Had you asked me just a month ago what it was like to be a parent I would have told you it’s AMAZING! I mean sure, it has it’s ups and downs, but nothing is anything like being a mother.
But now, one month in a 4 months stretch of living 2800+ away from my husband, parenting is starting to lose it’s joy.
Let me preface the rest of this post to say that single parents, I give you MAD props. I know you struggle just like the rest of us, the difference, you most often do not have a backup to ease some of the pressure of parenting 24/7. I commend you greatly for your determination and dedication to your children.
I’m tired of being by myself day in and day out.
I’m tired of being the only one my kids have to come to when they need something, which seems to be every second of every day that they are not in school.
I’m tired of looking forward to them going to school each day and giving me those 6 hours of peace and quiet.
I’m tired of being both the disciplinarian and the nurturer.
Most of all, I’m tired of feeling this way.
A few nights ago as I was tucking my kids into bed after a very rough day with behavior, my son told me he missed his dad. I quietly replied that I missed him too. My son’s very wise, at 8, response was, “Yeah, I bet you get tired of being the bad guy all the time.”
He hit the nail on the head. I’m tired of constantly being the bad guy to my kids, the one that gets after them when they are doing something wrong, the one that enforces consequences for poor decisions or actions, the who tries so hard to keep her cool and then can’t take it anymore and sends both kids to their rooms for quiet time.
I know my kids are hurting and struggling with having their dad so far away. We try to make the most of it with frequent video calls, but they aren’t the same. Nothing can come close to having him here in the flesh. And I know it’s not easy for my husband either. I know he sees me struggling and feels terrible that he isn’t with us to help. He tries to make the best of it by speaking to the kids while on video chat to enforce rules and consequences, but ultimately, I still have to be the one to carry them out and it’s taking it’s toll.
I’m encouraged that we do have an end in sight. An end that is still upwards of 90 days away, but an end no less. I pray for patience and strength everyday and I know that God will see us through this time apart and it will make our reunion that much sweeter. I’m confident that He will use this time to teach us to rely on Him and each other more heavily, we just have to allow ourselves to do so.
I end this with a request. If you know a single parent or a parent who is doing so solo, either due to deployment or another reason, say a prayer for them. Even if they seem like they have this whole thing under control, I know they could still use an extra prayer for those times when they feel like they are losing joy.