Updated: Apr 12, 2019
Hello Girl Gone Smart readers! My name is Kristen. I'm a mom. And I am exhausted. To be a bit more descriptive, I'm a 38 year old working (accountant) single mom living in Delmar, NY. I'm lucky enough to have been graciously invited by the host of this awesome blog to write about whatever I'd like. What an opportunity, right? I honestly have no idea what I will ultimately write about here - politics, parenting, dating, feminism, finances, general ranting and raving - but stay tuned to find out!
Regardless of the topic, pretty much every post of mine should have a "language warning" associated with it. I'll try to reign it in, but it's such a part of my vocabulary that my child once reminded me before a visit to her classroom to "not say bad words in school, Mommy." Oops. Anyway, today I would like to talk about the chaos of parenting.
Now, I've been doing this single parent thing since my 8 year old daughter was born. Hell, I even drove myself to the hospital alone, in the middle of the night, when I went into labor. (Would not recommend it.) So I'm not new to this doing it all on my own thing. I've been rushing from work to doctor's appointments and school events and after school pickups and lessons and girl scouts and concerts and plays for years now. But every so often, I have one of those weeks - a week that is so incredibly draining and exhausting that you just have to pause and wonder what in the ever living hell you're doing.
Case in point: just this week I've had to be at work early to provide training, meaning I've had to have both of us up and ready and out the door an hour earlier than usual. We've had a two hour cookie selling booth with girl scouts at the mall one night. We've had an art show and ice cream social at her school another. She had a doctor's appointment where we waited an hour to see the doctor (whyyyyy do they insist on scheduling you for 3:30 if they're not going to see you until 4:30??) We've had a mad scramble to find wide width softball cleats for softball season that starts this weekend. We've had tantrums and fights about which clothes are appropriate for 30 degree mornings; a hurried shopping trip for some new t-shirts because kids grow like weeds; a "board game and dinner" night; a library run so I don't owe more money to the library in overdue book fines; several scooter rides around the neighborhood; and even more tantrums and fights about mom being too cold and tired for another scooter ride around the neighborhood. This is on top of all the typical grocery shopping, lunch packing, bath time having, bedtime story reading, dinner making, dish washing, laundry doing, house cleaning fun of the week. I'm tired just writing about it all.
Next week starts softball season so two nights a week for the next two months expect me to be rushing home from work, rushing to get us fed before we rush over to the field for practice and game time, then rushing back home to get the kid ready for bed so we can both go to sleep at a reasonable hour. The craziest thing? This chaos is all completely normal for parents. This hectic lifestyle was a conscious decision that we all made at some point. Granted, it was a younger, less exhausted and slightly naive version of me that signed up for this shit. But sign up, I did. All because we want our kids to have the best possible things in life - and this is what we are conditioned to believe we need to do in order to give them the best.
I know many parents that do multiple activities with multiple kids and honestly I am in complete awe of them - the scheduling, the shuttling around, the non stop rushing - all so their kids can have kid experiences. It's all just so... exhausting to me. You know what I'd like to schedule? Some down time. Some TV time. Some scooter riding around the neighborhood time. Some lounging on the couch in our PJs while we eat too many chocolate chip pancakes and play on our phones time. Maybe that makes me a lazy parent. (Ahhh, shades of mom guilt - that's a post for another time.) Or maybe it makes me a normal parent. Maybe it even makes me a good parent - down time is highly underrated. Either way, I'm making it my goal for next weekend - some good, old fashioned do nothing time.