I’m annoyed. Actually, that’s probably not quite coming close to describing it. Figured I’d work through it here.
Why do people feel the need to judge or speak up and say something if they don’t have a damn clue as to what they’re really talking about? Unless you walk in my shoes.. perhaps you should just keep those thoughts to yourself. I’m not perfect. I recognize and admit that 100 percent of the time. I reserve the right to get smarter. And typically – I do. When I make a mistake, I learn from it.
The hardest job I have, is to be a parent. And to be honest, there are things I do well, and things I don’t do as well. I know where my shortcomings lie… hell, they became more apparent to me when I became a single parent. There is a hell of a lot of WORK involved. There’s a lot of joy too. I love my kids. I’d do anything for them. That doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes frustrate the hell out of me though. I’d say that’s allowed.
I have my children on a 50/50 time schedule with the ex husband. He loves his kids, and while he may occasionally make a decision that I wouldn’t, and I may not support his methods of handling his anger – he’s a pretty dang good father to them. I’m happy that he puts the efforts he does.
Being a single mom is strange.
The times I don’t have my kids, I spend either catching up on chores and doing the things I don’t enjoy doing with my 3 year old (grocery shopping and laundry are my big ones), or working late, or trying to have a love life, or spending time with friends. And the thing about being a parent, it makes you more flexible than you ever were before. Last weekend was supposed to be a kid-free weekend. The ex had an event that he needed to attend with his girlfriend, so I took the kids for 1 of the weekend days/nights so they could do that. This weekend was my kid weekend, and had an thanksgiving dinner to attend at the bestie’s house, so the ex took my little one so that I could attend, as it was a kid-free kind of party. Things always even out. And ultimately, either way, my kids are surrounded by those who love them. With the coming vacation, I feel a little guilty to be going away for the time I’ll be away. But it always balances out.
People who don’t have kids, are often jumping in with their thoughts and opinions on how kids should be raised, or how parents should act or feel about their kids. I’ve had a few single friends go on and on for a lengthy conversation where they bash people who have children, then realize their error and quickly back peddle to make me an exception. Most of the time, I let it all roll off my back. They don’t get it. No matter how much they protest or debate, even if they have good intentions; They won’t understand until they become parents themselves. And even then, every child is a little different.
So to those who think they know.. tell me this… Can you relate to following situations? No? Then shut the hell up.
1. My kids have all been early risers, they awaken with the sun and immediately want potty, juice, cereal, cartoons, “Mommy read a book”, “Mommy can you check for monsters under the bed or in the closet.” There is no sleeping in. Ever. BUT, most mornings include early morning snuggles. My kids and I have seen many a pretty sunrise, and have been the first to experience a freshly fallen snow.
2. Getting ready to leave in the morning involves soooo much. Not only do I have to get myself ready and presentable…. but I also have to negotiate with my toddler… potty, pull up, that gets only pulled up part of the way because the little man has to do it by himself. Which results in me chasing him downstairs as I try and get close enough to pull them up and adjust them so they fit right., pants…”No, I want batman pants.” Shirt. Experience meltdown if you can’t find the green robot shirt. Socks – get kicked a few times, distract with dinosaur toy and a silly dance – yay. one sock down – Take another 5 minutes to get the second sock on. Find shoes. Can’t find second shoe. Look frantically for 10 minutes to discover it lodged between a couch cushion. Get breakfast in front of toddler while I go check on preteen to make sure she’s ready to go. Discover she’s still in pj’s, looking like she just got up. Nag her to pick up the pace while I spend a few minutes trying to find the red cup because the blue one is suddenly not ok to use. Have to check on the preteen again to remind her NOT to use my hairclips without asking me first, and to put layers on as it’s cold and , hmm I think there’s a boy she’s interested in since she’s trying to let her go to school in a pretty summer dress, when it’s 30 degrees outside.
Go to work. put in a full, exhausting day.
Come home. Check homework. Help with any projects, get the skinny on what’s going on in the life of my preteen. Get a load of laundry in, sweep the kitchen floor. Sometimes I’ll cook dinner, sometimes, I’ll be tired, and will order something. Sneak in a snuggle with the toddler. End up giggling running around the house. Phone rings, try and talk to the person on the other line without exposing them to the loudness that is your home. One or both children will interrupt every 2-3 minutes. Get dinner served. Depending on what it is, and toddlers mood, may or may not be cleaning up dinner from floor. Or tray, or hair. We sit at the table, so I get to hear about everyone’s day, share snippets from my own. (I love this part of my day)
Depending on the time, my energy level or the mess… I spend the remainder of the time before they go to bed either reading books with them, playing a game with them, snuggling and watching curious George or Mulan, The preteen is into her phone right now, so we found a mobile game we could play together that doesn’t require a TON of attention to play. If there’s a big mess, I may set them down to watch a movie so I can do dishes or get another load of laundry in. Clean a bathroom, or unpack a box. If I’m really lucky, I may get the chance to pay a bill, or return an email.
Bedtime arrives. Sometimes it is fine, easy as pie, and sometimes, it takes extra hugs, or a stern reminder that perhaps not everyone in the house WANTS to give EVERY stuffed toy a hug AND a kiss and convince the toddler that perhaps the toys only needed a hug from him anyway. After many hugs and kisses, and I love you’s all around, my kids drift off to dreamland.
Sometimes, I do laundry, sometimes, I read, or watch a movie, sometimes, I’ll play a game. And sometimes, I look at it all and say F THAT and go pass out.
So you see, my house gets cleaned in odd spurts, and rarely all at once. I may get frazzled when I’ve spent the day cleaning and re-cleaning the same area 3 times or hearing the same songs in the car on repeat for 40 minute trips. I look at the way the other two children I raised have so far, turned out… I remember that the early years are a messy time. It gets better. So what if the living room couch has no cushions on it because there is a fort built out of them?
I don’t like to be judged. I spend time with my kids. I make time with them. When they aren’t in my care, I make time for everything else. Sometimes it’s a juggle. Sometimes, things come up, but in the end, it all balances itself. Me taking a vacation will result in a more rested, happier mom. And with xmas season being here now, it means more family traditions and more quality time. Life balances things.
Ugh. Thanks for letting me vent Neverland. Love ya. Need to run as someone had a nightmare.