Single parents deserve a medal and I truly believe that. Parenting is the hardest job out there, so most parents do deserve a medal but doing it alone is extraordinarily more difficult. Many days begin in a frustrated state because you need someone else to help you. Just one day. You need someone else to help with the dressing, the feeding, the answering 100 questions, changing the diapers, getting the shoes on, making the lunches, changing the sheets because someone couldn’t get up in the middle of the night or someone else peed through their diaper after they demanded three glasses of water before going to bed, getting them in the car, taking them to school, all completed before starting your work day and arriving at a reasonable time. Is anyone tired yet? You need two people.
"Yes," I tell my son's childcare worker "I am aware his shoes are on the wrong feet. He likes them that way, and I promise you I am not going to fight with him about that. And yes, his shirt may be on backward or his pants too big. I am happy and satisfied that we are all three arriving each day in one piece." I am a big believer in choosing my battles. The way my children look at daycare is NOT a battle I contend with.
How many people can empathize with me on this? Every morning I follow a similar routine of getting up, putting the kids in front of the television or on their iPads (judge away) so that I can have the half hour to jump in the shower and get cleaned up. After I get out of the shower I come to the table, get them breakfast and get them settled. (Thank God they can finally feed themselves. This is at least ten minutes of savings) I usually break up a fight or argument sometime during the morning (thankfully they are small enough that the blows are manageable). I listen to the oldest tattle on every single thing the youngest is doing, including coloring my tile floor with red crayons and shoving every possible toy he can find under our couch. I run back to my room to dry my hair. While I'm drying my hair, the boys come in and put their clothes on, (we are working on completing this independently right now but it’s slow moving). I walk out to the kitchen table to make sure they've eaten and have made a manageable mess. (Most of the time one has and one hasn't). I get on the other one to go back to the table while I do my make-up. Sometimes another fight ensues, sometimes they play great together and the morning is blissful. I get myself together and hope that there's no snot or milk on any other bodily fluid on my clothing, and hell with it if there is. No time to change. I grab their backpacks and pack my lunch, all the while hoping they're not tearing up the house or jumping from anything too high. (There is no time for broken bones) I tell them to go get in the car and it never fails. Every day when I'm ready to walk out of the door somebody needs something else. I think we are going to make good time but someone always has one last request. "I need to go find my toy. I need to take this today for this reason. I need to poop. I need Mickey." It never fails!
Where is the spouse or the other partner to help you battle the needs and wants? Break up the fight, split the morning demands?
If you are a parent, I commend you. If you are a single parent, regardless of the reason, pat yourself on the back or grab a drink and slam it down. You are doing one hell of a job.
Meet the Author (me)
Driven by a need to help others. I have known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do. This is my very real, somewhat sarcastic, look into my newfound widowhood. I hope this site will help you as much as it helps me.