A Postcard from The Single (Mom) Life

Megan DaGata
I am not having a good day; it has been trying to say the least. There is still not much to do at work, so its always quiet. Which is a problem for someone whose mind is always on...I am constantly left to my thoughts. It makes the days long.

The nights are so short though, and I don't get to think. I get home at 7 pm, and I try to get the kids in bed by 9. I am not happy. I only get to spend 2 hours a day with my boys. No sir I'm not happy! A mother's place is raising her kids, and I don't get to do that. Right now I am paying someone more than half my salary to raise them, and get frustrated when things aren't done the way that I would do them. I say something and it's like I haven't said a word, which only pisses me off more.

Last night was bad...I am talking horrible. My 5 year old forgot where his ears were and when I asked him if he wanted dinner he said he had eaten. Then after I eat, clean up, and give them baths he decides that now he is hugry...it was 9:30. Then he complained that his head itched, so I washed it with some head and shoulders because he has a little dandruff issue. He proceeded to kick, scream, bite, scratch and slap when I rinsed it out. He wouldn't lay back and let me pour water over his head to avoid his eyes so he stood as he chose and it ended up in his eyes because he opened them. I told him not to. As for the baby...the baby was crying when I picked him up and cried the whole evening. Off and on for two hours. Food, bottle, diaper change and a bath, I lay him down and all he wants to do is wail louder. I pick him up and take him into the living room and he wants to play with the forbidden items in the corner. 30 minutes of getting up every 2 minutes to remove him from that corner and I decide it is time to lay him back down. Finally he goes to sleep. I take the next hour filling out job applications for a job that will pay me more than I am paying the sitter to take care of the kids and then I go to bed.

All of this leads to a bad morning. This morning I left my breakfast, my lunch, and the formula - at home. I didn't know this until 8:02...guess where I was at 8:02...sitting at my desk looking for breakfast and getting a text message from the babysitter asking if I really left the formula. I won't repeat the explitives here, but there were quite a few. As my desk is roughly 40 miles from my house, I had to see if someone else was home who could take the sitter the formula. Thank God for miracles my uncle was still home! He took the sitter formula and all is well there.

That is not all on my 40 mile trek this morning I had a little break down. I cried for about 20 miles of it. I keep asking why things have to be so hard. Most of the parents of the world want to provide for their children, but to be the only parent providing for your children makes you want hate the person that chose the selfish path. We hate that they get to be free and have it easy and get to do whatever they feel like. It is not because we want to do that, it is just because you are the person handling all the problems that come up during the day, and wish for one moment a day you could be selfish...just a little because you deserve it. When I made more money my moment a day was a cup of coffee from Starbucks; on a particularly rough day maybe a cranberry orange scone. (I don't even get to do that right now.)

As the single parent, your the one fighting with the older kid to listen and the younger one to stay still so they don't trail the poo all over the bed from the diaper you're trying to change. The single parent gets slapped and scratched because all you want to rinse shampoo out of a 5 year old's hair.

I want to slap and scratch the partner in my journey who left us to handle the messy parts on our own. I want to scream at them horrible things because parenting is a two person job. Really adulthood is a two person job. There are going to be lots of people who disagree with me, but this is my arguement on why the first few millenia of human history had it right.

One parent should be responsible for the kids and the other for providing for the family.

This is what life was supposed to be, this is why it takes two people to have a kid. A single parent is not enough, we try to make it work, but most of us don't do a very good job at handling the stress of two against one, constantly pulling in separate directions and none of them are your own. I was unemployed for four months...maybe a little longer, and the one thing that I discovered during those four months is that if you are there for your kids, they are there for you. They listen and respond and hear you when you give them directions. They are the kids on TV who do as they are told. In the 3 and a half weeks since I returned to work the only thing my kid listens to is the babysitter. The five year old doesn't hear me anymore and he thinks that I don't want to be home with him. He is asking why I can't take care of them anymore and my heart breaks a little more each time he asks. I try to explain, but it's not enough for him. I hope some day he will understand.


  1. You're doing a good job, please hear that and repeat it to yourself again and again. I relate to your feelings with your 5 year old. Mine doesn't seem to listen anymore either 99% of the time and my heart breaks when she asks why I can't stay home with her, baby sister and daddy like last summmer *maternity leave*. I hate being the provider in our family, I wish I could be the stay-home-parent instead of my husband. It sucks and I'm not as grateful as I should be for his role at stay-home-daddy and how hard it is for him too.

  2. Single mom:
    My hat is so off to you. I can so easily take all that you say to heart though I have yet (and I emphasize the word yet) have yet had to do it. I agree completely, one hundred percent and whole heartedly (can I get more in agreement?) that it is so completely unfair for one of the partners to be able to go have a life while the other does EVERYTHING. I don't know why I understand that so well and feel it so strongly since neither I, nor my mother, have had to do it, but I truly do. I am working hard right now to maintain a "relationship" with my husband so we BOTH stay in the house. Really it's more like so "neither one leaves" because that's what really happens, right? Someone LEAVES. No one should be allowed to leave. The marriage can break up, dreams and common goals can die, any reminder that two people once even knew each other, much less loved each other can disappear into thin air, but the bodies CAN NOT LEAVE. Not until the work load becomes a one person work load and I'm pretty sure that would be when the kids leave the house. Wouldn't you agree?
    I so feel for you and your post illicits a few negative emotions within me but it is so well written that it also illicits laughter and understanding. I can so relate, somehow, to your struggle of handling things alone that you were never ever supposed to handle alone. It's so (expletive) unfair!!! I find myself wanting to be there for you and help you out!!! All I can say is it sounds like you're doing a great job. Hang in!!!! The time we have raising our kids, relative to life as a whole, is so short - HANG IN. I know it's hard to see in the day to day struggle - but keep it in mind. Maybe there will be a miracle and money will fall from the sky and you'll be able to stay home more, or maybe you'll simply get through and in the meantime, you will see what a great relationship you have built with your children because you love them so much and WANT to be with them. It will all be worth while!! You watch and see.