You know what, a bit of sun always seems to make things seem better…easier…lighter.
Today’s blog is something that I would imagine has been blogged about many times, the triumphs and turbulence of being a single parent.
Some people would have read that line, rolled their eyes, and have now scrolled down to the next post on Twitter or what ever social media platform they have found this on. I doubt very much if any of those people are or have ever been a single parent.
Now, these are my personal thoughts of course, but I don’t think a person can truly appreciate the impact of being a single parent unless you have lived it. The same way I will never know what its like to travel the world or attending Uni in my late teens. But I think its important to try and understand.
Single parents get a rough deal I some ways. If you moan or complain about being a single mum, then you feel like you are letting the side down for all the single parents who are out there trying their best. But sometimes it gets exhausting, trying to be…everything and everyone.
Here is a example of a typical Saturday in my house. I have 3 children. I say children…my “Children” are 21, 19 and 9. One lives at Uni and two live at home. Anyway, my typical Saturday. Get up about 6:30 because even though it’s the weekend and all my children and snoring away, my body clock is mugging me off and waking me up at work time. I lay in bed for a bit, thinking about how much I deserve to lay here for a few hours after working hard all week.
This is another issue, some people, like me, are not just a single parent…I am a fulltime working (My main job and all my other projects I have going on) Parent. Full time working single parent. And I don’t drive.
Anyway, I am laying in bed thinking about how I should read a book and just lay there. Relaxing. But I have so much to do and I know that if I get up now I can get stuff done before the house becomes alive. See that’s another struggle for the single parent. Finding the correct balance between cleaning the house, work, study, me time, having fun with the kids, doing stuff you NEED to do with the kids and being healthy….
Anyway..where are we..oh yes, so I am laying in bed telling myself that I deserve to lay here. With the sun starting the blaze through the window. I shut my eyes for a moment, feeling myself drift off and then He starts. I can feel him standing by my bed staring at me, to see if my eyes flicker. He knows I have woken at some point (How I do not know) and now he wants my attention. I stay very still with my eyes closed tight. I then realise that I am staying too still and that He will know I am not sleeping. I sort of fake a sigh and roll over as you would if you were actually sleeping. I lay still for a second. Does he know that I am faking? I know decided that I really want to stay in bed and that all my work can wait. Please don’t let him start with me this morning. I feel him get on the bed. I hold my breath for a second. I can feel him staring at my eyes. He moves closer. I brace as I know what will happen next.
He starts eating my eye lashes.
Oh, did I not mention. Not only do I have 3 “Children” I have 2 cats. And a fish. And a hamster. The eyelash eating creature is Pumpkin, my year-old kitten. He is the grandson of my favourite Cat in the world Catty. But we will save that for another day. Pumpkin was born in this house. He does not know he is a cat. He thinks he is one of my children. And he wants his breakfast….now.
“Fine” I shout. “FIIIIINNNNEEE”. I slam downstairs and fed the cats. I have my breakfast of apples and grapes. Can’t eat milk. Upsets my IBS. The doctor thinks my IBS is caused by stress…can’t think where he got that from!!
Anyway/ the next few hours consists of washing, drying, tiding up, toys away…blah blah blah. By 9:30 I have put a curry on in the slow cooker. By 11 I have cut the front lawn, cut the bushes and am now about the start the back garden….at 12: 16 I am hammering nails into my fence as it keeps wiggling like it will fall dows….at 1:46 I am discussing with my 9 year old to play in the garden…at 2:40 me and said child run through the very long list of things we do to keep our self-safe (Not talking to strangers, online safety, the pants talk) this is happening because she is now looking out of the front room window at the children plying in the street and I can sense the “Can I play out with them” question is coming. At 3:15 I take lots of toys into the back garden and am now playing some strange game with her (I am a waitress that only speaks French!! This is the only direction she gives me). I am doing this because I have had a mini breakdown in my head of the dangers of my 9-year-old playing out the front.
The cat catches a butterfly …and eats it…we have tears.
I fix the washing line whilst answering if butterflies cry.
Sit down and look at diary and wonder how I will fit everything in this week and pick up my daughter everyday from school. My son (Who usually steps in and gets his sister from school if I am stuck) is going to spend a week with his girlfriend. Girlfriend!! I swear the last time I looked he was like 8.
I then look at my to-do list for the week coming. Slight anxiety attack and hide to-do list under the sofa. It will stay there until it can play nice!
Serve dinner. Obviously my 9-year-old does not like THIS curry. The same curry I have cooked since she was born. Of course, she does not want it. I cook a separate dinner for her. Midway through her eating dinner the ice cream man comes. He is early..and I promised Ice cream about 6 hours ago if she did her homework. I go out and ask Lee (My ice cream man) where the hell he has been. I have my hands on my hips and everything. I have my pyjamas on. Lee, luckily, is used to this hot mess as he has been my ice cream man for some time. “Eating dinner is she” he asks with a sorry face. I say nothing. He gives me a pepper pig ice cream (the kind I can stick in the freezer until afffffter she has had dinner) and I pay and walk away. He says, “Cheer up Kendra” and drives away. I keep walking. Look in the mirror as I come back through the door and see that I have grease from fixing the fence earlier across my forehead ….Wonderful.
Bath time, bathroom destroyed. The son comes back…a little drunk…been watching the football and drinking in the beer garden ( I know not of this life) . He eats lots of curry and the says he has eaten too much. I tell him that there is cake and cream. He says no he will be ill. I count to 40 in my head and he sits down opposite to me with a giant piece of cake and cream. I tell him he will feel sick and he ignores me. He eats all of it. Looks up from his phone and tells me he feels really sick. I just look at him. He says that he must go to bed because he feels unwell. I shake my head.
My other son texts me to say that he has not slept for 36 hours at Uni because he is trying to get a Uni work done. I tell him that I am watching toy story 3 and he says, “What again”. My 9-year-old put toy story on but left 10 minutes in. I am now watching alone (Like I aint got so much stuff to do) and its at the part where they all think they are going to die and hold hands. Its all too much for me and I turn that straight off.
Get the to-do list back out. Its just as bad as before. Text the baby farther to see if he can help out. He tells me that he is sticking to the set schedule (There is no schedule) and he will not be baby sitting for me. While I work. To support our child.
I go to bed exhausted. When I get into bed I find 7 “Little pet shop” toys, 1 Squishy and a glittery lip gloss. All my daughters (I keep the lip gloss…finders keepers and all that)
I check my emails…in bed…oh my, I have so much to do tomorrow. I close my eyes. The hamster starts running around on his bloody wheel.
Anyway, if you have read all that you will see that its quite full on being a parent let alone a single parent. I do have to be mum and dad. Some single parents don’t, but in my case, I do. I have to be a voice of reason, put boundaries in place, fix the house, do the gardening, make sure all 3 are ok no matter how far away.
Someday I kill the game and I cook a roast dinner whilst spending times with the kids and getting all my emails answered, Some days I am so busy that I don’t have time for lunch and wear odd shoes to work (True story)
But you know what, I try my best. 247. If any parent tries their best and puts their child first, then things will be ok.
I have heard things like gang members are caused by single parent households or that children from single parent houses are disadvantaged in life. All waffle. Some kids from single parent house holds are involved in gangs. Some kids from single parent households are disadvantage in life. Just as the same can be said for kids coming from 2 parent household. Things are said about single parents having no control over their children and that they are the reason we have so many youths on the streets. Not true.
Single parents, as I have just shown you, have a hard enough deal as it is and most, I doubt, actively wanted to raise their child in a single parent house hold. Life is life and things happen. So, get off our backs, the parents who are trying so hard to be the best parent that they can, and come with actual evidence. Single parents can be a great role model for their children, showing them that no matter how hard life can be you have to keep trying, to keep growing.
Now, I am off to plant some flowers, start a roast and speak to my 9-year-old about the importance of not eating ice cream for breakfast.
Peace out cub scouts.