Thursday, June 4, 2009

Single Motherhood

I have to preface this post by stating that my kids are awesome. I would like to think it is because of my excellent parenting skills, however I think it has more to do with their kind and patient little personalities.

Anyways, as some of you may or may not know Brent has to travel a lot for his work. A lot. We're talking being gone three and four weeks at a time. A prime example is when we bought our house-he was gone for 22 days came home for three, in which we signed papers and moved all our possessions, and then he left for 25 more days. Sometimes we travel with him, which is fun and hectic, but during the summer it is to hard to keep up with a garden, lawn and activities if we are gone. So in my weeks of being at home...with three small children...weeks at a time I have come to somewhat appreciate what single mothers go through. I thought I would post a few life lessons learned from my experience as being a single mother.

1. I have learned that I can get three children and myself ready for church by 11:30 and not be late. This includes curling Mailee's hair, packing snacks (because we go during lunch) toys, diapers, etc..., and making sure I have everything necessary for my primary lesson. Whew, just thinking about it makes me tired.
2. The swimming pool with three children is exhausting, but creates three happy children (yes, even Mattea likes a good cool down) that are not whining or throwing tantrums. I love the pool.
3. Paying a babysitter to go running hardly seems fair, but my running stroller only holds three and I haven't come up with a better solution yet. Any suggestions?
4. Sacrament meeting is to be survived. With one nursing baby and two toddlers we learn how to share and be quiet and not run away from mom, but seldom listen to the talks. Good thing I had a lot of single years to listen to excellent talks without so many interruptions. Good thing I can download talks onto my Ipod and listen to them while running and good thing we have a ward full of grandmas that love to help out with my children, especially when I have to go feed Mattea!
5. Shopping carts are made for three children. Or one child and food. Take your pick!
6. We can go to the store, mall, etc and not lose a child. (Okay so I did momentarily lose Carson once and let me tell you mall security is awesome!)
7. I can maintain a clean house, grow a garden, take care of three kids, and have a social life. WOW!! I didn't know I had that much energy.
8. While not enjoying it and definitely complaining about it, I can pack all of our stuff, unpack all of our stuff, and clean our rental while taking care of kids (It's amazing how much junk you get rid of if you have to unpack everything you own by long old college texts and kitchen gadgets I have used maybe once since being married!)
9. Synchronized naps and early bedtimes are crucial. As much as I love my children a break during the day and at the end of the day is essential for my sanity! Oh and a good book with a bubble bath is magical!
10. Great friends are crucial. THANKS to all my wonderful friends, family and an excellent ward, that have really helped me out. Really I couldn't do it all without their support.

And Finally I have to say that I can't really compare to closely with single motherhood, because at the end of every day I get a phone call from a loving, supportive husband that is so appreciative of my efforts and encourages me along the way.

What a HUGE blessing it is to have so many supports in my life. I know that I have become so much stronger because of not-so-fun situation. It has forced me to try so many things I never would and depend on people, which is hard for an extremely independent person!


jeaner29 said...

I had no idea Brent was gone so much! I thought I had it rough; both Owen and I have traveled at least once a month for our work, and your post reminds me of what a strong, amazing woman you are. We have 9am church and yet we are ALWAYS late! I can't even think about a garden because I get so overwhelmed just at looking at what I need to buy to get it started (although I have been trying my hand at some herbs in the kitchen and proud of the sprouts). I think your highly organized schedule of events for your kids IS critical, and I need to remember that (our months are always changing). I'm proud of you as a woman and of course, as a mother! You are truly amazing! And yes, hats off to single mothers--there aren't words that can describe what they must endure.

Jan said...

It isn't fun -- that's for sure. But I am so not surprised at your strength and abilities to just carry on. You are amazing -- love you, Jacque!

Jacob and Emily said...

haha this for some reason brought back a million memories of college life and the green house. I remember always wanting to de-junk you and Beth's stuff. I'm glad you were able to do it after so many years. Is it crazy that Jake and I can't get to church on time with just each other! Okay so we're there on time but that's just sitting in our seats as the bishop stands up! i can only imagine with three kids! You do get the best mom of the year award for doing it on your own 80% of the time. High five!

Kim said...

Yep! You're amazing! I have a hard time just taking care of Sadie, and she's a good baby!! I don't know how you do it, but you inspire me. I've always been impressed that you always keep on living and doing things all of the time. You're kids don't slow you down, just make it a more challenging, but enjoyable ride. I love that you're not afriad to take you're kids everywhere, or travel with them. Love ya!

Amanda L said...

I agree with pretty much all of this. My husband is gone for 10 days every four to six weeks. I spend a lot of time alone with my three (about the same ages) and you're right:
it is hard to ask for help.
it is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.
I haven't heard a thing in church for a couple years. I'm doing ok. :)
Kids are amazing. And they do travel ok. And dirt washes. And gardens are amazing, too.

Get a treadmill or find another mom to swap babysitting for running. I found a great treadmill at a garage sale last summer and it has saved my sanity.
In NY, the grocery stores have carts with little cars on the front. I can haul three kids and groceries. Whohoo!

Stephanie said...

I don't know how you do it. I would go crazy. But I guess, the Lord supports us in whatever our lot is. I'm glad you have a lot of support there. That makes a world of difference when life is crazy! Keep it up!

Oh, and as for Sacrament Meeting, I was recently reminded that the primary job of parents with little ones is just getting them there, so they develop the lifelong habit of going to church.