Single Parent Life

“Don’t be ridiculous, Charlie, people love the parents who beat their kids in department stores. It’s the ones who just let their kids wreak havoc that everybody hates.” ~ Christopher Moore, A Dirty Job

The life of a single parent is hard.  It is damn hard.  There are many days when I wonder how I can possibly do it all – wake up, make her breakfast and a lunch to bring to school, race to get her to school, race to make it to work on time, race to pick her up from afterschool, bring her to her scheduled activities, go home and make dinner, spend time with her, do household chores, exercise – and still stay somewhat sane.

On Monday night, she asks me if I am going to her spring concert.  “Sure,” I said.  “When is it?”

“Tomorrow night,” she answers.

“What?!  Tomorrow night?  Why are you just telling me about it now?”

“I forgot,” she retorted.

I told her that because I was not given ample notice and that I already had other things planned for Tuesday evening, I would not be able to attend the spring concert but that I would still drive her to school so that she could perform.  She seemed content with that.

On Tuesday, I drove her to school in the evening and I picked her up after the concert.  I asked her how it went, and she said that it went fine.  She then mentioned to me how “Ally’s mom and JJ’s mom were there and they recorded me and told me how great I was.”  I told her that I would ask them for a copy.

When we got home, she asked, “What did you do the whole time during my concert?”

I told her that I had made dinner and some other household chores.  She said, “That’s it?”

I answered, “Yes, that’s it.”  I could tell she was angry that I did not attend her spring concert, but after all the prior weeks preparing for her Communion, I really was not in the proper frame of mind to attend her Spring Concert, especially considering that she had failed to mention it to me until the prior night.

She then blurted out, “I wish you were like other moms.”

I told her that I wished that I was like other moms, too, and that I wished I could get the help that they have — a husband or a family to help them with everything since I was alone and doing all the work of bringing home an income, making sure that she gets to/from school, eats three times a day, and has activities she can do to keep her mind and body busy.

Some days are just damn hard.  Yesterday was one of them.

4 thoughts on “Single Parent Life

  1. It's hard from a child's perspective, but I'm sure one day she'll appreciate everything you've done for her.And by the way, I love that opening quotation.

  2. Hi Nova Your previous post was delightful and congratulations to both of you. Notwithstanding all those single Mum sacrifices and hard slog such as preparing for her Communion, I think I can see how it does sound a bit weak to a child your reason given that you were not in the proper frame of mind to attend her Spring Concert. The fact she had failed to mention it to you until the prior night I gather may also have been a prime factor.We are all human and it’s easy for me to take an armchair view but I would suggest you say you were so sorry you missed it and although you were very tired next time “you can count on me not missing any important celebrations like this in the future.”Perhaps you could have gone on the basis there would be consequences such as a few more chores? for her? It’s okay to be tough to teach a lesson, but in this instance, annoying as it is, it is better to look for a compromise. Best wishes

  3. Thanks, Lindsay. We made up last night. I told her that I did not feel good missing her concert, but that I will resolve not to miss any more in the future, but that she does need to give me more notice as our schedules are so hectic already.

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