Tag Archives: single mother

Difficult days.

There are times when I have loved being a single mother. There hasn’t been anyone to argue with about what I think is best for the kids. No one to tell me what to do or where to go. I don’t have to okay anything with anyone; their father gave up that right years ago. It is just me making decisions.

And that means it is me taking the blame, too.

Ask anyone what it is like to have a teenage daughter and they will rant on about the disrespect, the rude behavior, the attitude. I’ve talked to plenty of mothers over the last year or two–”Is this normal?” “Is she supposed to hate me so much?” “Am I really as stupid as she says I am?” Every mother nods, smiles and reassures that it’s just teenage girls; they are a force to be reckoned with.

Logically, I know that. I realize her frontal lobe isn’t developed, that teenagers generally do think the world revolves around them. I know that she is just saying it to upset me. And day after day, it does. It wears on me and I wish I had someone to hold me up when she shoots me down who could come in with a deep, masculine voice full of authority to tell her it’s no way to treat her mother.

I have friends, dear friends, who support me and remind me that it the daughter isn’t the authority and even when she makes cruel assertions, they are just the spouting of an 8th grade girl. They remind me to take deep breaths and let it roll off my back like a duck in water.

So I try. I inhale through my nose and fill my lungs, exhale slowly, purposefully through my mouth. And again. But there are days when those breaths dissolve into sobs and I ache for someone to step in, help us manage these treacherous waters. Those are the days the anger boils over at events long past, at relationships since faded and I wish more than anything that this young teenaged girl had two people to guide her. Two people who loved her and each other, to be the object of her wrath — instead of only me, alone.

What is the point?

Since losing most of my blog, it’s set me to thinking about the whole idea of blogging. What is the point?

I’ve been posting bits and baubles about my life, my family’s life, for more than five years (how could it be that long?!), sharing moments that range from our decision to volunteer in Vietnam to our first real road trip as a family to my son’s role as the Moon. And sometimes I pontificate about the more important stuff, like what it means to be a Westerner in a developing country.

But I don’t often write about the ups and downs, struggles and joys of parenting alone.

And so when my blog here disappeared last week, I wondered if there was reason enough to get upset, or to re-start the process. I’ve thought about it and I’ve decided that yes, there is. There are only a few of us blogging who have been solo parenting for more than a decade, but we do exist and it can be done. And I think that’s really my point: it can be done and you can all be happy. It doesn’t actually require two parents to have a happy family. I’m sure it would be nice to have someone to share this all with, but it isn’t a necessity. Really.

Parenting is hard. Mothering can be tiring and overwhelming. But in the end (and I’m painfully close to the quasi end with my son), it’s all worth it.

A New Hobby


The GuyFriend wandered into a pub over near his house for the first time a few weeks ago and found our new pastime: shooting pool. Last week the two of us went and both sucked miserably at the game. Back and forth we went, neither getting anything except the cue ball into the pocket for several turns. It would have been embarrassing except we were pretty equally bad. I won but only because he scratched at the 8-ball. So, really, he was the better player.

We’re supposed to go back later this week and I think it’s going to be a little less balanced–he’s been back to practice. No fair!

Pre-teen Trauma Drama

A. had spent the last hour moping around upstairs, sure that her beloved computer game was forever corrupted by her own barely considered and swiftly enacted change of her computer’s resolution. Click. Click. Black. It had happened too quickly for her to back out. Control-Z. Restart. Still black. It was at that point that she’d lost all touch on reality and the wailing started. Like the woman in mourning as her husband burns on the funeral pyre, A. reeled with grief, the tears and strained moans coming haphazardly. She had fallen into the black abyss and her brother came to save her.

Clicking, reconnecting, resetting, searching, coding, restarting and more clicking; S.’s patience was on display as he calmly sought a way to reset A.’s resolution to one that the monitor would recognize, one that would let her play her game again. And finally it worked.

“You just need to turn the monitor on when you want to play,” he told her as he walked past her, sitting chin in hand on the stairs.

She sighed heavy and low then stood to go into the living room.

“It’s not gonna work,” she said to no one. “There’s no way he could fix it.” Click.

And with that click she realized just how magical her brother really is. “OH.” She ran to his room, busting the door open to give him an uncomfortably long hug and a kiss which is almost always refused, but managed to sit stoicly through. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re the best man in the house!”

Being the only man in the house, he wasn’t impressed.

“He’s the best big brother I know,” I shouted down to her.

“Yes! Yes! You’re the best big brother a kid could ever have! What can I do for you? I will do anything! Do you want a snack? A drink? A back massage? I’ll do anything!”

S. sat facing his own computer. “Anything?”

“Yes! Whatever.”

“Okay, then please just go away.”

And with that it was over. A. happily ran back to play and S. was back to being a typical teenage boy.