Single Mama, I know it doesn’t seem fair and it can get lonely but I want you to know that you are not alone!
5:45 a.m. My alarm goes off, I need to get up because this is my only quiet time with God. Drag my feet into my office (on a good day when I don’t press “snooze” instead) open up my Bible and journal some prayers.
6:30 a.m. Time to wake the girls.
“Girls get up, get ready for school.”
“Shayla! Why are you still in bed? You need to get ready or we’re gonna be late!”
7:00 a.m. Time to get the boys up and ready. Change the baby’s diaper and dress him. Bring the 3 year old’s clothes and dress him too because he’s too tired to dress himself.
7:20 a.m. After mediating a couple fights between siblings it’s now time to get in the car.
“Everybody, line up at the door!” “Where is your sweater?” “Do you have your homework?” “Ok, everyone in the car…”
7:30 a.m. Drop off my oldest girls, 3rd and 4th grade. Practice anger management with the other parents in the parent drop off line.
“You’re not supposed to enter from there!” “Go! What are you waiting for?”
Don’t worry, I only say these things in my mind.
7:45 a.m. Arrive back at home. Get the baby and the 3 year-old out of the car. Make breakfast… Okay, okay, pour cereal.
8:00 a.m. Turn on the tablet for the 3 year old… At least they’re educational apps right? Get the baby cleaned up from the cereal that didn’t seem to make it in his mouth… he’s almost a year and a half but still, my baby. Get on my computer and start my work for the day.
The baby climbs up into my arms, “No! Don’t press buttons, I’m working.” Continue working and typing one handed.
*Sniff* *Sniff* Something smells… I put my computer down and change the baby’s diaper. Give him a toy,
“this should keep him occupied for a few minutes.”
8:20 a.m. Remember that I need to start a load of laundry, otherwise it’ll pile up into the monstrous mountain I have in my room right now.
8:30 a.m. Get back on my computer and continue working. Try to concentrate with the two little guys playing, talking and fighting. Remind myself that I’m blessed.
“How many single moms get to stay home with their babies?” “You are blessed.”
9:45 a.m.“Hurry, hurry, we need to get ready to get to the gym.” We’re meeting my friend at 10 a.m… Accountability.
“Eli, where did you take your shoes off at??” “What do you mean you don’t know? You were just wearing them!”
10:05 a.m. Arrive at the gym, drop the kids off at the child watch. Show up 10 minutes late, my friend is used to it anyways. Workout for an hour because I’m single, in my 30’s… This wasn’t the plan. I should feel like I “still got it” right? Or maybe I just come for me, to feel good about myself when I look in the mirror.
Ugh, rejection and insecurity. Maybe I’m just trying to love myself because I’ve never done that before.
11:10 a.m. Arrive back at home, quick shower, mom bun, make the boys sandwiches because that’s easy. Protein, I need protein, otherwise the weight lifting was for nothing. Tuna and crackers… That’ll do.
11:30 a.m. Get back on my computer and back to work. Type and eat; multitasking. Tell the 3 year-old to clean up his mess. Tell the baby not to throw his food on the floor.
12:30 p.m. Need more food. Greek yogurt, honey and granola it is. Can’t eat on my own because the boys want some of my food too. So I share and don’t mention that I’m still hungry.
12:45 p.m. Try and clean up the disaster that the boys left while I was working. The baby is the worst, it looks like a tornado went through my house.
1:30 p.m. Time to pick up the girls. The rest of this mess will just have to wait.
“Eli, you took off your shoes again??” “Where are they, we have to go!”
1:45 p.m. Wait in the parent pick up line. Practice more anger management…
“Do you read any of the newsletters?? You can’t enter that way!” “You’re cutting in front of everyone.” “No, I’m not letting you in.”
Once again, these things only go through my mind.
2:05 p.m. Arrive at home. Try to lay the baby in bed without him waking up. Tell the girls to get a snack and start their homework. Help with homework.
3:30 p.m. Figure out what to make for dinner because I never plan ahead, though that’s a great idea. Defrost the meat in the microwave (is that healthy?) Clean, multitask, hold the baby when he wants to be held, break up fights between children, listen to the girls talk a million miles an hour about their day.
Mom is tired…
5:00 p.m. Eat dinner, try to listen and show interest in what the kids want to talk about. Make them eat their vegetables. Fight over eating vegetables.
“You at least need to try it, how can you not like something you never tried?”
5:30 p.m. Direct the kids on how to clean up their mess (mostly the 3 year old.) Put the food away, if I don’t forget. Clean up the baby and change more diapers, mediate more arguments, redirect more attitudes.
5:45 p.m. Remember that I never put the clothes in the dryer. Start the wash again.
6:00 p.m. Open my computer, get back to work. Let the kids watch TV so I can finish my work for the day. Hold the baby in one arm and type with the other. Ask the girls to help out with the boys after they take a shower.
7:45 p.m. Bedtime routine. Make sure everyone is in their pajamas, teeth are brushed and baby’s diaper is changed. Family meeting in the girls room. Lets all go around and say something we like about each family member, even daddy. Now let’s go around and each say a prayer. AMEN.
8:00 p.m. In a perfect world the kids would all be sound asleep and I would get a couple hours of “me time.”
Shayla wants a drink of water, Jayd is throwing things from her bed at her sister, Eli wants a back “assage” (massage) and Nehemiah won’t stay in his bed. The boys want to sleep in Mama’s bed.
“No, you can’t sleep in Mama’s bed. There isn’t enough room, you’ll push me to the edge and I JUST. WANT. TO. SLEEP.”
9:30 p.m. After getting the girls to stop talking, putting Nehemiah back in his bed 50 times and getting Eli to sleep, I get into my bed with my computer. “Ah, now I can get some writing done in this peaceful, quiet house.” Though, I can hardly keep my eyes open. Close my computer and remind myself that I am blessed.
“I have a house to live in, a good car to drive, I can stay home with my babies… I am blessed.”
I go to sleep because this all begins all over again in the morning…. Then I remember that I never put the clothes in the dryer… “Eh, I’ll wash them again tomorrow…”
Our days may look a little different and our situations may be a little different but the understanding is the same. This isn’t easy but you’ll get through it Mama. Look around you, we’re here, you are not alone.
Most importantly, God sees you and knows your struggle the best. He will give you power on your weak days and endurance when you feel like giving up. You are not alone.