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Single Parenting - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
Single Parenting
I have the utmost respect for single parents.  I know I don't have it in me to be a single parent.  Not even remotely.  That being said, Seth left for Pittsburgh yesterday for a two day conference.  He'll be back late Tuesday night leaving me with three dinner times, three bed times, and two morning wake up routines all to myself.  Yay me.  Yes, I am superwoman, thank you for asking.  I need a cape.  Though a sidekick would be more useful, wouldn't it?

Of course, not five minutes after Seth left, one of the cats threw up on the stairs.  It's like they were mocking me.  One of my rules is that Seth is 100% responsible for any bodily fluids which come out of the cats.  I am not a pet person.  I don't like being responsible for animals.  I would rather be pet-free (and thereby dander-free) than deal with puke, pee, poop, etc.  If I wanted to deal with bodily fluids, I would have had kids.  Oh, wait... I did that.

This morning started at 4:30 with an exploding diaper from Sam who then frantically nursed for an hour.  Then J threw up on the stairs on his way down to get his patch put on for the morning.  Also, he was bouncing off the walls all morning.  It was a good morning.  I expect tonight to be more of the same.  Good times all around.

I don't mind the single-parenting gig, actually.  I love my kids.  What I hate is the feeling of being trapped.  What if I needed to go out?  I can't.  With four sleeping children, I'm stranded.  How do single parents handle this?  I leave in the morning, drop J at school, go to work, dash out of work, pick J up, run home, meet the nanny to relieve her, get everyone fed, into bed, get J fed, into bed, and then I'm stranded.  There's no time for an extra errand, like if I had to stop at the pharmacy or grocery store or pick up the dry cleaning or whatever.  How would I do that if Seth weren't coming home Tuesday night?  I guess I'd get a babysitter, but if I were a single parent with four young kids, how would I afford that?  Did I mention that I have the utmost respect for single parents?  I don't know how you guys (and gals) do it! 

Did I mention Ellie's teething? 

How many hours left until Seth comes home?


9 comments or Leave a comment
journeytoernie From: journeytoernie Date: August 11th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
i love pittsburgh!

having said that, i have the utmost respect for YOU! 4 kids under 5??? that's crazy talk! and all on your own?

go get yourself a milkshake.
childlight From: childlight Date: August 11th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am the cat person in our household...6 of them and Hubby really wants 3 of them to relocate. But he has been really patient about cleaning litterboxes and cat vomit the last few months. I feel so sorry for him since I know he hates it.
aliza817 From: aliza817 Date: August 11th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Kol HaKavod to you!! When my DH goes away on business I move into my parents house with the kids so I give you TONS of credit for doing it all on your own! I only have 3 kids but the few hours all 3 of them are home between school and the time DH gets home is torture so I don't know how you do it with 4!!
runerinrun From: runerinrun Date: August 11th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Single mom of twins here and I think the key is scheduling. I run errands after work but before I come home, at lunch, or I have the nanny run them. There have been times when I've run out in the evening with the twins, but usually only for quick things. You just organize yourself a little differently.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: August 11th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem is one of math: I couldn't possibly run an errand after work because of my older child. The nanny arrived at my house at 7:30 this morning. Getting J into the car and off to school and then me to work took an hour and I arrived at 8:30. I skipped lunch so that I could get 8 solid hours in. I left work at 4:30, picked up J from school rushed home, and walked in the door at 5:25. My nanny leaves at 5:30.

Even if I COULD afford to pay her to work more than a nine hour day, I don't want to miss out on EVEN MORE of my triplets' day. The second I walk in the door, I feed them dinner, put them in PJ's, nurse them, and put them in bed. Then I feed J dinner, play with him, get him a bath (if it's bath night), get him in PJ's, and get him into bed.

The math doesn't work. There isn't another second to spare. It's not a matter of organizing. I didn't have a lunch break to run an errand. I didn't have a spare second on my way to or on my way home from work. The only option would be to have someone come over to stay in the house after the babies and J were in bed so I could run to the grocery store, or to push bedtime later for everyone and take them out with me. I imagine if I were a single mom, I'd be doing a lot of peapoding (I hate PeaPod for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it's an expensive way to shop), and I would also likely do most of my errands on the weekend and do my home things on the weekday.

Truth be told, I do that anyway; most of my weeknights are taken up with home-based things like dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. and errand-type things are dealt with on the weekend (or delegated to my husband).

I see how this would be manageable without the addition of my older child, since he's on a completely different schedule (and different geographic location) from the babies. And I also know that if I had to do it, I would. I'd just make it happen. But golly, I'm not anxious to find out for sure how I'd do it! :) I don't envy you, and I have a whole lot of respect for you!
(Screened comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: August 12th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
yeah, my triplets are in bed by 6:30pm, so that's right out. Julian's in bed at 8 or 8:30, so he's a little more flexible. I also recognize that most single parents don't have four kids including three under the age of one.
mrn613 From: mrn613 Date: August 11th, 2008 09:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Honestly once you get into the groove it is easier to do the morning and evening routine yourself then have someone help you. Whenever my dh is home it takes twice as long.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: August 11th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I do the morning and evening routine without Seth routinely. Seth is often at work before 6am and often home well after dinner time. THAT'S not the problem. The problem is then once they are in bed, I'm tied to the house and can't get anything else done. Nor do I have anyone else to delegate an errand to.

Edited at 2008-08-11 11:24 pm (UTC)
yeishlitikvah From: yeishlitikvah Date: August 11th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am in sheer awe of your many talents. And you even found time to post about it. You trully are Superwoman and WOnderwoman wrapped in to one, with a boob out for feeding and a spitrag covering it.
9 comments or Leave a comment