Monday, April 2, 2012
I'm a single parent, not a superhero
I’m not gonna lie, single parenting is one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life. The worst part about it is that there is no end. When I wake up tomorrow, I will still be a single mom. I will still be the one making decisions in my kids lives in an effort to make them better individuals. I will still be the bad guy, when I want nothing more than to be the good guy and I will still be the one who has to break their heart when they don’t make the team.
Yeah, it’s not all butterflies and cupcakes.
Being a single parent is exhausting! And I’m not even talking about the mothering side of things. Nope, it’s the everyday mundane tasks that often become huge events in my house.
Take the task of telling your kids at 8:45pm that it is time to come inside for the evening, even though all of their friends still get to stay outside and play. Do you know why their friends get to say outside and play? They get to stay out and play, because they all come from dual parent homes and they have a parent that will still be awake when they are asked to come in at 10pm for the evening. Unfortunately, that is not how things work in my house. I’m a single mom who has to get up and go to work in the morning. Therefore, my kids will come in at 8:45 because it takes them at least an hour to stop copping an attitude because I made them come in earlier, shower, brush their teeth, and get their clothes out for the next day, before I need to be in bed. Yes, I did say “before I need to be in bed”.
Or what about the little task of shopping. No longer can I swing by the grocery store after a sweaty work out. Nope, now I have to have freshly washed and styled hair, wearing the coolest clothes with four inch trendy shoes just in case the man of my dreams accidentally bumps into me while we are testing the melons for ripeness in the fruit department. Ok, I know that this scenario doesn’t have anything to do with single parenting, but if I weren’t a single parent hoping to run into my Prince Charming every time I stepped out of my house, then I wouldn’t give a S&*# about what I looked like…but I digress.
How about being the mom that has to tell her kids that we can’t go on a vacation for Spring Break, because I have to work. I have to work in order to pay the bills and put food on the table. This last year I worked really hard to become debt free (except for my house and car) and building up the vacation fund has been a low priority. But 11 and 8 year olds don’t understand that.
I’m also that mom who only allows my kids to do one extracurricular activity at a time. Not because I don’t think they would love to do more or participate in every single sport known to man like some of their friends, but I have a job. I’m not a stay at home mom (not that I have an issue with that at all), I don’t have nannies or even an ex that can help me cart them around. I’m a single mom with a 9-5 job who struggles to get home and put dinner on the table every night at a reasonable hour.
And laundry…don’t get me started on that one. I CANNOT for the life of me, decrease the size of my laundry piles, no matter how hard I try.
This is what my laundry piles look like every day. I could do one or two loads of laundry a night and never ever get caught up. It’s never ending.
I know one day my kids will learn to appreciate all the things I do for them. And by “things I do for them” I mean, make them come in early, do chores without getting allowance, stay home for Spring Break and participate in one activity at a time. But until that day comes, I will continue to broaden my shoulders and take all of the grief that they may dish out about me not being able to do it all!