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In a perfect world. Most of us would travel, fete, do carnivals and have most road experiences on Saturday so that we can make our way into church on Sunday for the FULL spiritual experience of carnival.  But traveling is limited via budget constraints and responsibilities.  For some of us, fetting is limited per babysitting coverage and having a good fete to go to.  And for others, doing carnival is a matter of money, resources and time. 

No matter what the hurdle, we all have our challenges. We all overcome them in some form or fashion but none of us can lie..... We've all missed a fete, a carnival or a quality soca experience because "real life" got in the way. 

There are few scenarios that I have watched happen during my carnival experiences in speaking with various carnival veterans and carnival virgins.  I have also experienced some of them myself and would like to address them, the hurdles which they present and some possible solutions. 

So here we go.

In Part One, we discussed The Marriage Hurdle and the challenges that are presented with that particular situation.  Then we discussed The Married With Children Hurdle
and the challenges that are presented with that particular situation.

In this part of the series "When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete" The Carnival Doctor will address "Single Parent Problems."

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Disclaimer
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I am married and have 2 children and I have a very, very f#cking low tolerance for men who do not take care of their children and the mothers who are taking care of their children when they are not around.  Sending a check is not the same as being there. You can send a check, which is your RESPONSIBILITY, but that does not help out when the child is sick at 2am and someone has to sit up with them and monitor them and still get ready for work at 6:30am and get everybody off to school.  I have seen men work "under the table" jobs so that they don't have to pay child support. I have watched people just not pay and then file for custody after placing the woman in a bad situation financially. I have also watched men spend money in parties, fetes, clubs and on frivolous bull$h!t but won't send money home.  I've also watched people travel the world to party but they won't take off time to visit their children. If you do this, I do not condemn you, for such is not my place. However, I would like to encourage you to take different position and a different stance in life. Please. Do better.  We, as a community of global citizens, need for YOU to do better.  Thank you.

Also....

The statistics are the statistics. I cannot argue with them and I'm not going to argue with you about them. The fact of the matter is this: most single parent households are headed by women.  Not all, but most. So the premise and foundation of this piece of written articulation is going to be skewed per that fact.


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Single Parent Problems
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When you want to fete or lime as a single parent the first thing that you think about is coverage.  Yes, coverage.  You want to know if you are going to be able to get someone to watch  your kid while you hang out. And you have to be aware of how much you are going to need this person in the future and you don't want to ask too often and wear out your welcome.  Because here are the usual options:

1. You pay for a babysitter/Nannie
2. You have friend who watches your child sometimes and you watch hers at times
3. Your parents watch the child/children while you go out but you ALWAYS have to deal with the possibility of getting "that look" upon the pickup of the child
4. You can ask the father to watch the child while you hangout (which is usually NOT an option at all)

Now, all of these options have to be put into place solidly BEFORE you say that you can or cannot go to a fete or carnival. This is such a hurdle for attending carnival and if not, it is one for attending carnivals back to back to back. Especially if your little one(s) is/are young.

I have literally heard people cry over the phone because they will miss Miami Carnival after missing Trinidad Carnival in the same year because they do not have anyone to watch their child.  It is rough and it is one issue for which I have only one solution.

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Here's My Solution
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First and foremost, you may have to make some adult decisions and realize that you may not be able to go. Secondly, you are going to have to develop better and solid symbiotic relationships with those who can assist you and you can assist them.   Thirdly,
Ecclesiastes 10:19  reads, "A feast is made for laughter, wine makes life merry, and money is the answer for everything." Which means, another option is to make more money, access more money or move around some of that fete money so that you can do less quantity of fetes and more quality fetting.

The main key is finding people with whom you can provide a reciprocal relationship.  This is the best solution for a night out of fetting. 

If you are close to family that makes a WORLD of difference. This is something that you should really consider if you move out of the area for a better job, school or position when you have a child.  The "hidden costs" that you may have to pay (i.e. NO fetting or less fetes because of no coverage) may be more than you can bear.


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Let's Wrap This Up
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Yes, I coach. I do health and wellness coaching and life coaching. I also teach on the university level.  Does that mean I have all the answers? Nope!!  That doesn't even mean that my approach is the best one for everybody.  However, if this conversation and dialogue and the ensuing ones can help anybody struggling with  this issue or any one that lies on the periphery or carnival, then that's awesome. In the grand scheme of things, life is too short to be arguing and fighting so long. Let go and let God.  And play a lil' soca on the way.

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Closing
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Look, I'm cool with band launches and pictures and beads and boots. And I will address it.

I'm also cool with having real conversations about the exclusivity of bands, parties, limes and fetes. And I will address it.

I'm also down with talking about the obesity rate per the Center of Disease Control (CDC) of the United States and globally and that impact on carnival costumes, etc.,.  And I will address it.

I'm also cool with talking about real life issues that impact your carnival experience and that is why I'm here. 

I do things a little bit tongue-in-cheek at time and try to add some humor to the things that I write, but lets keep it 100!! 

Carnival is big business and carnival is grown folk business. There are kiddie carnivals here and there but those are also run by adults. And as adults we have to have real issues address and here at TriniJungleJuice is where we address those issue while making sure that you can continue to enjoy carnival at not only its highest levels but enjoy it for all the levels which is provides access.   At TriniJungleJuice every new employee is given the same line that I was given. We are all told, "If you are in this for the money, you are here for the wrong reason. We do this because we love carnival. If you love carnival, we would love to have you and your love for carnival will allow you to make money along the way." And no truer words were ever spoken. I am writing this and you reading it and I am ALLOWED to write it because of a love that I have and you have for carnival.   So I thank you, as always, for reading it and I'm looking forward to sharing parts 2 through 6 with you of this series: "When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete"

When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 2 - Married With Children
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 3 - Single Parent Problems
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 4 - The Financial Hurdle
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 5 - The Scheduling Hurdle (work and responsibilities)
When Real Life Gets In The Way Of The Fete Part 6 - Bringing It All Together (input from the facebook posts)


Peace and blessings.


Please, once again, govern yourselves accordingly.

Blessings From Here To There,

Rhadi Ferguson, PhD
"The Carnival Doctor"

P.S. For the best information in the world concerning carnivals please visit www.TriniJungleJuice.com  For the most comprehensive site available for fete tickets and masquerader costumes, please visit www.MyCarnivalBands.com

P.P.S. For more information on how to properly prepare for carnival like a true veteran, please visit www.CarnivalPrep.com