I had a great work story all lined up for ya’ll. It was about the time I interviewed for an entry-level position with McKinsey, that fancy-schmancy consulting firm. I was 21-years old and full of confidence that they needed me to do whatever it is that consultants do. (I didn’t see the need to burden myself with researching that in advance.) It was going well until my watch alarm (Timex Ironman) went off, which was bad enough. But for some reason I thought my watch wasn’t professional-looking, on account of I bought it at Wal-Mart that summer while working as a camp counselor in the Hill Country. So, before the interview I put the watch on way up by my shoulder so the interviewer wouldn’t see it under my shoulder pads. Twas a little awkward to explain my theories on change management while trying to make my shoulder pad stop beeping.
But I’m not going to tell that story.
I feel like talking about how people who parent solo make it work. Single parents? Um, yeah, heroes, people. Heroes. So, this is my tribute post to them– the mothers and fathers out there who do all the things I do, except they also have to do all the stuff my spouse does too (like cook, clean, teach the kids wood working, etc.). I’m not naming any names, but you know who you are and you deserve a lifetime pass to Costco with a first-shot at all the samples. Especially the chocolate ones.
I have no idea what it’s like to walk the road you walk. Normally, Jeff travels for work and because he is as hands-on as any father I have ever seen, it’s a big deal when he’s gone. No Jeff = no one who knows how to cook or change light bulbs or explain thermodynamics to our children. It’s a real hardship. And when he goes, I do lots of things like feed the children cereal for breakfast, lose my mind during bath time and text my friends with my myriad complaints about having to do it alone.
But you know what I’m not? I am not a single mother. A few nights a week here and there don’t make me a single mother, because when Jeff’s gone (1) it’s temporary, (2) I can call him crying about how our children repel sleep, and (3) I know that when he comes home I’ll get a break.
I’ll just say it right now: I am in awe of single parents. How they face the juggling act that is parenting without a partner makes me feel like unhinging my jaw in wonder. I seriously don’t know how you do it. I mean, who do you blame when things go awry? Who do you yell at when you’re at your limit? That’s what spouses are for!
My favorite post this week is about all of this: Being a single, working parent, and trying to fit it all in, including exercise and making our own lunches, not to mention the kids’. I simply adore Courtenay from Soup Mama. Check out her post here where she outlines her schedule for a typical day. Prepare to feel like dying of exhaustion when you are done reading.