parenting sure has its ups and downs. Sometimes it can lighten the
circumstance to understand that crazy days happen and it is normal.
After falling into bed in the wee hours of the morning, your alarm clock beckons you out of bed at about 5am to finish the load of white laundry you began the night before so that your kids actually have clean socks on their feet. (Clean socks are this mom's "job well done") You might manage to grab a super quick shower before the kids are up, then it's off to the races. One by one, you help dress, gather items and tie shoes. Meanwhile you've thrown your work clothes in the dryer for a quick press because, let's be real...who has time for what our Mother's called, an iron? Looking in the mirror with a half cracked grin at the validated effort of good make-up, good hair and an outfit that matches quite well, you suddenly become the target of the cutest little kiddo who has suddenly developed a sick tummy. With soiled clothes you begin to feel defeated but you don't have time for that so you choose to suck it up. This is NOT about you. This is about your precious little baby who doesn't feel good. Oh wait, she says she feels better now; just needed to throw up, or so you hope. If she's truly sick that means you have to explain yet again why you might be late or not show up at all to work that day.
On with plan B and a second place outfit you kind of like and with a quick retouch of the make-up you think, "it's okay, I can do this." You ARE super mom however, or at least that is what others tell you. You pile the kids in the car with boxes of cereal they can dry-munch on as you drive to daycare. Cheerios don't need milk to still be a nutritious breakfast right? Right! You are perfectly content in the nutrition you give your children because...well...they eat and that should count for an "A" for effort and to be truthful they probably eat way better than you do.
You get them all off to daycare and fight the feeling of guilt knowing they will be there for the next 10 hours. It's not ideal but what are you going to do, quit your job? Not an option. So it's off to work then with you. Breathe time. You turn on the radio to your favorite song and sing loudly to the lyrics as you rush down the road because, well, you are more than likely not going to be on time...again. You might as well be late and have enjoyed your song. The song ends *sigh* and you quickly begin thinking about all that you have to accomplish back at home. Dishes, vacuuming, cleaning that nice stain on your Plan A work outfit and let's not forget the messy kid's rooms that have been on your "to do" list, well probably since you had a list! You shake off those thoughts thinking there is nothing you can do about it and you are pulling into work anyhow.
You walk in the office totally wishing you had the money to buy a nice frothy coffee because that would surely be the highlight of your morning but you'll settle for your water bottle that really should be cleaned, but hey that will have to get in line with everything else. You plop into your chair ready to begin your day and are met with another "to do" list that is sure to suck all energy and brain functionality from you. You look to your right at the stacks of papers requiring your attention and realize that there is no power in the world that can stop those papers from piling. It's just another thing that won't wait for you to rest. This job is pretty great though and you feel blessed just to be able to provide for your family. As time passes you can hardly wait for the 5 O'clock hour where you can rush back to daycare and retrieve your awaiting children.
As you drive to daycare, the thought crosses your mind that if you just get the necessity items, a quick trip to the grocery store "kid-less" sounds like Utopia. Nope, you decide. They need you and so they'll get to go grocery shopping with you. You exchange the desire for some peaceful shopping for love and hugs you've been waiting for all day. You get to their center and wait for the "Mom's here!" excitement but are instead met with tired and exhausted kids. They give you a hug in respect of saying hello and you hold their hug as long as you can....until poof it's gone! Then it's off to the store, battles over wants and needs and explaining the difference and why you can't afford the bag of candy but the milk is no problem. You are tired. They are tired. You all just need to go home and relax.
You finally get home just to realize that the house smells terrible from the incident that morning. You quickly resolve the smell issue by starting yet another load of laundry. You make dinner with kids weaving in and out of you with questions and complaints that dinner is taking too long. You sit them down at the table, say a dinner prayer and then enjoy the quiet moments while you all fill your bellies. After dinner the bedtime routine is just as chaotic but not as rushed as in the morning. You split your time saying goodnight and kissing foreheads and eventually plop onto the couch and enjoy the still moments of the evening..."Moooooooooom"...well it lasted a little while.
This is an obvious interpretation of a possible day in a single parent home and even one I've known some to have, however not every day will look like this. There are so many positive moments in a single parent home but have you ever had a rough day and wanted that acknowledged as well as the good? In our social media society it is normal for us to hop onto Facebook and tell the world about our lives, kids and circumstances. When days are like this, it is cause for pause when doing things like updating a Facebook status. Do they really want to know how my day was? Posting a status like, "Was rockin, then moppin, then sobbin" really isn't something that people want to read. The stigma attached to a complaint-filled Facebook page causes us to only post the good and to only post the view that people want us to show. I for one know that after a long hard day, I sit with my hands on the keyboard wanting to update my friends and family of how I am but sometimes, it just isn't Facebook friendly. I choose to be silent instead.
Truth is that we are doing the best we can with what we have. You are probably doing a better job then you think...even when some days feel out of control and possibly negative. Like I say, being a parent is the best/worst job ever.
Follow Meg on Twitter