and burn the midnight oil every night. It’s as close to having it all as I can imagine. Case in point: I brought lemonade to the teacher staff meeting at 2 pm on Monday. I got extra points because it was “homemade” (It wasn’t. I made it from concentrate but I sliced a lemon and tossed it in the pitcher. #singlemomhack).

But I digress. The reason I’m working late tonight is because I missed a deadline. A very important deadline. One that could mean the difference between working while my children are in fun camps every day this summer or working while my kids whine “I’m bored” every day this summer.

Because I missed the deadline, just sending the proposal just won’t work. I must include a persuasive e-mail to convince the recipient of my proposal (a very attractive, young, child-free woman) to accept it. And because I can’t face an entire summer listening to whining kids, I’ve done something I’m not proud of.

I pulled the single mom card (holiday edition). Don’t judge me.

Dear Young & Child-free Colleague,

Please find attached to this e-mail my proposal for your consideration. You may notice, from the date stamp on this e-mail, that I missed Friday’s deadline so clearly expressed in the guidelines you graciously provided in October. I’m asking you to accept my proposal anyway because I am a single mom.

It may be tempting to ignore this fact as irrelevant but I implore you to allow me to explain.

Consider that from the moment a mother-to-be announces “I’m two weeks late,” the way she experiences the passage of time changes forever. And after three years of different methods of checking off time (from trimesters to days to weeks to months), noting the passage of time returns to semi-normal and the yearly calendar reappears in our homes (along with living room furniture and some select fragile items).

But, while the majority of our work culture sees the calendar as a way to mark the passage of time from deadline to deadline, mothers of children older than three mark the passage of time from holiday to holiday. And, especially for working moms, this adds complication to meeting any deadline, especially ones set after the month of October.

You see, while November and December may offer opportunities for the child-free worker to take a personal day to shop, punch out a few minutes early to do some home decorating, bake goodies for co-workers, or use a lunch hour to mail hand-addressed Christmas cards, November and December offer working mothers (especially single mothers) no such opportunities. Single mothers must protect every single personal day in the case that Junior gets sick. Oh, it’s tempting to leave a little early on Friday like your co-workers but single mothers know they must be the last one to leave to make up for the times they left early in the spring to see the last inning of their kid’s baseball game or attend a parent-teacher conference at the last possible time slot (which is offered at 3:30 pm). And the only thing single moms are bringing to the office to share are the germs they picked up from the daycare center.

And so, as a working single mother, I am asking you to accept my submission two days past the deadline. Of course, I acknowledge your thoughtfulness in formatting “Submissions due November 30, 2013” in big, bold, red font. But I ask you to understand that I hope you will appreciate that mothers everywhere know that date as THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING.

Commonly referred to as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is the dreaded day in which moms across these great United States finish washing dishes and attempt to keep the kids from killing each other while their husbands (if they have one) watch football for 22 hours. There is no way any mother is getting near a computer on this day.

And as much as I appreciate that you generously e-mailed the proposal guidelines 30 days prior to the November 30th deadline, I must point out to you that is THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN. I don’t believe I need to explain the madness of that day.

And so, on behalf of all mothers and in especially single mothers everywhere, I ask you to accept my belated proposal.

Respectfully Yours,


Photo courtesy of The Fabzilla.