Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Confessions of a Single Mom

Does anyone else ever feel like this woman?
image via google images
Parenting in and of itself presents so many single parenting can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming.  Each of us has our own style, our own set of rules, our own way of doing things.    Here are a few personal confessions of things that I do (or don't do) that may be a little against the grain...

1.  I sometimes use our TV as a baby-sitter.  If you have a television, which I'm sure most of you do, don't tell me you don't do this!  Don't get me's not like I actually leave the house with my daughter parked in front of the TV.  But if I need some time to get some things done - whether it's cleaning the house, paying bills, or completing a craft project - sometimes the best way is for me to turn the tube on.  And since I've always been a solo parent, this started when my daughter first showed an interest in television.  Although it was almost seven years ago, I distinctly remember when she first watched the Teletubbies and was glued to the screen.  I was in physical therapy school at the time and there were projects, papers, group work that had to get done.  As a single parent, you do what you've gotta do!  (I also want to mention here, in my defense, that she is only allowed to watch television on the weekends.  Absolutely no TV on school nights at our house!  Unless you're the parent and the kiddo is in bed...)

2.  I actually like to have some time away from my daughter.  Please don't be appalled by this! 
Hopefully if you're a parent, you can relate.  Sometimes I feel like single parents are expected to be super parents...doing all work with no play.  And sometimes I fall into that rut myself.  Because I don't have a significant other to leave my daughter home with when I feel like I need a girls night or want to go on a trip, it takes a little more planning.  I realize that some married women have a hard time getting a night out too but it's different when you actually have to pick up the phone and call in a sitter or a grandparent.  Not to mention the fact that baby-sitters require payment!  (I have yet to find anyone to swap baby-sitting with but that's definitely an idea to look into if you're a single parent too...)  Needless to say, I savor these moments.  Whether it's a weekend away or a few hours at the mall, having some "me time" rejuvenates me and helps me to be the best single mom I can be!

3.  My house is not clean.  I'm working really hard on this one...using daily chore lists and trying to keep up with the laundry more frequently.  But if something has to go, cleaning house is usually it!  I love to go places and do things with my daughter, we love to travel and go on trips, and I try to stay actively involved in both her school and team functions and our church.  Amongst our harried life, keeping an immaculate house is at the bottom of my priority totem pole.  I try to put on a good show by doing some quick tidying before company (which sometimes just means grabbing things and piling them in our spare bedroom or storage room!), but for anyone that just drops by on a whim - let's hope they don't pass judgement!

4.  I don't let my child participate in every single activity she's interested in.  While I realize that there sometimes appears to be a rat-race to see whose child is the next biggest athlete/star/genius, I've made the choice that my daughter will not be vying for the title.  I want her to have a well-rounded education and to develop interests and talents but what I don't want is to become her personal taxi...driving from soccer practice to piano lessons to gymnastics and Brownies. our house, it's one weekly activity/sport per season.  With the weight of other obligations, I can't handle anything more.  If I tried, it might just push me and her over the edge!  And to think, I only have one child! 

Single or not, what are your own parenting confessions?  


  1. Sarah, I do all those things, too--and I'm not a single parent! Well, we gave our tv away a few years ago, but popping a dvd in the laptop serves exactly the same purpose, right?

    Wish Danville wasn't so far away, so you could go do something by yourself (besides work!) while Libby played at our house :)

    1. Thanks, Anne! I wish it wasn't so far away too! Would love to still have you guys just down the street...
      I have to say I'm very impressed that you all bit the bullet and got rid of your TV! I read something you'd posted about it on your blog (maybe when you posted about Seven?). Even if you do "cheat" with a laptop, it's still pretty awesome! And besides, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that has an electronic baby-sitter from time-to-time. :)

  2. I also confess to sometimes using the TV as a babysitter. With the number of things that just have to be done, I simply don't have the energy to play with her.

    I confess to not really listening to her- sometimes. When I'm just too tired, I feign attention, and oftentimes she sees through me.

    In lieu of a significant other around the house, I'm lucky to have a loyal nanny whom I can leave my daughter with. I do get my time off when my girl spends the weekend at her dad's.

    1. I can totally relate to the not-listening thing! I'm terrible about that too! I get distracted with the things I'm doing or thinking about and sometimes I'm just on auto-pilot and don't realize a thing that Libby is saying while I'm smiling and nodding my head! I need to do better about that. Because she sees through it too! And I remember when I was little that my mom did the same thing and how mad it would make me that she wasn't really listening. Who am I kidding?! It still makes me upset when people don't really listen to what I'm saying! :)