Wednesday, March 21, 2012

this whole single parent thing

Let me start this post by saying that Steve is a good father.  The fact that his job takes him away from home 4-days a week, which leaves me to being a single-parent, is our reality due to this lifestyle.  So, when I mention being a single-parent, it isn't a function of Steve being out of the kids life, but rather a function that his work keeps his distance.  I am not complaining about his job, or about Steve...rather, this is a post where I need to vent, while at the same time seek reassurance.

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The days here have been crazy warm and just wonderful.  One evening in particular, while Steve was gone, was great...mac and cheese for dinner, the kids favorite!, a ride throughout the neighborhood with me towing the kids on the bike, with hills to boot...great for the ass!,  and gardening.  The night ended quite abruptly when CC decided to pee on the front stoop. 


So, into the bath the kids went.

Pajamas. Brushed teeth. Finally we settle amongst CC's pile of stuffed animals to read a book about a dinosaur who was filling in for a sick Easter bunny.

Here is where it gets real pretty.

Ben spit in CC's hair.

CC was sitting nicely on the floor, while Ben got up on his knees and spit right on the top of her head.  I was reading the book, so I caught him after the damage was done.

As lax as a parent I am with certain things, there are certain things I will not tolerate.  Spitting is one of them.  My impulse reaction was to calmly tell Ben that he was "not allowed to play on the iPad tonight."  I had promised him 15 minutes of the iPad before he went to bed.

Boy oh boy was this just the end of the world to him.  I can not emphasize how much Ben was upset.  He was crying, like the big time crying where you can't catch your breath, for a good 30 minutes. 

I kept telling him he couldn't have the iPad.  He kept insisting.  It was a battle.  I won.  He never got the iPad.  I fully believe that if I steer him at the age of 4, he will steer himself in the right direction at age 14, and 24, ect.


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And here is where the whole single parent thing comes into play.  I had no immediate assistance, whether it be positive or negative, to back me up.  The longer Ben cried, the more I started to question myself. Wait, am I right in taking the iPad away?  Yes I was right, Ben spit on CC's hair for goodness sake!  Keep strong...don't let the kid play you.  Keep strong.  Steve?!?!?!? Where are you?  Back me up in this.  Help!  Stay strong...


*****

Steve called after everything had played out and Ben was quiet in bed.  Steve was working out during this whole situation.  I told him what happened.

Let's add another dimension to this whole thing: type A personalities.  We have heard that pilots are type-A, right?  Um, I think that a pilot wife is even MORE type A than a pilot.

When Steve got the gist of what happened, he supported my decision in punishing Ben.  And then he went on to talk about how we need to talk to Ben about consequences to his actions...

...and here is where the type-A thing comes in.  Unbeknownst to Steve, I had two conversations with Ben in two days about consequences to his actions and how his actions can affect people.  How would he have known about these conversations, with my two feet on the ground and his two feet 35,000ft in the sky

I felt that I was in control of teaching Ben these life lessons, yet Steve suggested something I already did.  How dare you suggest something for me to do. Oh wait, you are the kid's father after all...I suppose you should be able to put in your $.02. 

I didn't take that well.  Why?  Who the hell knows.  I guess it is because I am a pretty fast paced person, and this topic was redundant to me.  Sort of like when Steve tells me five times that I need to get the weeds out of the vegetable garden...I heard you the first time! I don't like circling around a topic...probably just like he doesn't like circling around in a holding pattern.  Not to mention, the whole situation was emotionally/mentally exhausting and I didn't really care to talk about it any more. I was done with it. 

Wait, wasn't I just whining about needing Steve's backup? And now, I am bitching about him backing me up? 


*****


You see, sometimes it is hard to switch from single-parent mode to double-parent mode. On one hand I crave back-up, yet on the other hand I resist it.  I think that people who live the life we live, understand what I am talking about.  And I think that the people who don't live the life we live, probably think I am a nut job.

It is my job as a mother to raise these kids into good people.  Just like Peace Corps being "the toughest job you will ever love"...so is parenthood.  It is a tough job, no question, and the road is sometimes long.  I will be alone on this road at times, and I will be with Steve at times.  When I look back on all this, I won't remember all the bumps but I will remember the journey. 

I am proud that I have made it this far.  So far the kids haven't shown any indication of being serial killers, and my husband still loves me.  I must be doing something right...we must be doing something right...single parent at times, or not.




4 comments:

  1. Even though I can't relate to the kids part of this, I think I'm the same way with general house/dog/other stuff. I want him home to help more, but at the same time I have my established routine and way of doing things and sometimes it feels like he is just screwing with system when he's home! You want the help but you don't... I get that!

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    1. Yes! Screwing up YOUR routine. So true.

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  2. Love the post, subject matter is so on the money. I secondguess myslef all the time and then I want Mr. Right to be here to back me up, yet when he is here I have a bitch of a time giving up the reins at times. Such is the life of a pilot's wife. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. I will say it again...we are all in this together! We all share parallel lives.

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