Thursday, May 26, 2011

Single Mothers Have Gills

"I feel like I can't keep my head above water right now. I'm so overwhelmed, I can't get a breath." "Your breath will come. Don't worry. You're a single mother. You have fucking gills." -The Roomie

I just want to take a moment to rant a bit about.....everything. Before I begin this rant, I want to put a disclaimer out that I love my children. I love being a mother, and most of the time, I am pretty damn good at it. I would not trade my kids for all the stars in the sky, all the tea in China or anything else in the world. This is not about how much I love them, this about me being human, and having limits.

I am a single mother. Everyone knows that. I have been a single mother pretty much ever since I had Tiny, because The Jedi's dad was kind of always useless from the moment we found out I was expecting. So, Tiny being almost 8, that means for 8 years I have been raising kids by myself. Take a moment and try to wrap your head around that. 8 years. Being a single mom is hard. It is hard in ways I never imagined it could be hard. It's hard to the point that I sometimes believe it might be completely impossible to do it and come out even moderately sane.

Everything is on you. Everything. If I don't go to the grocery store on time, and get enough food for the week, we don't have dinner and we're left with mac and cheese or take out which I cannot afford and makes me feel like a shitty mom for feeding my kids CRAP. If I don't do the laundry, we all smell like dirty clothes and feet. If I don't make enough money for all 3 of us to survive, we live without something, like power or, oh I don't know, a HOUSE. If I don't wake up on time in the morning we're ALL late for school, preschool, work, etc. If I don't clean the house looks like a crack den. And the list goes on. Baths, bedtime stories, teeth brushing, pajama putting on, room organizing, question answering, playtime, homework help, it NEVER ENDS.

You are completely alone in your life of craziness. Not only is there no one else to pick up the slack or help out if you get sick or take on just some of the responsibility, but you drive around all day and have no one to talk to. I mean you have friends, sure, but no one to talk to about the daily life stuff. What will we have for dinner, what should we do with the kids this weekend, can you pick up some wine and sour cream at the store? Nope. You have those conversations by yourself.

At the end of the day, it's just you. For those of you that have kids, do you know those days where everything just goes so fucking wrong, it's almost retarded, and the kids won't stop crying and asking for stuff, and you're bone tired, and you can't catch a break, and all you want is to put the kids to bed so you can have some peace and quiet? Yeah, I have those too. But then you put the kids to bed, flop on the couch, and you're alone. No one to flop down with and sigh, and say "Oh my God, what a day. What do you wanna watch on T.V.?" No one to look over at and laugh with because neither of you can believe you survived the day, or cry to because you're overwhelmed and exhausted and all you want is a bath, some Starbucks and a freaking hug. You can call a friend on the phone, sure, but most of them don't get it. They either don't have kids or they have a husband or wife so they will never understand the overwhelming isolation that can come from doing this all by yourself.

And sometimes all you want is to have someone to call who gets it who will say "Awwww honey, I'm so sorry. I totally understand. What do you want from Starbucks, I'm coming over!" And they come hug you, and listen to you, and dispense tissues like magic, and wait with you until you're laughing at how silly it all is, and you remember how blessed you are to have the kids you have, husband/partner/involved other parent or not.

I don't mean to whine, I don't. But this shit gets hard. It gets exhausting and sometimes all you want is for someone to come through, and listen and be there, and make you feel like you're not in it all alone. Like in some small way, you are part of a team. You're in this together. Maybe someday I will have that, or maybe I will live the next 15 years as a single parent, and if that happened, I know I'd survive. I think my friends would just see me cry a lot more than they would like to, and I might seem like a whiny little bitch more than I would like to, but that's life. You do what you gotta do to survive. And sometimes, that's calling a friend, and crying it out.

Thank you to my friends that always answer your phone, and come over with coffee and hugs and love whenever you can, and are always there when I feel like my head is being held under water. Thank you for being there when it sucks, and laughing with me when it's good, and never telling me "I told you so" or "You chose to have these kids, what do you expect?" and for never judging me at all. I love you all more than bacon.

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