Monday, July 11, 2011

Random Thoughts' Monday: Parenting is not easy

Over the past few weeks, my husband's been attending a special workshop related to his job, and that's on top of his usual working hours. He leaves before we leave for school in the morning, and he's back in the evenings just before the kiddo goes to bed. So for the most part, in the recent month or so, I've been the only parent around the house most of the time.

And suddenly I've got a whole new level of respect and admiration for single parents! Especially for those single parents who don't have the other parent's support and help. Single mums, even more so. I can't say I've been in their shoes over the past month, but I kinda have an idea what it feels like, and if I'd had to deal with my kid all the time like this, I dunno if I would've been able to.

Parenting is hard. We always had clear roles here - I'm only 20 years older than my kid, 16 years older than my stepson. I'm more a buddy than a parent - my son and I are almost always arguing and going into lines like "Did Not! - Did Too!", that sort of deal. We love each other to bits, but it's always my husband, and their dad, who is the authority figure in our home. I can get the boys to obey me but they'll do things their way even if they get the job done. Not the case if their dad lays down the law. And not having him home recently during most of the time when I interact with the kid, I also have to become the authority figure, get him to listen and obey.

And that's not an easy feat, you know. I mean, of course he's a kid and at some point he's gonna cave in and do what you're telling him (allright - nagging him) to do. But taking on this mantle of being the carer, the buddy, the authority - how do you not get lost in there? How much is too much, too less, not enough? Plus my husband has always been a hands-on dad. We split the nights into shifts, taking turns to look after a demanding baby who woke up, on the dot, every 3 hours for a feed. He'd only drink like 30ml from the bottle, and probably throw it all up on you when you try to get him to burp. Then he'd go back to sleep, and 3 hours later, the routine starts again. Even though I had my husband's help, I could not prevent post-partum depression from rearing its ugly head up...

How would I have done if I'd been a single mum? And that's why I applaud and give two thumbs up and raise my hat and glass up to single parents! These people don't have it easy, but they battle through and look after their kids to the best they can. Through all that, they're probably the bread winner too, and basically also, single people probably looking for love and everything else people look for/aspire to. How do they do it? I wonder...

From Mauritius with love,


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