I’m learning what it really means to be a single parent. The entire time I’ve been a mom its kind of felt like I’ve been doing it all on my own….until I actually was. I’ve also come to realize tonight at about 8:30 p.m. that we are not meant to be pet owners. I was unaware when I woke up this morning that not only would I feel like taking my dog, Bear, to the pound (only empty threats I promise) for eating not one, but both of my work shoes through to the toe while we slept last night that I would also have to hold my son while he cried because his turtle Michael died. I knew it was going to happen. I’m telling y’all, mother’s intuition is real people. It kept burying itself and over the last week I’ve checked it every day thinking I would find it dead. Tonight I did. I spent over an hour in the bathroom cleaning out the tank, rocks and making sure the dog (we like to call him turd) didn’t knock over the tank or kill the lone survivor, Bob. My son, is already planning Michael’s funeral for tomorrow in the backyard. On top of this, a few months back we had a fish fiasco when Kate’s fish was crushed by its castle and the next day we bought a new tank and everything, including 4 new fish. Two days later I was back at the pet store buying a lid for the fish tank and replacing Joey, the fish who decided to jump out of the tank the same day we got him. This is why we don’t need pets. Khloe, the 4 year old is determined to get a seahorse. Fat chance that’s happening. That takes it all to a whole new difficulty level and with my luck I’d have to replace the seahorse within the first week. No thanks.
However, I’ve learned something since August. I’ve learned that I can’t do it all. Those moms who look like they have it altogether are probably the ones who are shooting back a shot of whiskey when no one is looking at 10 am because their kids are driving them insane (no judgment). No mom has all the answers. No mom is perfect. No mom ever feels like they’re amazing and wonderful all the time. Let me tell you something. Moms are amazing but we make mistakes. Some of us are sloppy and don’t always get the house clean. Some of us forget to sign off on field trip papers and have to drive up to the school to deliver the lunch they didn’t have time to make because they either passed out on the couch the night before from exhaustion or were up so late doing laundry that they can’t get done during the day because they’re working two jobs and overslept that morning. Some of us spend hours helping with homework while cooking supper and making sure the kids get in bed on time just to sit down and realize afterward they forgot to buy milk for breakfast in the morning. Some of us cry when no one is looking because its hard to leave the kids with someone else. Some of us feel like we are failing even when we’re not. All these things are true for me.
Tonight while I held Alex as he cried I got to be his rock. I miss a lot of things some days because of work but tonight I got to be there for him. I hate that his turtle died but I wouldn’t ask for a better chance to show my kid how much I love him. There is something special about being a single mom and that is the close connection I share with my kids. I won’t lie, its so hard on all of us right now but we’re managing and with God’s help. As I sit here typing this I’m looking around at the clothes I left to be folded, the dishes in the dishwasher that just finished and the floor that needs to be vacuumed. I started cleaning the hall closet tonight and stopped right before I finished because of Michael’s passing. I still have to clean the bathroom after cleaning out that tank but I needed to sit for a minute. I needed to let everything just stop for a bit so the kids could settle down and fall asleep. I’ve learned that its ok to sit sometimes and do nothing, if only for a few minutes :) . I still have so much to learn about this single mother thing but I’ll do it with a smile (or at least fake it lol) and work my hardest for these three awesome kids who test my patience daily but love more than anything in this world.