Monday, October 11, 2010

Top Ten Times When It's Not Fun to Be a Single Parent

Being a single parent isn't easy.  But sometimes it's more difficult than others.  So today I think I will list the times when I don't enjoy being a single mom.

1.  When a child pukes.  I have never been able to handle barf.  My ex was in charge of that.  Fortunately, as the kids get older, they do much better at throwing up only where they are supposed to.

2.  When my oldest son needed to learn to shave.  I have plenty of experience with shaving legs, but that wasn't good enough for my son, and he banished me from the bathroom.  Somehow, though, his sister's less extensive leg-shaving experience impressed him, and he let her come in and advise him...well, for a while.  Then he kicked her out and figured it out on his own.

3.  When two or more of my kids have different activities in different places at the exact same time.  My ex got the cloning machine in the divorce, apparently, because I haven't beeen able to find it since he left.  Oh wait.  I couldn't find it when he was here, either.

4.  When my daughter wants to learn to drive.  I haven't tackled this one yet, but since she turned 16 this summer, it is coming.  I wonder how much longer I will be able to stay too busy to take her to get her permit? 

5.  When I have an opportunity to do something out of town without my kids.  Until recently, those opportunities have been a nightmare of trying to find babysitting, but lately, I have been blessed by ex-in-laws who are willing to have my four kids come stay with them for a few days or even a week at a time.

6.  When my teenaged son acts like, well, a teenaged boy.  It would be great not to have to remind my son that I am the alpha dog in the house.  For that matter, it would be nice not to be the alpha dog.

7.  When we attend family-style events.  This is especially true of homeschooling or church events, where most of the families attending are traditional two-parent families.  Even if dads aren't actually present, their presence is felt.  Moms tell their kids, "No, your dad wouldn't like you to do that," or "We have to hurry home to get dinner on the table before Dad arrives home."  I remember when I said those kinds of things.

8.  When we are at an event and it is time to leave.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to round up four very sociable kids on your own?  It's like herding cats!  I find three, realize one is missing, so the others go off to look for him, and then the missing child shows up with one of his siblings, but the other two are missing, and I don't want to send the two I have back out to hunt for those two....  Much easier with two parents!

9. When we go camping, although not so much on this one anymore.  But I have to admit, it's good to have friends camping nearby to help with minor glitches, like an awning that collapses in the night or the need to batten down the hatches for a storm.

10.  When it is late at night and all my kids are in bed and I am all alone.  It would be so nice to have an adult here to unwind with!

Honestly, though, I have been blessed with an amazing support group that makes being a single parent much easier than it could be.  God is good, and despite the minor inconveniences, He has made our family of five a joy!

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