I’m on week one day 3 of my 5 day solo parenting week of a back-to-back solo parenting weekend. Did you follow that…
Anyway, Justin is away drumming us up some more business partners this week and again next week. I should be there too but the reality is we have two very small children and I love them and don’t want to leave them that long. Not to mention, who would they stay with? The problems with living in a town where you know no one (outside of business colleagues, a few parents I’ve met and our nanny) and have no family. You are alone in the parenting.
I have to say, parenting alone the past few days hasn’t been that hard. I did complain this AM to my nanny (she’s come in today for her twice a week nanny gig for me to work) that my arm was hurting from carrying Sebby and Stella so much….that’s my only complaint?
In some ways things have been easier. No fussy dinner to make (the children will eat just about anything as long as there is some meat and fruit). No cleaning up after my “third child” (now that he’s gone “paleo” the grease clean-up from all his “healthy breakfasts” has become an overwhelming YUCK feast on the cleaning front). No waking up in the middle of the night when the “third child” decides to come to bed after falling asleep on the couch…No coordination of plans.
But on the flip side there’s also no help with baths, no help with bedtime, no help with delivering Stella to school on time and picking her up. No help with meals. But more importantly I’m lonely. No one to share a laugh with over something funny the kids did. No one to strategize with on how to best discipline …does anyone really know? That’s something Justin and I work on together as neither of us have it figured out…who does? And no one to kiss goodnight and snuggle up with in the morning. No one to fall back on if something goes wrong.
As Hillary Clinton made famous the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child,” I reflect, how do single parents raise a child? It’s not easy.
I feel blessed to have a loving husband and caring father to help me on the road to raising our children. What of those who do not have that spousal support on a daily basis? What about those fathers or mothers who have to travel weekly for their jobs? Is the parent left at home basically a single parent? I’ve heard many a parent lament over this issue.
And I fear that my children don’t have a “village” to raise them. We’ve moved to a new city, that we are enjoying as a family and as we grow our business, but we lack a village. No family, no close friends.
I grew up with a huge “village” of close family and friends and I reflect fondly on my younger years. I truly believe it formed who I am today in many of the good ways. I had many teachers. I learned different ways of doing things. I received feedback (good and bad) regularly from different people who loved me.
While I complain a bit about being alone the next few days to raise our children I actual worry more about the village I don’t have.
My sister and her son are flying out next week to spend some time with me and the children while Justin is away. My “fly-in” village. Our parents come often for visits with the children. Their weekend “village.”
Friends come for a day her or there for visits. The children love it and in some ways it’s still part of “our village.”
We have hired a nanny who comes twice a week and is from a different culture (Hispanic) who provides “our village” with different ways of doing things. She brings her daughters some times, fun “stand in cousins” for the children.
Stella has started pre-school at an elementary school with 24 other children and 3 teachers. “Our village” is growing.
But at what point will I not feel alone in this parenting thing? When will “our village” be big enough to shoulder the enormous responsibility of raising a child?