Thursday, January 22, 2009

Attenton single-mother wanna bees

Attention: Anyone who thinks being a single parent is an optimal situation and having a partner is nice but not a requirement.

My wife did an oopsie yesterday and messed up her ankle. Not sprained but it hurts to walk on it.  For a few days she's out of it when it comes to anything requiring mobility.  And my 14-year old son who does his share of chores is flat on his back with the crud.

So it's pretty much me and three kids. One of whom is sick.

Up at 06:00 to let the dogs out. Dropped the Girl off at high school at 07:30. Then home [1] for breakfast and presentable clothing. Work. Then back to school again to pick her up at 14:00,[2] [3] home, then work. Then BACK to the house at 16:45 to pick her up, drop her off at her work, back to the office to check on a job on a production system. Home by 17:15. Laundry. Light house keeping. Back to Wendy's to get the girl from her job at 19:00. Home by 19:15. Dinner in the oven, switch laundry. Serve dinner.

And now it's 21:20, dinner is finished, the Girl is doing the dishes. In twenty minutes I'll pop Little Monkey into bed, read him a story.

Then I'll do more laundry, get my stuff ready for tomorrow.  Have I done my Daily Seven and the exercises for the 101 Program that Steve Barnes sent around?  Haw.

And if I didn't have a partner and that would be my day, every day, for at least eighteen years.

If you have no choice about the matter, well that's one thing.  Dads and Moms will leave, people die.  Shit happens.  You gotta do what you gotta do and God bless you if you're in that situation.

But I cannot imagine that living like this for nearly twenty years is a good idea for one's mental state.  I know it's not physically healthy to be on the go for sixteen hours and drop into bed without any kind of down time.

And this kind of life can not be good for kids - not if you value 30 minutes a day of reading stories and sharing quantity time with your kids while you're in a non-zombie state. 

And .. isn't the entire point to raise a kid to be a healthy sane adult?  Leaving aside other qualities such as love and companionship wouldn't it be easier to have help with that project?

[1] Home-school-home-work sounds sub-optimal but I wasn't close to being either clean or dressed enough for work at 07:15. Plus the way things are arranged and that we live in a small town means I'm not doing a lot of back-tracking.

[2] Early dismissal today while the teachers have in-service training. To learn how to handle bullies. Which you'd think a pack of adults would know about but who the hell am I to question how my tax money is spent down to the schools, eh?

[3] School bus?  Our school system doesn't run a bus service.  You gotta pay a bus company to come around and pick your kids up.  So, yes, it's my choice to save actual cash and spend my time driving the girl around.
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