Tag Archives: exhaustion

“Despite being what would now be called a deprived child in a one parent family, I did not grow up with an urge to smash windows or to bash old ladies over the head in order to steal handbags.” ~Eva Hart


Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

Single parenting is H-A-R-D work!!!  I mean, parenting with a partner is tough, but single parenting is the hardest job on the face of the planet.  There are days when I don’t know if I can even get out of the bed for fear of bursting into tears the moment someone speaks to me.  Now, don’t get me wrong… I don’t want a pity party, and I’m not looking for sympathy.  I’m just amazed by every single parent I meet.  Seriously.  I think that single parents are secretly superheroes in disguise.

Superheroes:

Are Strong:  Have you ever carried in 100 bags of groceries (50 on each arm) by yourself while the kids are pushing you over to try to find the one with the Cheez-Its in it?  A single parent has.

Are Brave:  Have you ever had to get out of the bed to kill a giant, man-eating spider by yourself [what?!] because the kids are already asleep?  A single parent has.  (And let me tell you… that’s brave.)

Are Intelligent:  Have you ever had to remember what x equals if a is three, b is five, and c is purple over fifteen years after learning it the first time?  A single parent has.

Have Special Powers:  Do you have eyes in the back of your head and super-sensitive hearing that help you divert crayon-all-over-the-walls disasters before they happen?  A single parent does.

Wear Costumes:  Have you ever had to go out in public in a bathrobe and one slipper, with fruit snacks in your hair in order to get the cupcakes your kid promised the teacher he’d bring to school this morning but just told you about ten minutes ago?  A single parent has.

Earn Respect:  Have you ever been grocery shopping and have people look at you in amazement because you can unload the cart, pay, pick up the fifty packs of gum that just “fell for no reason,” and not manage to lose the kids all at the same time?  A single parent has.

Are Athletic:  Can you carry a kid on one hip, a baseball bag on the other, have a good hold on another kid’s hand, all while running full-speed through the parking lot so they’re not late for practice?  A single parent can.

Have a Sidekick:  Do you constantly have someone on your heels at all times, sticking their little fingers under the bathroom door while you’re trying to enjoy three seconds in peace and quiet pee?  A single parent does.

Are Role Models:  Do you have impressionable little people watching your every move and listening to every word that comes out of your mouth, just waiting with bated breath for the second they get to do exactly what you just did?  A single parent does.

Have a Weakness:  Do you risk the chance of acquiring the world’s largest ulcer because you’re constantly worried sick about who your kid is becoming, who they’re talking to, hanging out with, what they’re learning about from the hoodlums they go to school with, whether they’re safe, etc., etc. (you get the drift)?  A single parent does.

Use Gadgets:  Have you ever had the joy of sitting on the floor until your knees no longer work, putting 10,000 Lego pieces together, only to have your masterpiece smashed to smithereens thirty minutes later?  A single parent has.

Have an Arch Enemy:  Have you ever had to explain your every move and pure motive to an “ex,” who is dying for you fail and will never ever admit that you’re actually doing a pretty good job raising kids?  A single parent has.

Have a Hideout:  Have you ever pretended having to poop just so you could sit in the bathroom by yourself for an extra ten minutes in peace and quiet?  A single parent has.

Have an Alter Ego:  Have you ever been referred to as “Mom,” “Hey Mom,” “Mommy,” “Mom,” “Ma,” “Hey Mom” (or “Dad,” “Hey Dad,” “Daddy,” “Dad,” “Hey Dad”)  more times in a day than you have by your real first name?  A single parent has.

Have a Love Interest:  Have you ever felt a love so whole and complete you couldn’t imagine your life without the ones who filled you with that love or remember your life before it?  A single parent has.

Have a Cool Ride:  Do you drive a vehicle that can fit twice as much cargo and old french fries in it as the manual in the glove compartment says it can?  A single parent does.

Have a Goal:  Have you ever dreamed about the night you may actually get to go out with fellow adults and have adult beverages and adult conversations without worrying that your kids are going to go bat-poop-crazy on each other while you’re gone?  A single parent has.

To all single parents – You are my superheroes.  I hope your kids grow up to be as resilient and tough as you are.

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“Dark circles under my eyes sink deeper and deeper into my skull, in contrast to my pale skin there is an undeniable resemblance to a fresh corpse.” ~Dee Remy


The two things I’m sure of in life are as follows:  1. I am EXHAUSTED.  2. My kids are freaking awesome.  Seriously, I have no idea how they do everything that they do.  I understand that kids have more energy than those of us from the “olden days,” as the boys so affectionately call it, but I don’t ever remember having even close to the amount of energy that they have.  We always tell our kids that they have it easy because they’re still kids.  WRONG!   I mean, yes it’s true that they don’t have to have jobs or pay bills, but they still work their little butts off every day!  Think about it… the average adult works an 8-hour day, right?  Well, my kids, like many others, work 7 hours a day at school and then after that, work another 2 to 3 at whatever sport’s practice ’tis the season for.  They wake up at the butt crack of

Photo by Alicia Benton

Photo by Alicia Benton

dawn, and go to school, where they don’t just sit and daydream all day.  (They’re terrified of suffering my wrath if they bring home a bad report card.)  They work hard, listen well, and study hard.  And on top of that, they have to deal with the awful pressures of middle school… the bullying, the labeling, and the constant attempt at fitting in somewhere.  [I HATED middle school and would never ever ever go back.]  Then after being in school all day, they come home, do their homework, and rush off to sport’s practice.  Keep in mind, my kids play a sport every season.  They get about a three-week break in the summer, but the rest of their year is spent playing football, baseball, basketball, or wrestling.  Any of you who’ve played a sport before know that it takes hard-work and dedication to succeed.  And RUNNING!  Tons of RUNNING!!!  They remind me of Forrest Gump they run so much.  By the time practice is over, I’M exhausted.  I know that they must be.  And then, what amazes me, is that the next morning, they wake up and do it all over again (without getting a paycheck every two weeks).  They are ah-maze-ing.  This time change has thoroughly kicked my butt.  And this morning?  Forget it.  It was dark and rainy.  It’s a miracle that I even got myself out of bed, much less the boys too.  I look like death and can’t even function before my first cup of coffee.  And Lord knows, don’t ever try to have a conversation with me before that glorious liquid crack kicks in.  I came to work this morning, complaining incessantly that I was exhausted.  Then I had to stop, shut up, and remind myself that Gerald and Ronald are really the ones who should be complaining of exhaustion.  (Please don’t give them any ideas…)  They work their little butts off constantly and don’t even get to drink coffee!  Next time I feel like whining about how tired I am, all I need to do is look, with pure awe, at my two little men.  They make me so proud, and I’m constantly amazed by them and their resilience and commitment.  I, of all people, have no right to complain about being tired.  My desk job doesn’t look so bad after all…  


Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

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