...have my undying admiration.
I am often a temporary single parent as my spouse travels frequently. This latest jaunt is for over one week. Faced with the reality of the unquenchable needs of two small boys, the demands of a career and the minutia of making a household run even relatively smoothly, I am exhausted, depleated and undone.
My list of academy award nominees for the mother of a lifetime award include ( in no particular order):
- single parent women who manage breakfast, school-time, lunches, naps, dinner preparation, dinner, bath, bedtime, stories, endless re-bedding of youngsters as well as weekly groceries, meal planning, laundry, pickng up toys, encouraging creativity, trips to the public library, etc, etc, etc, without completely cracking under the strain of not having another adult nearby to help carry even some of the load;
- stay-at home-moms who do all of the above, although not all on their own, yet if my neighbourhood is any indication also manage to schedule play dates, swim lessons, kindermusic, renovate homes, decorate homes for each seasonal occurance, while still looking benign and beautiful;
- working outside the home moms who do all the above and still manage to excel at careers, look at sale flyers, arrange amazing parties and get manicures.
But the truth is, for me anyway, that raising kids on a day by day basis on your own has got to be the single most soul-destroying, exhausting, unrecognized and uncelebrated work of all. While my spouse is frequently away for work and I am all too often found on my own with my "boys", at least I still have the option of calling his cell phone to interrupt his dinner meeting so he can hear first hand from Topher how and why he is at that very moment puking into the toilet while Winston is painting his bedroom wall in feces. Yes, we have the flu in our house. Lovely. But that isn't my point - my point is that I have someone to call, someone to put on speaker phone - even if he may be in a rather important scientific meeting in Philidelphia - to buy me even 50 seconds to let the dog out, wipe up some vomit and swab valiantly at some shit. But we also have the luxuries that come with a dual income family: namely a nanny, cleaner, yard and snow maintance guy......not to mention one set of grandparents a mere 15 minute drive away. Imagine not having that. Imagine having to do it all on your own for real, every single day.
So, here's to single mothers who do this daily with style, grace, humour and a commitment to non-violence. In my eyes, you are the true heroes of this world.