In a small capacity, I have recently been humbled by experiencing life as a single parent. Minus the extra income and having to worry about daycare, I have seen what our life without a father and partner would look like. The number one word I would use to sum up this experience is EXHAUSTING. I love my children, but simplest things become a challenge, especially with a newborn; Grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, making supper, bedtime routines, socializing, taking time for oneself, finding constructive ways of dealing with anger all become more complicated and emotionally taxing.
I have so much respect for parents whom are raising their children on their own, for whatever reason. Taking the time to listen to your children is hard when all you feel like doing is locking yourself in the bathroom and crying. I’m sure it gets easier but in cases where parents have limited outside support, the wear and tear to the soul must be immense at times. I love being able to share my parenting joys and frustrations with my partner, and I love hearing his thoughts and feelings on what is happening in our family. In my partners absence, friends and family helped by filling in the gaps in order for me to stay a sane parent.
In my experience, one of the only things that got easier in being a pseudo single parent was the cleaning. It’s no secret that my partner is a clutter bug and in his time away I have found that my housework load decreased substantially. With that said, I would still much rather have his involvement in our family in exchange for a few more messes to clean (I do have my limits though).
To those who are parenting on their own, I pay homage to you! May you find the support you need to breath, the patience you need to listen, the money you need to eat and the time you need to sleep.
P.S. You can wear your baby doing many chores, but draw the line at mowing the lawn.
Parenthood has changed me. When I first envisioned being a mom, I had this picture in my head of what I would be like and how I would parent. I would share my love for creating things with my children in a light filled studio while listing to Nine Inch Nails or Johnny Cash. I would have the patience of a Kindergarten teacher and my children and I would have an amazing relationship free from discipline. HA! I neglected to take into account that once my first son was born I would loose myself in a sea of anxiety, worried every night that someone was breaking into our house to kidnap my son. I neglected to take into account that I would be the mom of a child who less than perfect, or factor in that I was less than perfect.
In the beginning, I was naive and idealistic, but life happened and I changed.
When most people become parents there is a natural adjustment to taking care of a little life, and as they become more independent we continue to adjust. For every milestone we celebrate, we pack five more into our mental archives until ages one, two and three become distant memories. I have begun this blog to chart some of our family’s moments, excitements, discoveries, struggles, and milestones that I feel are worth sharing. So here is where I begin.