Saturday, January 06, 2007

It isn't rocket science,I tell you

My children, God love them. He better, because today, their mother is less than thrilled.

I am a single mom. I have, for all intents and purposes, been a single mom for all of my time in this hell we call motherhood. I fooled myself for the first few years, since I was married, I wasn't a single mom, was I? Let's investigate that for a moment.

My first ex-husband worked at a job that took him away for a week at a time, every other week. So, I was the sole parent in the home half the time. He was a decent parent to our oldest son. By the time our second son came along, he had found himself a second job which kept him away long days during his week home with us. He would come home for dinner, at times. When our daughter was born, he moved out. I was a single mom in earnest then.

My second husband, while he was good with our own son for the most part, kept himself distant from my older children, not really parenting them at all. Then he got job that kept him away all week long, only coming home weekends, where he would hide in the bedroom watching TV or with his nose in the computer screen. I was the single parental figure in that house as well. He has since moved out.

So, again I find myself in the role of single mother. It isn't terribly unsettling to me, as it is role I have been used to for so long. I honestly do not mind not having to negotiate issues with another parent on decisions for my children. What I do mind is the lack of continuity my children experience.

I work full time, 12 hour swing shifts. I am always being called to come in to cover this or that for work since we are severely understaffed. My children never seem to know which end is up. The never know if I am going to work or coming home. It is really frustrating.

I make rules, and I hope they are enforced.....the only enforcer is the 15yr old son. While he likes to believe he is the king, frankly, the other kids really do not show him a lot of respect.....he doesn't really earn it. I put out lists of chores, but without someone there to keep my Attention Deficit Disorder brood on task, the chores often go undone, to be left for Mom to complete on her very rare days off. Bringing me to another issue, my days off. I am usually so exhausted that it takes a day or two to even have enough energy to consider doing any house work, then I have to go back to work again.

This brings me to today. I worked last night, just as I am tonight. I got home and basically crawled into bed. I woke up at about 4pm and called to my daughter and my son to come to my room. (I am a princess, you all know, and I beckoned my minions to my chambers). I asked my daughter to please make me a cup of Earl Grey tea and asked my son if he could possibly make me some chicken noodle soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I was tired still and just wanted to relax before having to get up for work. About one hour later, I was still tea, soup and sandwichless. Not to mention a little miffed. So, at the urging of a friend, I decided to lay down the law. I called them all to my room. Pointed out the time frame and the small favour I had asked. I was on a roll. I then added that I work the long hours to pay for the house, food, clothes, video games, stereos, etc that they all enjoy. I layed down some pretty heavy guilt. It wasn't long and I had tea, soup and two sandwiches brought to my bed for me to enjoy before heading off to the shower before work.

Now, I wonder what will happen today when I wake up from my nap. All I want is a cup of tea when I wake up from my sleep. I ask for the same thing, every would think that they could remember and anticipate my desire and my need. It certainly isn't rocket science.


livewithrealme said...

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, as I really don't know you, your everyday life and only know you from the words in your blog. But you are a person (not unlike me) who constantly looks for the external world to make you feel good. You are a hard worker, have a very stressful job, and then come home and take care of everything... often a thankless job. I truly believe that you need a nice cup of tea and a sandwich made for you every once in awhile. You've earned it and you deserve it. But next time, perhaps you can give your child(ren) a special little reward for having them do their chores, and they might be more inclined to do something nice for you... even without asking. Maybe it won't work the first time, as they always expect you to do for them anyway but I think it may work eventually. I'm going out on a limb here, I know. I hope you understand what I mean. Kids are selfish by nature, aren't they? It isn't their fault they expect their parents to do for them. We started by wiping their asses, didn't we? ;-) Hang in there. xoxo

Anonymous said...


I don't see a person who is trying to make herself look good here. I don't see where you get that from. I see a smart person who is a single mom who needs the support of the children she has for a little help. When I was 15 I would always help my mum around the house especially after being reminded of the fact that her working was giving me the ability to have my computer and have my TV and eventually have my first car. Kids are spoiled yes, but I think being honest with kids often yields the best results. I don't think sharing a life experience makes the author an attention seeker. I think it makes her real. And i myself lol'd many times during this post as I see it in me, and in my parents growing up.


livewithrealme said...

I did not say she was trying to make herself look good. In no way, shape or form do I see Iris as an attention seeker. That is completely opposite of my opinion. Like you, I also see a smart, candid person who is a single mom and a is stressed and stretched every which way. Apologies if my comments were misconstrued.