Who knew that you could still struggle with “single parenting” when you are married?
A couple is to raise children together- two combined: Isn’t that what we are taught?
I am a control freak, I like things my way and I have been a single parent. So maybe you’re not single, but you are definitely flying solo. And honestly, this is HARDER.
Single parents are used to the struggle of “single parenting” and have no expectations. You know that you, alone, are responsible for picking the kids up, dropping them off, making sure they are fed, finish their homework, are bathed and put to bed. It’s ALL you- and despite how exhausted you are or what you have going on, you do what you have to do to get it all done. Even when you have family who are supportive, you always keep in mind that it’s optional for them.
I used to be a single parent. In College, I got pregnant and took care of my child alone. I worked, and went to school. Family and friends were helpful but day in/day out, I took care of my baby. I handled my business and got stuff done. When I came home, my house was a mess and that was okay. I was the one solely responsible and I was happy.
Fast forward to know. I have a spouse. A spouse is a 4th child, they say. I laugh- but honestly, I feel like its true. Sure, he’s our 2nd income and works hard. He does do chores, but all the chores that interest him: cars, pool, yard, building things. My husband is a wonderful example for my children of what hard work looks like.
He’s also the “fun” parent. Of course he is; he doesn’t ever enforce “my rules”.
So I’m left with all of this: mom works, mom makes sure the house is clean, makes sure the chores are done, makes sure they eat, makes sure they got to school, makes sure they brush their teeth, wear deodorant, shower, brush their hair, don’t kill each other or starve the animals….
And yet, I’m still disappointed EVERY TIME I walk through the door. No thank you. Thinking naively: “this time will be different”.
Its like being punched in the gut.
Kids don’t understand how hard it is and it’s not their fault. Mom is exhausted and needs help. More help than they can give or should have to give.
Who knew how heavy this ring would actually be? And that I would still feel like I am single parenting .
To all of you partners out there, please step up your game. We need your help, even if we don’t ask for it. Make sure your spouse knows they aren’t in this alone in this thing called marriage and parenting- together.