Single Parenting Fails
This is my list of what I believe most of us single and even non single parents mess up. We can't all be perfect but we fake it until we make it. We just need to not get lost in the mistakes to were we loose sight of what our purpose really is. Being Mom. Being Dad.
12. I am ALWAYS late. Yeah, I know I was supposed to be there 15 minutes ago. It's not like I am purposefully trying to be late but when I have to get myself ready and the 3 amigos ready, as well, things come up. I wake up thinking every morning, this should be plenty of time to make it to work on time. Inevitably someone can't find a shoe, someone snuck candy in their bed and it is now melted in their hair, or someone has decided pants are no longer a requirement for everyday wear. I have 3 kids that I have to dress, feed, and drop off at daycare, yes there are days where I suck.
If we have to be at an event or dinner anywhere, we WILL be late. Take a brain train to the corner of fact and common sense and you'll know that children don't care about time or deadlines. I'm doing the flight of the bumble bee to make it on time to your picnic with three children in tow, if I'm late it's not out of disrespect, it's out of responsibility. The fact that I am willing to go through the headache of adding your thingy to my week should mean enough. Cut me some slack.
11. Drink alcohol on a weeknight. Yeah, it's a Wednesday, but you know what, one or two glasses won't send me into eternal damnation. Whether it's spiking my coke with rum or a beautiful glass of wine; if I need something to help me calmn my constant state of fight or flight mode, that has been functioning on high gear since 6:30 a.m., then that is exactly what I'm gonna do.
10. Said something along the lines of, "you guys are driving me crazy!" We all have that moment where we are staring at our child/ren after they have done something wrong and our eye actually starts twitching. And without another thought you unleash the statement, "I need a straight jacket because you're driving me insane!" Take a deep breathe and know that you are not alone. Dealing with every single problem they have, hearing your name called 20 to 30 times in an hour, sitting down only to have to get back up and down... and up and down...and up and down.It's enough for anyone to think of a mental hospital and being in a state of constant sedation, sound like an excellent vacation package. I would go happily while trying to bite my ear, wearing a helmet, and claiming that Harriet Tubman is my fairy god mother.
9. When your child throws a fit at the end of the day over something and giving in just so you don't lose your shit. Sure it's her third piece of candy but bedtime is in 30 minutes and you are fried like KFC chicken. So fuck it, give her the damn candy. At this point you are just trying to survive, like a marathon runner with your nipples taped and feet bleeding, you see the finish line and you do whatever it takes to get there.
8. I am too exhausted. I work, go to school full time, and take care of my lolly pop guild. It's a lot. And most days than not I am too tired to even check their homework or read with them. Simple things that I always did with them seem insurmountable. I wearingly look at their faces and promise to do it tomorrow. My eyes are heavy and all I can think about is sweat pants and my pillow.
7. Skip bath night because you are too exhausted to slump over a bathtub to wash them. Too tired to be bathed in their splashes which requires you to not only dry yourself off but the entire bathroom that was drenched in their attempt to recreate The Little Mermaid. (No Ariel, I don't want to be part of your world! )Why must I repeat myself every bath night, 'stay in the tub', 'sit down in the tub', 'keep the toys in the tub'. If I wanted to know what is was like to risk my life, I wouldn't choose to walk on a wet floor as my opportunity. If mommy is gonna go down saving you, it should be a better story than, "she was trying to get the kids out of the tub when she slipped on a puddle and broke her neck."
|'F' for Fantastic|
6. The monster under the bed is not as scary as mommy at 3 a.m. Your kid has a bad dream for the third time that night and you have to be up in 3 hours. There is no filter, there is no rationale, there is just you in the dark, exhausted, and on the verge of crazy. There is nothing left in you, so you send them to bed with the threat that the monster inside mommy is far more scarier than anything they could dream up.
5. Using your oldest like a back up parent. Asking your oldest to make breakfast and other small, yet, parental tasks that you should be doing but are cursed with only 2 arms and legs. Justifying it as character building and accepting the fact that you will be the cause of most of their therapy bills.
4. Doing laundry for them to have clothes for the next day. You go through your routine of bathing the kids, getting them in p.j.s, and go to set out clothes for school tomorrow and realize there are no clean pants for them to wear. In a frantic panic at 9:30 p.m. you gather just enough clothing for them to not be dressed like a hobo and start the washer machine saying a little prayer:
"Dear Lord, help me be able to stay up long enough to switch this load into the dryer so my kids can go to school in clothes instead of toga style bed sheets. I can't play the, 'we are Greek and celebrating our heritage,' card more than once a school year."
3. Fast food has become our grocery shopping. I was so good at planning meals and budgeting out groceries, but since becoming a single mom that has been shot to shit. I get off work and literally dread going home to cook. I don't find cooking enjoyable or therapeutic and when getting done with my day the last thing I want to do is stare at a pan for an hour. Even when I do put on my wonder woman pants and commit to cooking, I burn the dinner to a slight charcoal seasoning. EVERY. TIME. It's like a law of physics in my house. If I start cooking, my children automatically start fighting or needing my attention, or (I'll be honest) I get distracted by Dr. Phil, and I loose track of the temperature of my hot mess in the pan.
2. Potty mouth. I don't believe in swearing. I believe that as an educated person I have a far more extensive vocabulary to express myself. However, catch me on a Thursday night after working, the house looks like something out of little shop of horrors, when I receive an email that my final paper was sent back, and the 'F' word all the sudden is being used as if it were intended to be a noun, pronoun, verb, and adjective.
1. I lose my shit on my kids. This is not a proud nor funny moment for me. I let the stress of my situation and the anxiety of the day get to me and I unleash my temperament on my babies. They are underserving. After I spew my unwarranted venom on them, I hear my thoughts screaming at me and curl my babies up in my arms. Every time, crying and begging them to forgive me. The words I say will be their internal voice and it should be of encouragement not of misplaced blame. I hang my head in shame for that fail.
We all have our short comings as parents. If you are shaking your head no, you are lying to yourself, and that doesn't help anybody. Grow up and come to terms that we all mess up. If you're a single mom you have twice the responsibility which means twice the chance to fuck shit up. We all have been there. We all have our "I suck days". The important and healthy thing is to remember we all mess up but we can all improve and strive to do better. If that fails, there is always family therapy. (I am laughing on the outside, but I know it's going to be needed on the inside.)