Props to you single parents

Props to you single parents

It's been a long time since I sat down at the computer and tried to formulate something to write about. As, any of you who follow me at all, know; most of the things I write about are personal experiences, things I think and feel. Tonight, I'm going to talk about single parents.

     In October, our family dynamic changed when Grattan went away for work. I was left to tend to our two kids, our border collie, and our house on my own. It seemed like a daunting task at first. I feared that I wouldn't be able to handle it, and that I would end up swallowed by the demands I needed to meet as a 'temporary single parent'.

     To my own surprise, my kids and I found our routine and our rhythm quite quickly! I had a cleaning schedule, a calendar on the fridge to keep track of appointments, hockey practices, and payment dates. We were getting by pretty good! Of course we were lonesome for the missing piece to our family puzzle, but video chat really is a fantastic thing. I was happy with how things were going, since I had prepared myself for the worst.

     As more time went on, and we started to miss Grattan more and more, I started to realize how tired I really was. I had a 6 month old, who was in sleep regression and decided sleep wasn't something he and I needed. I had a 5 year old who had to go to hockey practice, and then wanted a movie night with an awake and alert mommy. Things started to feel a little heavy. Then I realized I hadn't left my house to do anything social in weeks. I hadn't seen friends, unless they came to me, I was going to the bank, the grocery store, and home. I was becoming a bit of a shut in with the exception of errands. That worried me. With a history of depression, I know all too well how easy it is to slip into that comfortable state or doing nothing.

     I'm not saying I didn't have any help, because I did. My mother in law took the kids when she could, but she was taking a course all through the week, and I hated to take her weekends from her. I'm not one of those people to look for others to watch my kids, I'd rather just stay home, than ask someone for help. My dad had my oldest quite a bit, but she isn't much to take care of anyway, she's fiercely independent, (I have no idea where she gets that from........) but my dad isn't really able to watch my youngest as he is quite busy, and he requires a heck of a lot of attention! There were some days, where all I really wanted was 5 minutes to sit and just cry to myself. Not over anything in particular really, it was an abundance of things. I was alone, I was tired, I felt like I was failing my kids because I looked forward to bedtime some nights.

     Some nights I would be on the verge of tears, because our 5 year old thinks she's 15 and she has the attitude to prove it. Then the phone would ring and I'd see that it was Grattan. So, I'd gather my composure and answer the phone with the happiest of demeanor that I would muster. Because, I knew, as hard of a night as I was having, if he knew half of what I felt; he would end up feeling twice as bad because he wasn't home to help me.

     I had people at hockey tell me they didn't know how I did it, because I had a baby, and a little hockey player to get ready. But I didn't do that alone either. I had awesome friends who helped me through hockey season this year, and I don't think they know just how thankful I am for them!

     Basically what I'm saying now is, single parents, you guys get mad props ok? I have the utmost respect for you. You're out in the world and you're handling this stuff daily. I want you to take a look around and reflect on the people in your life that might help you out. Even if it's in the littlest way. I've had tears in my eyes because someone had offered to hold doors for me while my arms are full of diaper bags, purses, toys, and bottles. Appreciate those people. Appreciate the ones who make it possible for you to have a break, appreciate the small gestures you might not always recognize as helpful.

     I've gotten to know a lot about myself, and the kind of parent I am by being alone, and dealing with things solo. Grattan and I are still on this learning curve of a long distance relationship, and while it's not always easy, it's always going to be worth it.

     Be kind friends, and always keep an open mind to the hectic looking woman or man with a baby hanging from their hip. and a toddle clutched to their side. There could be so much more to that story! And as always, stay wandering.

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