Ah the promise that title holds. especially if you are a struggling single mom and if you are a newbie to singledom with offspring, you may have clicked on it hoping to have the magic answer to your questions and not have to reinvent the wheel of surviving while the kids are out if school all summer.
I don’t know if I should hit you with the disappointing aspects of the actual content as compared to the outstanding shamelessly promising title now, or let you figure it out for yourself. At least if you are the curious type and want to know how you got duped you will go ahead and read it, whereas I tell you up front, you may not.
I guess either way is ok because I get the kick-start to my self-esteem, something that single moms need every once in a blue moon from the outside world. Validation in the form of interest in them and what they have to say in non-relation to being a mommy, which is a paradox but I;ll let you sort that out (for examples of paradox, click HERE to be transported to a new window with amazing examples of paradox and other great things you may or may not enjoy. Depends on how you like English. The subject. )
Which by the way just told you tip number Uno (that;s one in Spanish, I need to keep up on my foreign correspondence skills like pressing one for english .. . or something)
Seek validation every once in a blue moon from non mommy related activities and from non offspring humans. (not to be confused with non human offspring..please)
I was going to title it The Pros and COns of Hitchhiking with either Thumb or Forefinger Gesture Change exponentially but Have Absolutely no Bearing on the Price of Tea in that Little Cafe on the Corner.Or China for That Matter. I Don’t care How You Play It,
There were issues with it though.
So what have we learned so far? I just want you to see that it is worth it to keep reading. I PROMISE. No wait, I am not a candidate for office I won;t promise. I will say in my honest opinion as the writer of this piece, it may be pretty good by the end, Its shaping up ok, don’t you think? A little advice here already, without too much effort. ok I put lots of effort in to it ok? I just make it look easy
Quick mid level, before the crux of the biscuit, review (that means we haven;t got to the good stuff yet, Just saying )
The Spanish word for one is uno – pronounced UNo like the card game and especially useful if you are on a call and hear the prompt to press one for english or spanish but aren’t; sure which they said. If it sounds like prese uno, it’s for Spanish and don;t go there if you don;t speak it, you will never get out of that menu at any place good.
Listen for press 1 then hang up because that’s a crock anyways, I already pressed 7-10 numbers I am not pressing one more to hear my language spoken in a thick whatever accent. I mean …. c’mon. The kids are like radars to me on the telephone, I won;t have time. Ever.
If you are a single mom – or single dad, with one, or more, kids that are to be in your care all summer while not in an institution of learning, then I have one really good piece of advice to ensure your survival. Also really this is for the custodial parents that already have said kid and or kids all the rest of the year too, not the parent that is getting them for a few weeks.
We have to distinguish because if this advice covered everyone then it would be mayhem and that would be reckless of me and oh the poor kids. They would be running amok. No need for that to go that far.
Might make it worth it that you got it too late this summer but in plenty of time to plan ahead for next. You can thank me later.
Get rid of them,
For the summer I mean lets not get carried away.. geesh. Do I need a CYA disclaimer here - no one is gonna be stupid about this right? Ok..
The obvious and best choice is of course the Dad (or Mom for you single dads out there who clicked on the title Single Moms Summer Survival Guide. I should just change the title but some of the stuff a little later is kinda girly.. you can still change it around. )
Barring that get creative.
- aunts and/or uncles
- rent a kid – I used to rent them out as a service so people could test different age gap and numbers of offspring they wanted. They had to go a minimum of two weeks (cause they are always good for strangers the first week) and at least one small child even if they wanted older. I charged good rates and free for my friends. If they took the whole gaggle for a minimum of 5 weeks, I paid them. A lot of parents stopped at one or two because of my service.
- another rent em out option that is not as lucrative or good at getting the time off because it is renting the kid as an example to other kids and you can not have them go with a sibling (they fight) or for more than 1 week (they reveal their un-exemplary side after that.) Parents with really bad kids can pick the best child to fit their family – I have quite a selection, and take them home to show their kids how they are supposed to behave.
- Traveling Circus
- Summer camps – overnight of course are the best but if you are this far down , don;t knock the day camps for a break. then just tell your kids to hide in the stables at night once or twice a week. One of the best summers my kids remember although they did learn some uh..things that maybe… nope it was fine.
There are any number of ways to pawn your kids off for the summer that are safe and effective without them being the wiser to your motives.
Oh we haven;t covered the motives and this is important. Of course you have motive to get rid of your kids for the summer. Are you kidding me? You need a break. And if you sit there and tell me you don’t, I am going to call bullshit, not around the kids though, and say you are not being honest., The sooner you be honest and admit the truth the sooner you will lose the guilt and the crappy cloud hanging over you.
I don;t know who in the heck made it not ok to say I want a break from my kids. A long one. Or that you are looking forward to not having them around for a few weeks so you can have you time.
I mean this society is so into the world revolves around me, except for single moms (and dads too). Let them say they need some them time and OMG ,,, its disturbing the double standards, really people.
If more if us just told the truth about how much we look forward to that fraction of the year - less than 10 percent of it usually, without our kids then maybe there wouldn;t be such unrealistic expectations of super parent because we are single parents and ..and ..ya know, don;t get me started. It’s already too late but it chaps my ass really.,
It doesn;t mean you don;t love the monsters and that your wold doesn;t in fact revolve around them when the y are here… it has to becasue you are single and …. um it doesn’t mean you won;t miss them, after the third or fourth week. I meant hour, It doesn;t make you any less of a parent to want to take advantage of one of the advantages of sharing custody with the other parent, Yes, I have been dong this for … .,,, ,,, ,,, 12, no 14 years.. the custodial, shared thing, I mean I was remarried part of that tine but the last 5 years have been all about it.
I think I can speak with authority and say stop beating yourself up and don’t let anyone tell you it makes you a less than parent. Less than good, great, loving, maybe less than them or they would like to think anyways. Single parents are easy targets for insecure parents to get a dig to feel better..( not nice but true). Please.
Do not believe the hype, do not take the ticket to ride that particular guilt train. We have way more guilt than is really necessary anyways. Dont. Do. It. DO you hear me?
Do you need some way to justify this until you get used to the idea? Let me give you a bit of my experience. Don’t use mine word for word because if we have different things going on, like I have 6 kids and you have one, it doesn;t sound authentic. Plus it really only applies to the divorced moms (OK and DADS too) because it falls under this wasnt a solo gig when I signed on for it.
I mean unless you did sign on for the solo gig, like Octo Mom or something. Then I guess skip the next section. But keep reading for the prompt to rejoin the group.
I was on a roll and kinda hit a bump in the flow. I mean there are parents that did sign on for the solo ride. I can’t decide if the are brave or… not so much ..well ya know to be fair, you really have no idea until you try it and they did stiffen the return policy quite a bit so…
Moving on, we were rolling and now we are again.
I, as I mentioned some time earlier, look somewhere around 2 paragraphs ago, did not sign up for the solo gig. I birthed all but one (the eldest duh) whilst I was firmly ensconced in the bonds of matrimony (holy type ) thereby ensuring that it was not then, nor ever supposed to be, a solo gig.
I also have that little bit of a bothersome mental illness thing going on… cuckoo for cocoa puffs thing and leaving me all alone in charge of 6 – usually 5 kids may not be the smartest thing to do. Not because I can;t be a good mom, ok sometimes I can;t in the conventional sense of the word good, whatever that means. It’s that its kind of a tough thing to ask the kids to go through.
Tougher then the usual standard of living nose dive and all the other shit a kid with divorced parents has to deal with.
So I spent a few years, the ones that I had the kids all year round no break, feeling a tremendous amount of guilt for wanting them to go away for a while. Oh yea, its true, And I faked it good too, but when someone would tell me how strong I was, or how great of a job I was doing, I felt even worse, like a fraud, because at the back of my mind was, I wonder if their dad will take them for the summer, or even just for groundhog day. I think it is his year (no lie folks, groundhog day )
Until a particularly brutal week alone dealing with 11 yo’s behavior issues, I was worn out and emotionally empty and I wanted to just break down and cry and the tears wouldn’t come and the bad feeling wouldn’t leave and I … I got pissed off. I got pissed off that this was a solo gig that I didn;t sign on for and that the other half of the duo got out of the deal with no responsibility. I did not make these babies myself dammit! And as I said before on another day before today, I called him and insisted.
And that is it. Ever since then I don’t feel bad about needing a break, I wish I could avoid the airplane tin can, oh boy do I, but as soon as they are on the ground where they go, I let him worry about them for a while. Nothing wrong with that. I am a better mom for being honest.
I am not super mom, if you ask me how I do it, I will tell you I have no idea ,, what the hell are you asking me for? I do it like I do everything else, close my eyes and jump in only with more love and…stuff. I also have a lot of help from my mom and dad. And the rest of my family.
SO here it is
- learn a little Spanish and the difference between press 1 and press 1 to free up your time
- understand what a paradox is
- lose the guilt
- get rid of the kids
- after they arrive at destination, don’t worry about them, call them or miss them,
- Lose the guilt – did I say that? oh well bears repeating
- restore yourself
follow this simple survival guide Part 1 and you will not only survive the summer, you might be an even better parent when they come back…
you can thank me now, or later, or both even.
You are welcome. :-)
Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Single Moms (ok and Dads too) series that covers what you can do with your time while the kids are gone. I recommend making the arrangements first before any reading or planning. If for some reason you can’t commence with step 1 – remember get creative people… then it will just dash your hopes to read part 2 and when you see what the single sans offspring parents are doing with themselves (and each other ) … make the arrangements first. Then read part 2. Look for it in July 2013… ha! kidding! Look for it soon. While it is still summer at least.
- Invisible Man: Media Focus on Single Moms Ignores Disappearing Dads (clutchmagonline.com)
- What Single Moms Want Their Married Friends To Know (5minutesformom.com)
- Single Mom Help Network Introduces New Section Providing Career Help for Single Mothers (prweb.com)
- To Beat Odds, Poor Single Moms Need Wide Safety Net (npr.org)