This is my very first guest post here at The Atomic Mom, and I'm very happy that it came from one very lovely mutha. Thanks, Heather, for making me look so much better! You can find more of Heather at HeatherJacobson.com.
Heather Jacobson is the author of Desperately Seeking Sanity where she attempts to blog humorously about her life, faith, children and the boy. She's a corporate career gal, a candle lady, youth group leader and softball coach. Heather is the mother to Matthew, age 12 and Samara age 9 and the best spaghetti maker in the world to the boy's two children ages 6 and 4. Heather thrives on the motto, "if it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done" and she's all about giving homemade gifts...which one of the kids would you like?
Being a single mother, to me, has never been a crutch. Ok. I need to rephrase that. I try very hard not to make it a crutch. The reality of it is, I am a single mother and with that come certain
obstacles challenges. And I? Rise to a challenge.
However, there are times when playing the single mom card is an absolute must. For example, I'm all about making it known that I'm a single mom if there is any way possible for me to get a rate reduction. The card is often played when I want favor granted my way. I have no qualms letting people think that I might be struggling if it behooves me in a particular area, but as a general rule? I like people to take note of my situation. I want to lead by example. I certainly don't want to be seen as a martyr, because I know that I am not the only person in this situation, however, there's a brief sense of self-gratification when, at the end of the day, I can sit back and look at what I've accomplished and say, "hey! I did that. All by myself!"
(We're not going to discuss my issue of refusing to ask for help today... that will have to be for another post... although, I can assure anyone who asks, I'm working on it. I promise.)
However, I've found myself in a unique position. I am currently dating the most wonderful man on the planet and for security purposes, we'll carryover his nickname from my blog to Katherine's and contie to call him the boy. The boy is a single father and I don't mean single father as in the every other weekend kinda dad, either. The boy is a bonafide single dad and has primary physical custody of his little ones, ages 6 and 4.
The boy and I had no choice but to incorporate the kids together early on. If you're a single mom, and you're attempting to date, you know how difficult it is to schedule time to date, let alone the time to shave your legs or find something that doesn't scream "I'm a mother" to wear.
Can I get an Amen?
Yes, the boy and I fell into an odd relationship right away in that we began functioning as a married couple in every aspect except the sex part. (Funny, I thought that whole "saving myself for marriage" was a GRAND idea when I wasn't dating and now? Well, I think that's another post for another day too...lol)
Ahem, back to the boy and I functioning as a married couple. We did. After I got over the fact that he offered to keep my dog for me when I went out of town for a few days, but I already said that we weren't going to discuss my inability to ask for help. If his kids needed to be somewhere and he was tied up at work, I would take them. He did the same for me. We often divide and conquer when it comes to the kids and I have no qualms about it now. To most people who don't realize that we actually maintain separate households, we are a married couple.
Not a bad thing except...
Neither of us can use the "single parent" card anymore. There again, neither of us used it often unless we had to, but when we want sympathy? When we want a break? We have a hard time playing that card to get it.
For example, his daughter has a shirt that says, "My Dad Did My Hair". Poor child. A crown of curls and he had not one iota of a clue as to what to do with it. So now? I fix her hair all up and he can't use that excuse anymore. If I'm not around to do it, I've shown him many times what to do.
When football season rolls around, I'm not going to be able to ask the coaches to work with him a little more, or to spend more time with him because he lives with a bunch of girls. The boy is now around and plays ball with him and his son in the back yard.
Yes, the excuses are gone.
Well, at least for being a single parent. It didn't take long for us to find a new excuse to gain sympathy from those around us. In fact, we're often seated first or pushed to the front of the line at times.
After all, we're not single parents anymore, but rather, parents of four ranging from 12 to 4. At least one of them is always having a meltdown. I began selling candles on the side and my sales pitch when I tell people why I started selling candles is that one day, I plan on marrying this man and join households...
We don't have a house or a car that will hold all of us... and some how, when you mention that, coupled with the fact that you're 12 year old is tired of riding in the trunk, people tend to feel sorry for you.
Or at least I think they do. Either that or they REALLY love all those candles they are buying...
Until next time...