My Life as a Single Mom

August 8, 2007

My husband is a custodian at our local high school.  When school is not in session he works the day shift, but during the school year he works afternoons.  When he is on afternoons, I take the boys to the babysitter in the mornings while he sleeps, and he is gone to work when we get home.  So all of the child-rearing, and most of the housework duties fall on my sholders.  We don’t even see him until Saturday.  Therefore, for most of the year, I consider myself a single mom. 

There are good and bad qualities to this situation.  On the plus side, when he is on afternoons I can schedule the kids appointments during the day and he can take them.  I don’t have to cook every night of the week when he isn’t there, my boys actually prefer PB &J  to a homecooked meal.  And, the best part of all, full control of the remote, and unlimited viewing of the sitcoms that he loathes.  The downside, I have nobody to hand them off to when my head feels like it is about to split open, as it did last night.  Additonally, I can’t so much as go pick up a gallon of milk without having to wrestle with kids and carseats.  Even someting as minor as going to a church meeting means multiple phone calls to find a sitter.  But the main downfall is of course not being together. 

During the shcool year my husband feels like he is being cheated out of our children’s childhood, and I agree. When I was growing up my dad worked afternoons at a factory.  We only saw him one or two days a week. Even now I still feel like I got cheated  beacuse he was not physically there for us, even though I understand that he worked so that we could fulfill our needs and wants. 

Although our job situations are what they are, and will probably not change any time in the near future, I don’t want my boys to grow up the way I did.   I try to convince myself it’s not the same.  I tell myself to “look on the bright side, at least he’s not in Iraq or somewhere, like so many other husbands and fathers”.  I tell myself, “it’s not like you’re a true single mother, and having to work 2 jobs just to put food on the table”.  I remind myself, “Fall break will be here soon”.   But when little Andrew looks at me and says, “want daddy home”, I realize that fall break can’t come soon enough.  But when it does, you can bet there will be a hot meal on the table, and a  “CSI” episode on the big TV.

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4 Responses to “My Life as a Single Mom”

  1. Brian Says:

    My dad worked alot of hours when we were kids and when he was off from work, he often went somewhere else. He has apologized to both of us for not being there when we were young. I understand your predicament, but I do think that after your kids are older, they’ll realize the difference between neglect and necessity.

    Great post! I’m so glad you started blogging… You’re very good at it.

  2. Alyson Says:

    Thanks. I have more to say than I would’ve ever thought I did.

  3. Alan Says:

    I actually preferred the times when my dad wasn’t around. He’s always been a very unpleasant person and more concerned about himself than anyone else. The odd thing is that I don’t miss him. My mom was more than able to take on both parental roles, and I had a few uncles who were pretty good father figures.

    It’s always nice, though, to see good dads like Jess who enjoy spending time with their children and actually help rear them. I’ve watched Jess interact with his two sons on several occasions, and they absolutely love it, which proves he is doing something right. If not, Andrew wouldn’t be saying, “want daddy home.”

  4. Alyson Says:

    Truthfully, I preferred it too when I was younger. We definitely got away with more, and could do what we wanted. It was when I got older that I realized what I had missed. I guess the grass is always greener..

    I think not getting to be around his other kids alot during their childhood has made Jess appreciate spending time with the boys. I have had so many people tell me what a great dad he is, the fact that other people notice it too makes me love him even more.


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