Saturday, October 6, 2012

So It's Been Forever

I realize that it has been forever since I have written.  And it hasn't been due to lack of desire or things to write about.  On the contrary, I've thought about my posts, but have never found the time to pen them.  With that said, today I devote my blog to "In praise of single moms".  As many of you know, I have voluntarily accepted a short stint, 2ish years, as a single mother for the most part.  Travis stumbled upon an extraordinary work opportunity in Wyoming.  There is where he mainly resides coming home to visit every other weekend or so as necessitated by family needs and special occasions.

With that said, I cannot help but convey to you how difficult this can be.  I like to think of myself as very independent and relatively self sufficient.  I am of sound mind and happy disposition.  I am not prone to negativity and usually great at running things singularly and without issue.  All that being said, I can tell you that this experience is physically and most especially time taxing.  I have seen the toll on my time and energy this experience has taken on me.  I sleep less than ever and as my neighbor mentioned, "You didn't sleep that much before." 

In my heart and head all that I have continued to think on both my good and bad days is that I am in awe of single mothers everywhere.  When my day is hard I am grateful for a steady and sufficient income being direct deposited into my bank account allowing me to not work outside the home and I am grateful for the companionship of my spouse - his wisdom, understanding, and ability to just listen.  These two things may be singularly the biggest stress for single mothers everywhere.  In addition the burden of doing every household chore, fixing cars, coaching sports teams, changing oil, taking out trash, throwing football with the boys, mowing the lawn, repairing the oven, lifting and moving heavy items, cleaning the garage, and other more masculine roles and tasks in addition to those female tasks of cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, homework doing, project building, volunteering, and serving in our communities and among friends.  Fulfilling both roles in terms of labor distribution is inundating in it's great magnitude of work to keep a household running.

When you add into that the constant scheduling, double booking, and activity participating of four children and one driving adult, I find most of my evening hours living out of my car and not being able to accomplish any of the above chores.  My early morning hours are spent in self care of working out and scripture study, before I devote my time to volunteering in my kids' classes and then working as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Last factor into this, the things that I have learned about single mothers - they are more socially isolated than married women.  My social life has decreased as many people, I can only assume, think it might be weird to invite a mother and her children over for dinner whereas before almost weekly we went out with friends either in couples or as families.  Add to that anytime you feel the desire or get the invitation to socialize outside the home it is with great stress to find a babysitter, plan for your kids to be without you or even deal with the guilt of leaving them when you know you definitely could be giving them more one on one time than they are currently receiving.

And so I say to every real single mother, I applaud you.  I realize that your job is far harder physically and emotionally than mine.  That my short and measured stint in this way of life is surely only giving me the smallest glint of how hard you work, how little you get to do for yourself, and how alone you likely feel.  I recognize that you are among the least celebrated but likely most needed resource in the life of many children.  Thank you.

And last to Travis, my husband, I are amazing.  My gratitude for you each day grows as I recognize the immeasurable value you have not only by sharing the work load of our household, but also the role you fill which I cannot within the lives of our children.  I see how they long for you and love you.  I realize that your strengths are different than mine and that our kids are richly blessed because of your teaching them in righteousness and secular learning.  You are irreplaceable and we love you!


T-Rex said...

All you guys who leave your wives or allow your marriages to fail are retarded. It's so empty. If work weren't part of the routine I would seriously die of lonely/emptiness. The constant thought of "Knowing you’re missing out on all the little details is unbearable.

Laura Lynn said...

Good post. You're holding up well. Think how hard it is for single mothers in the church.

My mom was one and although she was strong and independent, it was lonely being in such a family oriented church and being so young.

She was lucky in the fact that my dad was such a great provider and she had more than enough for her needs. He made sure she was taken care of and never had to struggle financially. That would have been another stress.