Most of the time , in fact almost all the time , I love that our family is just the kids and I. I like that I make the decisions. I like that I’m their ‘come to’ person. I absolutely try my best to be the best role model that I can be. As a single parent family , we work.
I’ve been a single parent for getting on towards a decade though in all honesty the elder kids dad wasn’t exactly hands on at any point so I do feel it’s been much longer.
I’ve done every nightmare , every tummy bug , every parents evening. People sometimes ask how I ‘cope’ with four children on my own and that always baffles me. I don’t ‘cope’ it’s no hardship to look after my own children.
I can say that now they are a bit older. When I had three children under three ,yes coping was involved , but it was always coping with no sleep , coping with not eating my dinner warm in 3 years ,coping with living in an abusive relationship.Never the kids,they were the fun bit! The smiles on even the darkest of days.
The day I left the abusive relationship,becoming a single parent and being fearful of that was something that never entered into my head.That was the positive of the whole decision.
Littlest girl is a different kettle of fish .Her daddy is hands on.He does have a say,however the fact that we aren’t in a relationship and though we live close by to one another don’t live together or any such thing ,this doesn’t impede on my little family dynamic. He has littlest girl 2/3 nights a week and would do anything she needed him to without question.
This last couple of weeks,I’m tired. Not ‘need an early night and 7 hours sleep ‘tired’ , but worn out tired.I’ve been really feeling like , for the very first time , it’s dawning on me that parenting is just not a one person job!! Important jobs never are ,are they? This is the most important job I have ever ever had.In the workplace no one would EVER let me make huge decisions alone or be on call all day everyday.Yet that’s what I’m expected to do here.
I feel like I’m in one of the nuclear Armageddon movies where half a dozen people need bits of the code to be able to press The Big Red Button to stop some megalomaniac madman having the power to blow up the world. However some fool has trusted me alone with it.I have all the responsibility. I’ve the opportunity to blow up the world single-handedly or mess up 4 little peoples worlds which is crazy.Who trusted me with this?
Of course usually there are back ups aren’t there?grandparents for example.I do not doubt if my parents were here (yep she’s pulling out the dead parents card) they’d be on hand absolutely to help. They’re not here though and so that’s one fall back plan gone.I’ve mentioned littlest girl’s daddy and yes he does help out from time to time,but I can’t rely on it. That’s what I’m missing ,someone to rely on.My sister is the one person in the universe I can rely on absolutely.If I still lived in the same city as her I have no doubts we’d be helping each other out. She’s 2 hours away though.I can’t ask her to do the school run from there unfortunately!
My elder children do have one set of grandparents though and I can’t fault their dedication.Though I’d never ask a favour from them,they are steadfast in having the children for a few days during school holidays.The kids love it and them and it’s been this way for years now.I feel incredibly guilty for how much I am looking forward to it this holidays. I feel even more guilty for hoping just one of these days will coincide with little one being at daddy’s and I can sneak a couple of hours where no one wants anything from me.
On the positive side,I rarely feel this way.I thrive on this noisy, crazy,busy house and the noisy , crazy people who fill it. I enjoy being on call at all times as in almost every instance I am needed I’m still able to help , to reassure and that won’t be the case forever.
I’m just rubbish at being tired.I am positive that a couple hours under my duvet with a book and a Twirl multipack and I’ll be fine.
It’s just not easy this parenting lark eh?
*fyi. .. .a Twirl multipack and crap TV did indeed do the trick and happy, positive mum was indeed back the very day!