I became a mom at a very young age. My baby daddy and I were not married. When our relationship ended, and he moved to another city, I suddenly found myself navigating the choppy waters of parenthood alone, as a single mommy, and let me tell you, it was hard work. Anyways, I eventually got married to my Hubstopher and to be honest I thought that things would change. But the truth is I still feel like a single mom sometimes. A married single mom. Does anyone else feel that way? Your reasons could be that your partner is not very hands on with the kids, or maybe he works a lot, or maybe, like me, your kids just prefer you. You find yourself somehow steering a ship designed to have two captains and you’re not even sure how on earth you got there.
It’s not uncommon to feel as if you’re the only one doing the work in your household. I remember growing up and hearing my mother moan something along the lines of “am I the only person living in this house?!” while changing the the empty toilet paper roll for the gazillionth time. Well, I found myself thinking these very same thoughts this past weekend and the amounts of “uhhh HECK no!” that hit me full force in the face, was astounding! I was NOT going to be a married single mother. Heck to the no! Not me, not this lady. Not again.
Now, maybe your married-single-mom-ness is due to the fact that your husband works in another city, or maybe he works crappy hours. Fair enough. Maybe he simply chooses to not do anything. That’s another blog post for another day. But you see, mine is none of the above. Hubstopher is always eager to help out. I mean, granted he has his fair share of “I’m in my work bubble” moments at home, while I’m trying to cook, do homework and bath the baby all at the same time. But if I had to keep it real, I sometimes find myself subconsciously choosing to be the only one pulling the weight. Why? Well, because he won’t do it the way I do it. So I’d much rather pack the lunches myself, thank you very much.
I know how to make the baby’s bottles, so I’ll do it. I know what Kari needs to wear to school, and he might dress her in her “going out clothes”, so let me get her clothes and dress her quickly. I’m able to bath both babies, at the same time, and leave the bathroom clean in the process. When he baths them (one at a time, and it takes forever!), the bathroom ends up looking like a bomb exploded in it. I’ll do it, thanks. Sound familiar?
We can never compare being a “married single mom” to being an actual single mom. Single parents in general have way more challenges to overcome and there are other ways that Hubstopher supports me that I did not get when I was single. But I feel like I’ve inadvertently placed myself in a “married but single mom” box and it makes me want to punch someone. Me. I want to punch me. Because I’ve allowed this to happen! At times I’ve even chosen it! And guys, it’s NOT fair for one parent to be doing all the work.
Whether you’re a stay at home mom or you’re “single parenting” because your partner lives in another place. It’s flippen draining. Is it possible? Yes, it is. I know lots of single parents who are doing a kick ass job. But if your partner is present, I believe that he should be just as involved as you are with the day to day raising of your kids. And uhm, Margaret, there is no such thing as “but it’s the woman’s job to do it”. I mean, I get it, he’s the man of the house and he deserves to get the biggest piece of chicken during supper time. But being “the man” in your home has nothing to do with the amount of work you are negated from. In fact, it means you have a bigger responsibility to make sure your ship is sailing smoothly, Captain. You can’t call it babysitting if it’s your own kids, Broseph. Mommy is not the majority shareholder… it’s 50/50!
So this post is for all of you who feel as if you’ve drop kicked yourself into a “married but single mom” box, by mistake. It’s okay. There is still time to change things. Let go of the reigns a little bit and allow your partner to step in and assist you. Take your shoes off, grab that cup of coffee, sit back and let your man be the man in your home and in your family. You’re welcome.