Single Parenting

I get to be a single mom to 3 kids for 10 days.

Ten days are probably not long enough to earn a true appreciation for all the work single moms have to do, but I’m going to give it my best shot.  My hat is off to all you ladies who do it day in and day out!

Greg, Abby and Ian left Thursday for Mexico, where they will work with our church to build houses for impoverished Mexican families.

I’ll be home with my three littlies, Aden, Cai, and Cael.

We plan to do nothing noble.

Fun, yes.  We may visit cows!

Noble, no.

I feel woefully unprepared for these 10 days.

I was originally feeling fine.  All empowered and “Me Woman.  Me Strong.”

But then I realized that all of my babysitters – every single one – went on the Mexico trip, too.

Here are my babysittin’ girls last weekend:

That’s Abby, Brenna, Katee, Elsie and Erinn dressed up as Phineas and Ferb characters Stacy, Sally, Vanessa, “Linda the Mom,” and Candice.

On the bright side, these lovely ladies were planning and executing a fantastic birthday party for our friend, Spencer, who turned a whoppin’ 7 years old.

On the down side, Linda was always referred to as “Linda the Mom.”  Not just Linda.  Oh, no.  “Linda the Mom.”  I spent most of the party being offended on behalf of a cartoon character and trying to talk myself down.  You can see how well that worked, since I’m griping about it a week later to you.

Here’s the birthday boy, Spencer (aka Perry the Platypus), with Abby:

I love Spencer.  He’s such a BOY.  He’s wild and crazy.  He throws my 4-year-old boys around, which they completely dig.  He burps, which my 11-year-old boy completely digs.  And he hugs me really, really hard, which I completely dig.

Spencer rocks.

Spencer’s parents are my longtime friends, Jeff and Carleta.

Spencer is my fault because I introduced Jeff and Carleta.

This blog is Spencer’s fault because Carleta needed to see some raw parenting data.  You can go ahead and blame them.

We hosted Spencer’s birthday at our house because Carleta said my house is good for kids.

I’m pretty sure she meant that I don’t care that the noise level will rival a Space Shuttle launch.  Or that red Kool-Aid will be spilled.  Or that the slimy guts of a rubber chicken will be broken all over my floor.

That’s Spencer squeezing the guts out of the rubber chicken.

Carleta was right.  I thought it was hilarious when it broke.

Well, minus the sad kid.  I didn’t like that part as much.

Last week, we had a party for Spencer, 28 party guests, and 10 kids sleeping overnight in my house.

Last week, we had 5 middle and high school girls to plan party games, entertain kids, and make three batches of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

This week, I’m singing On My Own from Les Mis.  It’s overused.  It’s whiny.  It makes me cry.

It’s also completely invalid, since I’ve made plans that involve pretty darn good company.  My littlies PLUS some!  Did I mention the cows??

I’m going to miss Greg.  I’m going to miss Ian.  I’m going to miss Abby.

Well, maybe not the mouthing off parts.

Or the part where I eat too many of those warm cookies.  (Or the part where I chisel the overbaked, brown, granite-like cookies off the pan so I can eat them, too.)

But the rest of it, I’m going to miss.

Like I’m going to miss all my babysittinest girls.

In the meantime, my littlies will do their best to keep the volume high, the spills constant, and the guts oozing.

I’m sure they’ll do just fine.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
11 comments
  1. […] Beach Rocks By Five Kids Is a Lot of Kids Single parenting, days […]

  2. Is it sad that I like “Linda the Mom’s” outfit? Or that I REALLY like Spencer’s name. 😉

    1. Didn’t we all wear Linda the Mom’s outfit in middle school?? I LOVE that the 80’s are back. I know I should hate it, and I can’t bring myself to wear leggings or stirrup pants, but it *is* pretty rad.

  3. Let me just say that the cows were awesome! The kids also got to ride an extremely old horse all by themselves 🙂 The animals were great, but I am pretty sure that their favorite part of the afternoon was playing in large mud puddles!

    P.S. Does it really count as single parenting if you just take your three children to their other parent’s house?

    1. Hehehe! That’s why I thought I better note in the post that I set myself up with help. But I still think “heck, yeah! It counts.” Mostly because I’m enjoying the opportunity to be a martyr. Fun for me!

  4. Let the record reflect that “Chopped Liver & Company” *did* volunteer to sit this coming Wednesday night; otherwise let the pitifulness roll on.

    1. Hmmm, Papa. I’m oh-so-torn! I want to counter your choice of “volunteer,” but I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me childcare. What’s a know-it-all daughter to do??

      Maybe I can distract you by complimenting your offers of help at various points throughout the week… you did offer! That was GREAT!

      (Is he distracted?? Good! Then I can tell you that Wednesday night, I asked for babysitting and received an immediate “no.” Which was actually a joke and quite funny. And just in case my dad does read this far and contends that he meant “without charge” by the word “volunteer” — rather than “offer” which is how I took it — let me remind him that I have to pay for all these favors by sneaking Scotch into the nursing home some day. So there.)

  5. can’t wait to see pictures of these 10 days! 🙂 cows, constant spillings & oozing guts, what more does a girl want, really? 😉

    1. Sleep. A girls wants sleep. 🙂

      1. Right! Can’t believe I forgot about that one… Lack of it does crazy things to a girl 😉

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