I love being a parent and because I’m an optimist I always try to look on the bright side of being a single parent. It’s hard for me to admit that sometimes I don’t like being a single parent.
I wouldn’t trade my daughter for anything in the world but sometimes it’s just too much. When I was first divorced and Hailey was much younger just having to be constantly available was overwhelming. When I was married I took a walk every evening for about an hour. I needed that time away just to regroup and quiet my mind.
Once I was divorced those walks became a thing of the past. Hailey was too young to leave alone and when she went with me, although it was enjoyable, it didn’t give me the break I needed. I started taking long baths instead but it seems she was always at the bathroom door with a question.
I would try to wait until she went to sleep to get some time for myself but usually by the time she was in bed, I was exhausted.
It was frustrating and at times I resented it. I hated being the only one to answer a question, pour a drink, fix a sandwich or whatever else she needed.
I looked forward to the times my ex took her for the weekend and I felt guilty about it. When she was gone, I missed her. I worried about her, I wondered if she was happy and having fun. When she left I couldn’t’ wait for her to come back, and then it would start all over again.
It’s hard being a single parent. It’s hard when the kids are with you and its hard when they are not. Sometimes it feels like everything is just a house of cards waiting to tumble down. I used to feel overwhelmed when Hailey was with me and sad when she wasn’t. There was no happy medium.
As Hailey has gotten older it has gotten much easier. Little measures of independence for her mean more freedom for me. Not necessarily freedom to do things without her but the freedom to simply be without all the questions and demands.
Single parenting is hard, but it does get easier and the rewards are tremendous. So if you are single parenting toddlers all I can say is it’s normal to be resentful sometimes but hang in there, it does get easier.