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When Mom’s Away

by Ronald A. Rowe | June 7th, 2010 | Elementary, Helpful Hints

When Mom’s away, Dad will have to do. Here’s a salute to all the single parents out there. I don’t know how you get anything done. My lovely wife is away for a week. “No problem,” I told her. I can handle everything.

Now, this is real life, not a TV sitcom. I’m a pretty capable parent. I know when they go to bed. I haven’t burned a hole in my shirt or turned the laundry pink or lost control of the house. I know what the big one needs in his backpack for school and what the little one will need to take to his temporary day care this week. I can make sure they’re bathed and fed and off to bed on time.

Here’s a question, though. What do single parent families eat? When is there time to cook when you have to work until five and then pick the kids up from the sitter? Soup and microwaveable casseroles can only get a family so far.

We’ve got a great support structure in place for the short term, but single parents must have to find an amazing support group just to get by in the long run. Grandparents, neighbors, friends – it practically takes a whole village to… never mind.

Maybe single parents just don’t sleep. My only productive time is after they’ve gone to bed. By then, I’m pretty worn out myself. Two sons and a full-time job will do that to you.

Four days into our 8 day odyssey and all is well. Maybe not well, but OK. The little guy cried when he talked to mom on the phone. They both miss their mom. I miss their mom, too. Four more days.

So, what’s the secret, single parents? Is it a strong support structure? Superlative organizational skills? A preternatural ability to thrive without proper sleep? What are your secrets for good parenting with half a parental unit?

I want to know your secrets. Not that the lovely wife is going away again anytime soon if I have anything to say about it.

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