For the most part, I don’t mind being a single parent. It is what it is. I remember when I was married with just one child, I befriended a single mom at work and I would listen to her go over her routines with her girls.
I remember staring at her in awe and asking her, “How do you do it?”
Her response is one that, over time, I have come to utter more than I would care to in response to those who ask me that same question.
“I do it because I have to.”
That phrase is so very true. I do all that I do, because I have to. There is no one to help me transport children to school. There is no one to pick up the kids if I’m running late. There is no one to help them with their homework because I’m not feeling well.
I do all the things I do because I have to.
Now, this does not mean that I can’t ask for help. I can. And I do.
But I can’t ask for help every day. It’s not fair to my friends who are working and caring for their own families, so therefore, the responsibility lies with me.
Like I mentioned earlier, for the most part I don’t mind. I’m used to it.
But there are days, like today for example, that I reach the end of my rope. My very dear friend told me to enjoy the breeze as I was swinging from that rope, but I was so stressed out over the children, their inability to hear me today or do what I asked them to do, that I couldn’t seem to function.
Today was the day that I wished more than anything that someone, anyone, would walk through the door and deal with the kids so that I could at least enjoy a small portion of my day in peace and quiet.
But even though I wished that would happen, I knew that it would not. I knew that I had to pull myself up by my bootstraps, feed the kids, get to soccer practice only to return home to get them showered and into bed.
And even though I wanted to crawl up in a ball and pull the covers up over my head, I knew that I couldn’t.
I don’t say all of this because I want to be seen as a martyr, because I don’t. I don’t want to be seen as invincible, because I’m not. It’s not my intent to make people think that I can do it all, because I can’t.
But I can do what I have to do. My children did not choose to have one parent. I owe it to them to keep going. I owe it to them to give them all that I can.
I owe it to them to do it not only because I have to, but because I want to. I want to show them that depsite the forces that are against you, you can get it all done. It’s something that they’ll need to know for school, for their jobs, for their relationships… They will have to do things because they have to.
I want to be a good example for them. Because one day? They are going to come to me and thank me.
But I’m pretty sure it won’t be today, or anytime soon for that matter, as they are grounded for not doing their chores the first five times I asked.