10 Things I Don’t Say

I recently read an interesting blog article,

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You can find the original article here. I found it thought provoking, mainly because my own experience is much different from the author’s.

(Spoiler: It’s never crossed my mind to say (or think) most of these – fear of judgment or not.)

1. “Your words hurt.” I have never experienced a person saying something to me in regard to my single parent state that was intentionally mean or hurtful. I have been saddened and hurt by words, but the intention behind the words was never hurtful. Words that hurt, hurt because they touch an open wound. A “Daddy-Daughter Dance” is a lovely thing, but when your daughter doesn’t have a Daddy to attend with, those words hurt, even though the words themselves were never ever intended for that purpose.

2. “We will freak out if you ever refer to our kids as ‘baggage.’”   No one has ever referred to my children as “baggage.” Ever. People really say that to single parents?

However, I do agree with the dating piece of the author’s point, and I would/will say this. Don’t date me if you are unsure of the “whole kids thing. Just. Don’t.

3. “We’re not rich.” Ha! I doubt that anyone even assumes that we are. And I do not receive child support.

4. “There will always be some “drama” with our kid’s other parent, if they’re around.” My children’s other parent is not around, so our drama level is way low.

5. “We feel isolated and lonely.” This is a hard one. Yes, absolutely, Single Moms are in a world of their own. I agree that connecting with like moms, single or married is key. News flash, there are married  moms out there who feel isolated and lonely. I’m thankful to work in an office with my parents and brother; if I didn’t, I would definitely feel more isolated and lonelier. But, I also believe isolation and loneliness are situations that, under most circumstances, we can change. Conclusion: Occasionally, on a cold, dark night I have felt isolated and lonely, but in the warm light of day, it rarely crosses my mind.

6. “We worry constantly that we aren’t doing a good enough job.” Absolutely not. I don’t worry, and definitely not about this. The reason: I have Christ in my life and He loves my children even more than I do. How could I worry about my  job of raising them when I have the God of the Universe sticking it out and walking with me? I trust Him. Worry is futile.

7. “We aren’t very much fun.” Huh. How many married people with children are super fun? Really. Come on, be honest. By our mid-thirties we’re already falling asleep on the couch in the middle of our favorite show. We can’t go out for coffee because it keeps us awake and we can’t drink wine because it knocks us out. This is not a single parent thing. This is a parent thing. Kids wear us out and it doesn’t matter if there are 1 or 2 or 10 parents. You know it’s true. However, I’m definitely still fun.

8. “We don’t have a strong sense of ‘self'” Yes, I do. I’m a Mother. 😉  I think I covered this in my recent post 1%. Or 5.

9. “Long before our kids could understand adult conversation, we talked to them like they could.”  I have no idea if this is true. How would I? I have no way of knowing whether I would talk in the same manner to my children if I were still married or not. I’m kind of at a loss here.

10. “Someone complimenting our kid means the world to us.” Yes. Yes. And YES! Wait, doesn’t every  parent feel this way?

Yet, In all honestly, I think it does mean more to single parents. On this point, I agree whole-heartedly with the author of the article. I think #10 is a gauge with which we can measure how well things are going in #6 . When nice things are relayed to us about our children we get a sense that:

They really are turning out OK.

Being raised by only one parent isn’t scarring them for life.

They are well-adjusted and kind and happy.

joy l

I suppose every parenting journey, married, single or other, is unique. The paths of our lives rarely lead where we expected. I latch on to the joy that is found in the brief moments that build our days. Eventually, they will build a lifetime.

cwj 3Isn’t that exactly what this blog is all about?

I’ve been a single parent of four children for three & a half years.

 

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I Made My Bed Today and The Dawn of a New Era

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I made my bed today.

This is a big deal. I can’t remember the last time I made my bed – I don’t even do it when I change my sheets. I have entered the Dawn of a New Era. Today is significant because it is the first full week of my children being back in school. Not only that, but it is the first full week of my youngest child being in school for a full day.

Seven hours. I now have 7 whole hours a day of no child time.

No “Mom, can you get me something to eat.”

No “Mom, can you wipe my butt?”

No “Mom, can you put on this movie.”

Seven hours when I am no longer primarily Mother and Caretaker.

Summer was hard. Not hard as in miserable or horrible, but 97% of my time was spent picking up and dropping off kids, feeding and entertaining. That only leaves 3% of my time to: run my business, clean, work on the household projects or anything else. The weekend before the first day of school I slept seven hours worth of naps. Seriously. Summer was exhausting.

I’m not much one for making or following schedules but with the amount of work pilled up over the summer months I thought I should try it. I actually made a Monday through Friday Schedule of how to most effectively use my time – but I can’t find it now.

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Never-fear, I’m going to try to remember it, here goes:

Monday: Work in office, cook actual dinner for kids.

Tuesday: Clean house and work on home improvement projects.

Wednesday: More office work and writing.

Thursday: Volunteer and cook a real dinner again.

Friday: Be creative!

With my house a total wreck and home improvement projects piling up I’ve been stymied all summer in pursing the creative activities that I love – WRITING (Blogging world I’ve missed you), Quilting, Sewing, Crocheting, Painting, etc…) I was hindered from creating by vicious Guilt that bound me in dormancy by a dirty house and undone projects (that weren’t getting cleaned or completed anyway – but that’s what Guilt does).

No more! Dirt or no, HI projects will wait – on Fridays – I’m creating…something.

And it all started with me making my bed this morning. This is the dawn of a new era and I am so ready for it.

 

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Turn the “Light” On

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I admit, I felt a bit afraid during my recent getaway alone. I think I might try a Bed and Breakfast next time – just for the company at night!

Thoughts of fear translated themselves into an article titled, Turn “the Light” on When Fear Comes Calling. I write bi-weekly for Moms of Faith.

“Often, as I lay in bed waiting to sleep, I wonder if I remembered to lock the front door, and I ponder the responsibility that I have to protect my four children if anything were to happen while we slept.” – Me. 

Find this entire article here.

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Have a Plan Man, Er… Mom

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“…it can still feel like I’ve been punched in the gut when I know an event is occurring that my children cannot participate in because they do not have a father who lives locally.” – Me

There are some things that only single moms know. I’ve found having a plan helps A LOT.

I’ve written about it here for my bi-weekly post for Moms of Faith.

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Rest

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I’m a pretty quick learner – except when it comes to this topic.

I tend to push myself too hard for too long and I end up paying the consequences – usually a lower back that blows out, sub-par work, short-temperedness (this may be a made up word.) I don’t want any of these things in my life, yet all three of them are directly related to me not resting. Dang it. You’d think I’d learn.

I’m better than I was, but I need reminding – often. Maybe you need it too.

I’ve written about this topic on the site: Moms of Faith. Find it here. Take a Rest.

PS – You do not have to be a mom to visit. 🙂