My Struggle With Being A Single Parent

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So it is safe to say I didn’t plan to be a single mom at the young age of 36.  I don’t think anyone sets out to be a single parent.  Being a parent is hard enough.  But at least when there are 2 parents in the home, you have someone to help pick up the slack, someone to feed ideas off of…just someone.  It is truly one of the most difficult challenges I face on a daily basis.

I am very independent.  I thank my late husband for a lot of the things I know how to do in regards to our home.  I feel very strongly about doing things myself.  If I am capable, I am going to do it.  I know if I reached out for help, I would have help in a blink of an eye.  My pride doesn’t allow me to do this all the time.  I have lost count the amount of times that I sobbed while taking care of a household responsibility.  I sobbed.  I sobbed raking leaves.  I sobbed cutting the grass.  I sobbed cleaning up shattered glass from our patio table.  I sobbed when my dishwasher broke.  I sobbed hanging blinds.  I sobbed cleaning the bathroom.  Why? It was not like any of it was life threatening.  It was all every day things that everyone has to do.  But at that moment in time, I sobbed.

It is very overwhelming at times.  It wasn’t so much the first year.  I’m not sure if it was because prior to the day my husband died, everything was under control.  Laundry was caught up.  The house was organized.  The yard had just had it’s first round of spring clean up because that last weekend was absolutely beautiful.  I only had 1 child in school.  I don’t know.  It just wasn’t as overwhelming in the beginning.  But now overwhelming is an understatement.  I can honestly say I have nothing under control. There is always piles of crap everywhere.  Ryan has to be turning over a thousand times because he was always on me about my piles…always!  Well there are piles all over.  I sell organizing products!  I should be organized but I am not.  There is always laundry either to be washed, folded, or put away.  My bedroom…I am so embarrassed.  It is a disaster.  It reminds me of my childhood bedroom.  The thing is there is not enough time in a day to get it all done.  By the time everything with my kids are finished and they are in bed, I don’t want to do anything other than sit down and have a glass of wine.  I always tell my kids that I run around and am always busy doing things for them and that leaves no time for my things.  So my bedroom, for example, suffers.

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This past year has been extremely hard.  I found myself seeing other families and hearing about what my friends did as a family and just being angry, sad, and jealous.  Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing about what all of my friends do with their families.  I truly do. But at the same time, I miss not having my family intact.  But it is so hard to find the balance between responsibility and fun.  Yes I should be able to let the laundry go.  I should be able to accept the clutter and that my house is lived in.  But this is not how it used to be.  I like having a clean home.  I like having a home that if someone just pops by, I am not embarrassed.  It is easier said than done.  I laugh when my one friend complains that her husband is on her because the house is a mess.  I am here to tell you that their house is never a mess!

The daily struggles may be something I put on myself.  But I truly feel anyone who is doing this parenting thing alone gets what I am saying and feeling.  It is easier said than done to ask for help.  Honestly, there isn’t anything that anyone can do.  The house, our life, and my kids are my responsibility.  No one else’s responsibility but mine.  The thought that every decision I make is on me.  I can’t go back and say “I told you so” to anyone.  It is all me.  It is a a continuous struggle.  The struggles I deal with, everyone deals with.  As much as I may feel out of control of our life, I know it is all worth it.  I know my children are happy.  I know they are well taken care of.  I know they don’t care about the things that cause me to lose sleep.  I know I am not alone and I have my “family” to help out in a heartbeat.  It’s just all part of being a parent.

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