Monday, August 20, 2007

Single parenting

I now have a whole new appreciation for what single moms, make that single parents, do every day. I don't know how they manage. B's only been out of town since yesterday morning, and I'm already at my wit's end.

It's the little things that you don't think about that are the hardest. Like I need to get the oil changed in my car before our possibly canceled trip to the coast on Wednesday. But doing so means dragging all three kids to the dealership with me, which isn't high on my list of fun things. I bartered with a neighbor, and she watched the kids for an hour this morning so I could take the car to the dealership. Turns out there was a wait of more than an hour (they didn't tell me this until after I'd been there 20 minutes). I didn't want to make the neighbor stay at the house that long with six kids - her three, my three - so I left. But the oil still needs to be changed. I'm planning to go tomorrow morning when the shop opens and bribe the kids with promises of treats from the bakery if they behave. That'll work for the girls, but not for Campbell. It could be a difficult 30 minutes.

Or running - how do I get to go running? The girls are going to a party tomorrow morning from 9:30 until lunchtime. I suppose I could pop Campbell in the jogger while they're gone, but I don't relish the idea of running that late in the morning when it's nice and hot. But it's what I need to do if I'm going to get a run in.

And who relieves single parents when they're sick? I wound up with a killer migraine at about 11 this morning, so bad that I was nauseated for several hours. I packed the girls off to seperate rooms for quiet time and let the baby crawl around in the living room, destroying the newspaper while I rested on the sofa. The headache's mostly gone, but I still don't feel well, and it's still four hours until bedtime. How do I keep everyone entertained, especially since I don't feel well enough to load everyone in the car for a field trip to the bookstore or library?

These brief spells of single parenting make me so profoundly gratefull for B and everything he does around the house, even if I do grinch about how he doesn't take out the garbage. Having a partner in this adventure called parenting makes things so much easier. My hat is off to all those who are doing it on their own.

1 comment:

Barb said...

I think about this all the time. I'm not sure I could BE a single parent. Honestly, I really question whether I am up to the job. My husband is traveling a lot more than he used to so I'm doing more single parenting stints but if I had to do it on a permanent basis, I'd have to do something different than, say, turning on the television whenever the kids start fighting, right? (Just kidding! Sometimes I just yell at them!)

Anyway, I am profoundly grateful for my husband, not only because he does so much of the parenting work, but also because no other human, with the possible exception of my mother, wants to hear about the kids in such detail. It doubles the fun, you know, to be able to share it. I feel really blessed.

Barb

PS: I think this word verification thing is out to get me. You know how I can't type? I have to type lxtyfmma to publish this comment. Doesn't that seem excessive? I'm going to cut and paste.