Single parenting, that is.
When I was in college, and in the years thereafter, I was firmly convinced I could have it all: I could be a mother and a professional (theatre professional, in that time period of my life – a backstage or stage manager professional, not an actress). Being that there is a shortage of, um, suitable men in the theatre industry, I just knew I could do “the turkey baster” thing and be a single mother. After all, my mother did it, and she did it well.
It is only now, that I am a mother myself, that my mother is telling me just how hard it was. And I keep apologizing, although it’s not my fault at all. Until I was 14. Then I’m sure it’s all my fault! (it is only now, being infertile, that I realize how rude “turkey baster” sounds. But, hey, I was young. And stupid).
But now I am older wiser, and I realize that single parenting must really be a nightmare. And people choose it willingly, which I really don’t understand.
Keith has been working crazy hours. Overnight hours. Alternating with daytime hours. So he’s either at work or asleep. Yes, we have had two wonderful family lunches in the past two weeks, and he did get an ice day on Tuesday of this week. But in general, I have been responsible for the entirety of Little Man’s life.
That means waking up (multiple times overnight, some nights), breakfast, lunch & dinner, bath time, bedtime, naptimes, entertainment times, reading times, fit-pitching times, crying times, happy times, you get the idea. All times.
And it is very. very. very. hard. I just want a break. I want to sit down and relax (like now, I hear some of you smarmily saying? well, he’s asleep). I want to not be hands-on responsible for this little life 24/7. I’d like to take a moment off, please. And because I don’t sleep well when Keith isn’t here (and for all of you wacko internet creeps I hear so much about, I have a gun, so don’t bother me), I am doubly exhausted.
I like my partnership with Keith. I like parenting with him, and not just in theory. I actually like when he is next to me and we are parenting our Little Man together. Maybe that’s part of it: we have a great marriage and we are figuring out how to be parents together.
But right now, while he’s out working really hard so I can be a SAHM, we’re not together.
I don’t know how single parents do it. Or military spouses, like my sister-in-law and my friend Heidi. So props to all of you single parents out there.
I’m not cut out for this.