Single parenting… sometimes it blows. Like really horrendously awful blows.
But the best thing I can suggest is to hook up with other single parents. No no not like that, (but ya’ know to each his own) I mean to connect and support each other. Help each other and share resources. It’s totally what saved me.
When you hang around other single parents you feel less of a pariah. You don’t feel like the odd man out all the time. Oh you don’t think that happens in this day and age? Yea, it does. It was always fun going to open house nights or special events alone. You either get a look of pity from the married Mothers or a look of “Stay away from my man, you whore”. Wah? Yes, seriously. Yea, “Mean Girls” exists in adults. Then it’s a lot of fun to stand in a group of parents and they all talk about their family vacations and date nights and silly little things “hubby” does. Gah, I hate that word. It made me sad, I admit. I didn’t sign up to be a single parent, I wanted the whole family I started with intact. Not so much that guy, but the thought of an involved loving husband and father seemed not so tiring. Now I kind of like being alone, but sometimes it still feels weird.
Men don’t give a shit, but women can be absolutely awful to each other. Ladies, let’s stop that. I don’t judge you if you’re a wealthy stay-at-home Mom with all school-aged kids who does nothing but plan her next family cruise and get her nails done during the day, do I? *ahem* Well, uh no I don’t. I only judge you when YOU tell ME how busy you are. Lady, you have no idea what busy is. Maybe I’m a little bitter on that one, but I’m getting over it. It’s like a person with a little cold telling a person with cancer how awful they feel. Jesus Christ, think first.
So, back to the support thing. Not only does it make you feel less alone, you can create a network of help with carpooling, babysitting, even meals if you need to. My single Mom friends were a Godsend both here in NY and when I lived in Denver. What the hell else was I going to do with 3 kids playing 3 different sports in 3 different places all at the same time? We traded rides. I felt bad, with my ex out of state and 3 kids, my giving rides to taking rides ratio was woefully lopsided. But I did what I could. I’ve always tried to make it right. Somehow.
We also traded babysitting when they were small. I’ll take your kids so you can go Christmas shopping, then you take mine. Please take these kids for a few hours while I have a real live man coming over, mama needs some love. heh heh Well, see my last blog… we all have needs!
And as I said even meals or well, companionship can be shared. My friends would get together with our kids at one Mom’s house and have dinner, and then another night at someone else’s. It was nice to send the kids all in the basement to play and we could sit and have some wine. Non-host Moms brought side dishes or booze. Everyone got fed and and we all helped with cleanup for a night. Those were some really great times. And the kids loved it too.
So I urge all you single parents to find each other. If you don’t know any, look online or ask around your kids school. Also carpooling doesn’t have to just be with other single parents, you can ask those nice married parents if they want to ride-share too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are not in this alone.