Friday, November 14, 2014

Single Parents Have My Utmost Respect

"And there are new downloads for Mario Kart, and I can't wait to get them, they seem so, so cool!" Tommy

"I just don't understand why Stampy Cat won't come to my world!" Natalie


Picture the above. Both said at once to me. I didn't know who to look at. Who to focus on. The first one who spoke? But really, they both started at the same time. The oldest? But then that wouldn't be fair to Natalie.


"There should be a Link. I like Link. Did you play Zelda when you were a kid?" Tommy

"One of my sheep died. I'm going to make him a dead sign." Natalie


Again. Said at the same time.


It's tough parenting alone when Tom is gone. They only come to me with stuff.

Another thing that can be difficult to balance? Making pancakes. It sound silly, I know, but Tom usually makes the pancakes and I usually deal with the sausage and the bacon. Now I have to do it on my own. I was busy messing with the bacon and Natalie was like, "Neat! The pancakes have SMOKE!"

Bedtime can be fun. Tom usually carries Natalie upstairs on his shoulders. I can't do that. I've tried. I fall over. Every night since Tom left, Natalie is like, "I miss my Daddy playing horsie with me." (That's what she calls riding on his shoulders.) She tells me, "You just pick me up and set me in the bathroom. It's just not as fun."


"I'll try the soup you're going to make, but I might gag." Tommy

"Watch me do a cartwheel with one hand! I can do it!" Natalie


Same time.


"You're not looking at me!" Natalie

"If I gag and then throw up, I'll try to do it in the toilet." Tommy


Then there's the fighting. It's usually over the iPad mini. We only have one. Tommy has an iPod Touch, but he wants to play Minecraft on the iPad Mini. So does Natalie. So it's arguing.

"You've been on enough! My turn." Tommy

"I just got on! Go away." Natalie

"MOM!" Tommy

"MOM!" Natalie

Sometimes it's just because Natalie has gotten too close to Tommy.

"Move over. I can smell you." Tommy

"I smell like cherries. I put on cherry lip gloss." Natalie

"Get away." Tommy

"MOM! Tommy is being ruuuu-dddee." Natalie

To which I say, "Guys? Stop acting like Congress. Stop fighting over ridiculous things. Work together. Make our country a better one."

"What's a Congress?" Natalie


Sometimes I overstuff the trash, and I can't lift it in the bin. Tom has the biceps. I have the proof that I have no self-control when it comes to sweets in my arms. So I grunt and I grunt and sometimes I manage to get it in, other times I have to drag it by the trash can which I imagine is annoying to the trash people.


"How old were you when you got your Nintendo 64? I know you told me, but I forgot." Tommy

"Can you play Barbies with me?" Natalie


Same time.


I think, this is hard, but it's temporary. Single parents do it all themselves. I remind myself of this when I worry I won't be able to do it. I think, they do it, they do it all the time, every day. If they can do it, I can do it.


"I think I feel a mustache forming. It's not just peach fuzz. It's something." Tommy

"Can we get a puppy? I'll take care of it! I'll name it Princess!" Natalie


Same time.


Deep breaths.


If they can do it, I can do it.





34 comments:

  1. I am laughing so hard I am CRYING! "If I gag and throw up I will try to make it to the toilet". OMG...this is just so funny and so real. That's how it always happens. Everyone wants your attention, or nobody does! It never fails! Single parents are amazing. I don't know how they do it day after day... forever. Cheers to them and to you!! --Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is hard, but I manage one day at a time. Sometimes I wish I had someone to help with the day to day crap, but then I think of my ex's and change my mind :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a gager as well... Moose gags on potatoes every single time and I swear it is just in spite of me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You can do it!! I agree though. I've always been blown away by single parents. How the hell do they do it?! I couldn't imagine having to earn a pay check AND be the only one handling the kids.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hang in there - you are dong an incredible job and need all the sweets you want just to have enough energy to make it through each day.
    Every time Chris is gone I think the exact same thing - temporary single parenting is rough I could never do it full time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I know you mean well with this post, I do, but I think we need to be careful when writing these posts about a group of people to which we don't belong. Just as we military spouses bristle when civilians dare to claim that their spouse's business trip is similar to our spouse's military deployment..... or when a non-parent claims their puppy is similar to our fussy baby... we have to be careful not to trivialize their struggles. And unfortunately I think that's what has happened with this piece. I know you are trying to relate, but the situations here are mere parenting annoyances that honestly have little to do with being a single parent and more to do with, well, just being solo for a bit. None of these touch on the reality of life as a single parent -- and while our lives as milspouses is a hard one, and solo parenting during TDYs and deployments is insanely trying, it is not the same as single parenting. At all. And I would caution any of us from claiming to "get it". When our spouses are deployed, we still have that emotional connection to them. We still have their income. We still have their health insurance. We still have that hope that they will return to us (even if it's mixed with the fear that they won't). For the single parent, their struggle is dealing with all the little annoyances you describe here, in addition to all the huge heavy burdens of being a sole provider and caretaker for their kids. I know you meant well, but please understand that in the good intentions, the words here could be quite hurtful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Vanessa should really try to get that bug OUT of her ass! Live and let live....and stop judging! This post is the post of most wives when their husbands are gone and they're raising the kids alone. Whether it's a training exercise or a deployment, when you're alone it's tough. 'Nuff said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad others understood what I was trying to convey.

      Delete
  8. I read Vanessa's comment, and we are all entitled to our own opinion, but I just thought "Huh?" I thought your post was funny, and expressed so well what we've all felt at one time or another. My hubby traveled a lot for work when my boys were little, and it was so hard some days. My mother in law raised her five kids on her own, and I wonder how she did it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! And yikes 5 kids alone?! I can't even imagine...

      Delete
  9. Ignore the haters.

    I'm in awe of women who are pregnant and deal with a toddler...after surviving my first pregnancy with only myself and hubs to take care of, I cannot fathom being pregnant again AND having a kid AND a husband. Hats off to all of you who have managed!! And single parents? I. Would. Die. Nothing but love for people who have to do that job alone!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh wow! Excited to come back to the blogging world this week after my short break - and of course, had to come visit you. Interested to see there's a little bit of relatively respectful opinion-clashing going on! You know your blog is big when.... :)

    So I was raised by a single mother. We were broke as hell, but she got us insured through the state, and set up with public aid for food. We even had one Christmas where we were the recipients of the Angel Tree - two huge dudes came to our door holding bags full of toys, it was awesome. My mom struggled, and scraped, and tore through her life. She is the strongest woman I know.

    And let me tell you something, when I was alone, in Germany, while Aaron was deployed for a year, and then again for another year, I was finally able to understand just how much she sacrificed. The military paid for my healthcare, just as the state paid for my healthcare when my single mom raised me. The military paid for my housing, just as the state paid for my housing when my single mom raised me. The differences are there, but to contrast Vanessa's comment, I beleive they run parallel to each other.

    Is it truly better to be alone, but married? I don't think so. My marriage went to hell in a handbag, year after year. My mom didn't have a relationship to worry about, or a man to cater to. She had her job, her kids, a life she created within her own control, immune from random deployments, or fears of infidelity, or having to live surrounded by other single moms who chose to parent like complete idiots and drive you insane.

    I think there are plenty of reasons to empathize with single moms when you're the mother of a soldier's children. That is exactly what you are - and my heart and prayers are reaching out to you across the miles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for you note. I really enjoyed reading you perspective of things!

      Delete
  11. Hmm.. you have arrived, my dear friend!
    I don't claim to "get it" because none of us get what other people experience, but Tom being away, yes, that does give you a taste of single parenting. A long taste. A much longer taste than I get because I only get bits and piece of Cassidy going away for weekends or weeks only a few times a year, and I still find it very challenging.

    Parenting is challenging.

    And this is a very real and beautiful post. And I again wish I could come over and make it easier. Stupid distance.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're doing awesome! I love following you on instagram and on here. Your kids have the coolest mom ever, and you are totally rocking this "solo parenting" gig. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sometimes one parent must go away to see how much he's/she's needed around the house! I remember hearing parents once say that once the kids outnumber the parents, it gets MUCH harder. This is proof of that! Sounds like you're doing a great job in his absence, though.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm not going to even pretend parenting alone is easy, I know that's not the case.
    My husband hasn't been in for sometime, but when he was in, it was tough. I remember thinking the same, single parents do this all the time. I would tell myself to toughen up, but it's hard, I would cry. You have so much to worry about. I wanted to be everything Mommy & Daddy, but mostly Mommy. When my husband was in the Army, we didn't have three kids, nor two, just one. I give you all the kudos and love in the world, you totally have this, mama.
    XOXO

    ReplyDelete
  15. Boy do I feel you on this one. Granted... mine isn't old enough to talk yet.. she is into EVERYTHING. It is hard not having a break to do much of anything. But that last line.. my mantra. LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I admire good parents, in general. I am CFBC, but married a man with kids. They live in another state and I see them for just weeks at a time and at the end I am a physical, emotional mess. It is exhausting. All I can do is thank people like you who actually care how you're raising your kids.It gives us hope that future generations might just care, too.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ugh, I hear you. I always remind myself I am not the only one contributing financially and I at least don't have to worry about dating, so this occasionally parenting solo should be easy, right? Right???? (I say during a 7 month deployment while my oldest boy goes through puberty...sigh)
    It's the dating thing that helps me put it in perspective, because Tinder? I don't even want to know what that it! :P

    ReplyDelete
  18. A congress is a group of monkeys. True story.

    And you CAN do it. Lord knows, if I could do it for 10 years, you can too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Move over I can smell you" funny! Think I've said that to my husband. Also, parenting alone, no matter what the reason, is hard. You have to laugh alot or you couldn't survive it. I was a single parent for a few years before I remarried and can totally relate to what you're saying. Different circumstances - single vs. husband deployed - but, alone is alone.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It'll be wine o'clock at your house soon!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hope things get easier! It's definitely not easing managing ones child when the other parent isn't presently there. My son's father and I are divorced and I know it's still hard for him even years later but mostly because we just don't get along very well or communicate effectively. Hope you're doing well and stay firm! :) Have a great one Amber! -Iva

    ReplyDelete
  22. I feel a mustache!! LOL. I don't have kids but I remember in junior high - and sometimes even high school when they boys started growing facial hair. Some of them had enough to grow a mustache or beard but some of them had little thin patches sprinkled and I always thought it was funny that they REFUSED to shave it!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. THIS. times 3. and now a cat that follows me around too. and my phone that keeps chiming the text messages of my absent husband asking how things are going. Same Time.
    my mom was a single mom and I feel like I should just go out and buy her All The Things and send her to All The Calm Places.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think your post is as inoffensive as they come. I don't claim to be a single parent, because I am not. But I do complain about *solo* parenting. My husband works odd shifts and is rarely home on weekends or evenings. The bulk of the day to day work falls to me. And sometimes it sucks and I complain. So what! I'm never gonna claim it's like deployment, and you're not trying to say you're a single parent. Some people need to take it easy!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your post made me laugh! But I lost my train of thought after reading the comments.

    I don't think your post was offensive. You aren't saying your situation is the same, but you're showing you get a small taste of it.

    I've never compared my husband traveling with what military wives go through, though I've learned that around here(military town), I can't even say "Such a pain that my husband is out of town for a soccer tournament this weekend." B/c I will get jumped on and hear "Try having him be gone for 6 months. Or a year. And you barely get to talk to him. And you don't know if he's going to come back alive." When I was never saying I had it like those wives do, I was just simply stating that I wish my husband was here(mostly so I didn't have to take one of our kids to a birthday party, which is my own personal hell).

    Anyway- I think it's sort of the same thing that happened with that comment. You were just simply saying what you were going through.

    ReplyDelete
  26. We are on month 7 of what was supposed to be a 6 month tour.. my temper is short, I am tired of the word "mom" 24/7- my boys (5, 3, 1) also simultaneously asking me for things... it is never easy. This deployment has definitely made me appreciate all the team work we have as a couple!

    ReplyDelete
  27. It definitely is a hard thing being a single parent - one of my best friends is one and she has to work so hard. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've never experienced being a single parent to two kids (I did it briefly with just my daughter) but I did take in my fiance's daughter for most of a year and did all the household duties while he was at work with the two girls. It's hard being the only parent, regardless of the reason why (single, deployment, business trip).

    ReplyDelete
  29. This post is amazing. First, it's well written. Like, REALLY well written. I LOVE that. And second, it's so relatable. I have definitely had my share of moments with 1 kid and gave a hats off to single parents. Being a parent can be so freaking challenging and the people that do it and kick ass everyday are the ones that really deserve support

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comment!

Share This

 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...