Single parenthood

This has been a very interesting week around here. Not only did Ane start preschool, and I start to prepare Tad for speech therapy, but the Webmaster has been under a deadline at work and working very late nights. I think he’s been home to kiss the kids good night twice this week. Last night, he came home after midnight.

Hopefully, this will all end today, when they finish up and meet the deadline. But it has been strange for me, because it’s felt very single parent-like and very much like my own growing-up years.

My parents have been married for 30 years, and for most of those years, my father has worked a swing-shift. When we lived in Seattle, it was close enough to his work that he would come home for dinner. But once we moved out to the Eastside, that wasn’t possible anymore. And because of that, my mother shouldered the burden of driving the three – and later four – of us around to whatever activities were going on during the week. It was not easy. When I got my driver’s license at 16 and a half and I had access to a car, I began to pick up a few of these driving runs to help out – especially because the Captain was playing select baseball at the time and had practices all over the place. And often I would be taking a toddler-aged Auntie along with me in the backseat – we were a carpool that way.

I don’t remember bedtimes at home without my dad as a toddler – obviously, I was too young. But I really depend on having the Webmaster around at bedtime. Since we have two kids at the moment, we each take a kid, read to them and pray with them and tuck them in. Sometimes we have to poke our heads into the other kid’s room to say good-night, but we’ve pretty evenly split the bedtime routine. With the Webmaster not here at bedtime, I have to employ my naptime routine: distract Ane with a read-along or just let her play in her room while I read to Tad and put him down.

Last night, Ane kept checking on Tad and me to see if I was done with him yet. This was very distracting to her brother. I did manage to get them both down without much trouble, and they both fell asleep easily enough, but Ane asked where Daddy was when it was time to pray and pick out a CD to listen to.

I have a greater respect for my mom after this week. She did this for years, and I know we didn’t make her life any easier. I remember one particular evening – Auntie was an infant, I was a freshman in high school – and I needed chicken legs to take to school the next day for science class (we were doing a dissection), and my brother needed an essay written by a parent for something-or-other, and it could be on any topic. My mother, frustrated beyond words that she was having to deal with this at 7 pm at night (we had both gotten the assignments that day), drove out and bought the chicken legs for me and then wrote an essay on having to accomplish things for her kids on short notice because they either don’t tell her on time or the schools think that she can pull chicken legs out of her purse… let’s just say that she didn’t run out of things to write about.

I know that I have a busy fall ahead of me. I’m really looking forward to getting into a steady schedule and rhythm with the kids… and I’m glad that I will have the Webmaster to help me through it all after this week is over.

One Response to “Single parenthood”

  1. Matthew
    September 14th, 2007 19:21

    Oh, I bet your mother loved writing that essay.

    My mom raised my brother and I all by herself since my father died when I was six and my brother was one. What a fantastic woman that she didn’t kill us.