Single Mom-ing is not for the Weak
The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly - indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection. -Arianna Huffington
I am excited to share my blog with awesome moms! Hope you find inspiration, commonality and feeling validated when you wonder if you're the only one experiencing the roller coast of motherhood, work and relationships. Enjoy! ~Lisa
We all know a single mom (or dad, let’s not sell them short either). Can we talk for a second about how they should win an award for managing to keep their sanity? There are the obvious reasons like being the only one getting up with the kids when they throw up all over themselves in the middle of the night, or managing your work and their school schedules, immunizations, dinner, cleaning, potty training, life lessons, etc. Yes, we’ve all read the blogs or seen the YouTuber’s talk about the credit we need to give to single parents for being able to manage all these things on their own, but what about the things that they don’t talk about? The things that maybe aren’t so profound but could send any normal person to the loony-bin.
Asking questions. So many questions! Particularly about movies, especially the ones they have already seen probably 30 times this week alone. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting here watching The BFG with my two daughters and already I’ve had to stop several times to answer questions that I’ve already answered multiple times before. As if that isn’t driving me crazy enough, they’re asking about things that they already know the answer to, so there could be no other reason for them asking other than to inflict some weird torture on my psyche. I’m sure they’re just asking me to see how long it will take before my head explodes. I’m doing good today though, it’s 1:30 in the afternoon and I haven’t even lost my shit once (yet). “Mom, what’s frumpkin fry?”, “Mom, are giants real?”, “Mom, can we make Frobscotle so we can fart off our chairs?!” Yep, real life. Every. Day.
Having to show interest in things that are just not that impressive. I don’t think I can count how many times I had to laugh when my youngest showed me she figured out how to roll her eyes, or when my middle wants me to watch her curl herself into a ball, which actually didn’t take any skill. But I humor them because I love them. I can also thank them for this skill, because it’s made dating pretty easy. If you informed any of my ex’s that I really never cared about the last video game they played, football game they went to, or their next million dollar idea, they would probably be blown away. When it comes to our kids though, the potential consequence of telling them that they’re not doing anything particularly special at the moment can have a life-long negative impact. None of us want our kids to avoid trying anything new or showing us something they’re proud of just because one time, when they were three years old, we didn’t care that they drew two lines on a paper and called it a hippopotamus.
Kids are also extremely gross. Burping, farting, boogers, ear wax… if there’s a hole, SOMETHING is coming out of it that you just don’t want to deal with. My kids are, for the most part, able to take care of those things themselves now, but for the first three to four years of each kid’s life, you’re the one cleaning all of this. Sometimes the things you’re stuck with look like something from a horror film. When you’re a parent, the term “finger painting” has an entirely different meaning than making pictures of a turkey with a painted hand smeared onto a piece of construction paper. Weak stomachs are not permitted in parenting, and when you’re a single parent in charge of taking care of all the disinfecting, all by your lonesome, you better practice getting that gag reflex under control.
Although our kids are full of psychosis-inducing quirks, any single parent also knows that dealing with these things are worth it. For every one thing that drives me crazy there are probably 10 moments that bring a genuine smile to my face. Watching them play and seeing the things that their imaginations come up with, or when my youngest cries in frustration and her sister comforts her with a hug and a quiet “Shhhhh… It’s ok. I’ll show you how to do it.” Even though sometimes I wish for a break from the daily chaos, fantasizing about crazy things such as going to the grocery store by myself or taking out the garbage without having to answer “Mom, where are you going with the garbage?!” they’re worth every obnoxious question, un-skilled trick, and fart joke that they come up with (and in all fairness, I probably taught them some of those fart jokes).
Monica Chavez is a 30-year-old, single mother of three daughters. Born and raised in Utah the family of four often spends time outdoors, camping, swimming, hiking, and more. She keeps her sanity by finding humor in the everyday chaos that is motherhood.