The Next Stretch

Dang. I hate next stretches.

Just when you feel like you’ve gotten the kinks out, something new comes along and you have to use new muscles. Or build new muscles you’ve never used before. Gah!!

Okay, what is Alice bitching about this time?

This time I’m bitching about being a single parent.

I don’t normally consider myself a single parent. Even though I’m divorced to my children’s father, he is still very much involved in their lives. Except when he has an extended business trip out of the country.

Gah!! (again)

You feel a lot of pressure when you’re a single parent. I don’t know how people do it. You guys know how much I love my kids, etc, etc, so it’s not so much that there’s no break (although, I have to say that is a factor), it’s that I feel like the world is on my shoulders. Mine and mine alone.

Gah!! (last one)

Intellectually, I know that’s not true. I know the same God that watched over my children (and the whole world) when I was married, watches over them now that I’m single. And (note to self for 3:00am) it is the same God who kept me safe at night when I was married that keeps me safe now.

God hasn’t shrunk. My muscles have. Or rather, my faith has.

Or, rather rather, my faith needs growing. Hence the new stretch.

Gah!! (I lied)

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3 Responses to The Next Stretch

  1. Celina says:

    I had a friend say to me, “you are a proper single mother now.” I guess I had never really thought about it until that moment. Six months into this separation, and I am feeling it. The frustraiton, the exhaustion, the sheer insanity, the new schedule, getting four children under the age of 10 dressed, fed, and ready for school by 7am everyday. Add to that a lack of funds, college classes and a potty training toddler.

    Gah! ( I second that)

  2. postalice says:

    (edited a sloppy paragraph. hope that’s better!)

  3. Richard says:

    There’s a term I came to know a long while ago called, “The burden of responcibility.” I was helping out at a christian camp, assistant leaders of a section of people. It wasn’t till camp was over that it felt like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It was the first time I had felt it and appreciated it. I wanted to talk to the leader of the section leaders about it, well his wife, to see if it was normal as the guy was running around with a waste paper basket on his head like a child and trying to put one on other people’s heads. His wife said, pointing at him, “Yes, it’s normal!” It’s not called “a burden” for no reason! That was the same God before during and after the camp! The same faith throughout, not sure it is to do with either of those. It’s about caring. If I didn’t care it wouldn’t have been a burden.

    It is important to have proper respite. When I looked after the kids I used to long for the wife to come home, when she walked in the door it was that same weight being lifted off of my shoulders. But I found that school didn’t do it for me. I had to be on call, I was responcible for every bad thing that happened to them there. When they came home and off loaded their miseries, it made it worse. That’s why I started home edding, it was lighter having them where I could see them. They were under 7 at the time.

    The trouble with school is you don’t know if they are safe. I’m not trying to promote doom and gloom, I think we feel that. Some people have great faith in schools and others don’t. I think it probably depends on your own experiences when you were young. That and watching the news!

    Propper respite is when they are at a friends house on a sleep over, or aunties house. When I was at home with them waiting for the wife to come home, I used to wonder how single parents coped. It was interesting that if she wasn’t coming home one night for whatever reason, I could last, I usually lasted until about 30 minutes before she walked in the door!! A good support network is good for you, and farm them all off at once, make sure they all have somewhere to go at the same time, regularly!

    Remember “love your neighbour as yourself” if you aint looking after yourself, your neighbour gets a bum deal!

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