When married people say,
“My husband/spouse/ball and chain is away for a weekend, a week or three months, so I’m a single parent,” I grit my teeth.
No, you’re not. Your partner, though absent, is still contributing financially and emotionally to the other partner’s well being and that of the children. and when the absent partner returns they often do things that compensate for their absence. Single parenting with no other parent helping financially, mentally and emotionally on a day to day basis is not how children should be raised. It’s too much stress on one person.
Stress makes us humans crazy and sick, so my oldest childhood friend and I, who is also a single mum, have escaped. By the time you read this we will be somewhere in Norway searching the fjords for strapping vikings. Our dear friend bought us air tickets so we could attend his wedding in Oslo. I won the lottery when it comes to the wealth of my friendships. Skal!
Motherhood is not what you gave up to have your kids, but what you gained from having them
My senior school kid has been back at her girls’ prison camp for a few weeks and I’m already suffering. One day I had a beautiful child, the next the HSC devil dragged her away and left a lovely ‘personality’ in her place. Part way through Term 1 the pressure of big exams is already driving me crackers, so I’m starting a therapy group for mothers of HSC students.
Hello I’m Lou and I’m going through HSC stress. Symptoms include cranky cat’s bum face, lethargic dinner making, chocolate eating, bitching and moaning during over long phone calls with other mothers, slovenly housekeeping, delusions and fantasies about holidays.
My week looked like this:
Revolting moody child, homework piled up.
Revolting moody mother, work emails 30% finished
Coffee drinking, insomniac mother reading celebrity crap on internet until small hours
Under eating daughter
Over eating mother
Beautiful sunny child woman (weekends only). Highlight of week: 85% for essay mother helped with despite the tears. Mother calm.
Sunday nights at 5.30pm
Tearful tantrum throwing mother, only 61 pages of homework to finish.
I’ve had to call the chardonnay support group hotline three or four times this week.
When I tell my mother about my worries, she laughs and lets me know that the karma fairy has caught up with me. In the past fortnight I’ve finished a legal studies essay, written a piece on Warhol’s contribution to the art world and discussed the origins of World War 1 all while indulging her taste for exotic foods like feta cheese and olives. I’m up late every night doing all the study I should have done for my HSC back in the dark days of the 1980s. I hope I get a good mark this time.
“Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don’t mean a thing.” Toni Morrison