Sunday, 19 November 2017

What I wish my ex knew about single parenting

My ex recently told me that I got the better part of everything. I got to stay in the flat where we used to live and take care of Alex. His words stayed with me. How could there possibly be a better part? Are we talking about a deal here? His words came to my mind again today. In one of those now luckily fewer moments when I felt the heaviness of being on this side of the barrier, "from the better part". I wish I could tell him this and also to other parents who think that they are from the losing side what it really feels to raise your child single handedly. 

1. First and most of all, there is no winning side. I wish he could realise that no matter who lives with our child there will always be a missing part and qustions: "Where is mummy/daddy". Trust me this is a heavy burden. While I really get to spend every day with Alex, and go through thick and thin with him, I am also reminded that he is not getting enough from his dad's presence and he misses him a lot.  I know that it's not uncommon in many households these days the dad to be away because of work and other reasons. But the case here is not that. Realistically, his dad is close by but get to see him only few hours per week. Can you really put timeframes on parenting? I think not. 

2. All those moments that you miss.  - One of the blessings of parenting is seeing your little one changing and growing literraly every day. It is absolutely incredible. The things they learn, do and say. I love conversing with Alex. It inspires me and fills my heart with unconditional love. He is so pure and innocent and yet so clever and understanding for his age. Somethimes I think how many more things we could do if it's not just two of us.  Or how much more special it will be if Alex shares his firsts with both his parents. Family outings and gatherings, all of the weekend things families start taking for granted and finding boring and annoyng after some years. These moments are precious. These are the moments worth living for.   

3. The tricky side of  parenting -  In our hands lay the huge responsibility for  raising our children as happy, confident and sensible people, who respect the world around. Teaching routines, pointing out what is right and wrong and paying enough attention to your child is much more difficult when done on your own. Obviously when two are in the picture, responsibilities are shared and the will to do better is stronger. On the contrary, when you are on your own sometimes the tiredness takes a toll on you and it's easier to go the easy route. Whcih means leaving your child watch cartoons for longer, going to bed later. Having to juggle between work, parenting and housework some days leave you absolutley shattered and the lack of support really has an impact. Then comes the guilt and the nights when the bedtime turns into a nightmare instead of being a happy and enjoyable time.

4. Dealing with emergencies - Alex bumped his head badly today, few weeks ago he got his finger injured, recently he also spilled hot tea over his leg. I know all of these are light accidents which happen with kids all the time but it's really sad when you don't have someone to share them with. I end up crying with Alex because I feel so worried, helpless and if the world will soon end. You just need this one person who cares about your child as much as you do, to say that everything is going to be all right. 

5. Your child doesn't receive the best- Alex is my world, and like every parent I want the best for him. Now, I feel that he is not receiving it. I can't get him everything he deserves and take him to all of the places I would love to. His dad thinks that he needs to work hard in order to save and provide for Alex's future. Myslef on the contrary thinks that NOW is more impotant than 15 years in time. I feel that it's more important for a child to receive his parent's love, support and attention in the present. I prefer Alex to have decent upbringing and not to lack anything at the moment, rather than having some ready money saved for when he is an adult. I don't think that any money will ever compensate for the times he has not been able to get the toy he really wants, or the theather he never went to or the time with his parents on the dinner table.

And while carrying the shopping bags, with tears in my eyes and crying boy next to me I can't help but wonder, what is the other parenting body doing and will I ever get used to the fact I have to be both. Then the doubts can not stay away but creep in: will I make it? 

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