Solo Mom: A day in the life of a working single mom
Posted September 17, 2013
It’s approaching 1 a.m., and now that I realize neither me nor my son is getting any sleep tonight, I email my mother in a panic.
I have one of those make-or-break-my-career sort of presentations to give in nine hours, and my little guy is suffering with strep throat. He’s obviously not going to school, and I need to find care for him if I’m going to make it to work.
I’m so lucky to have my mother nearby to help out in a pinch like this, or just for an occasional night out to keep my sanity. She gladly watches my ailing toddler so I can make it into the office. Somehow I make it through my presentation, though admittedly not at my best after getting almost exactly zero sleep.
The meeting adjourns and I relieve my mother and take my son home for a nap. While he sleeps, I work. Yes, some of us parents actually legitimately work from home. I’d love to say I got some laundry or cleaning done as well, but that is not the case. Good thing the dirty clothes will still be there tomorrow!
A deadline gets moved up and my colleague schedules a meeting with me that very afternoon. I can call in, but by then my sick boy will be awake and needing my attention. Checking the clock, I see it is nearly time for my older daughter to be out of school. A plan is forming.
I wake the little guy and we go pick up his sister. I bribe the kids with Netflix and popcorn for an hour of quiet to handle this meeting, promising to play outside with them afterwards. (Let’s not pretend we haven’t all done that at some point!)
Success! The kids are entranced by something Disney, and I’m sprawled out on my bedroom floor with my Blackberry on speakerphone. Not the ideal setup for comfort, but it’s only an hour, and using the dining room table would mean everyone on the other end of the phone can hear the cartoons.
Once I’m done, I tear the kids away from the TV (no I don’t actually condone a lot of TV watching, but everything in moderation) so we can go decorate the driveway with sidewalk chalk. Nothing too active for the little guy today, but some fresh air nonetheless.
Not too many people tell me anymore that I can’t “do it all.” Somehow, I manage, at least the important stuff. I guess that’s why I work in Logistics – coordination and time management seem to be strengths for me. But, I believe anyone can make it work. At least this isn’t a TYPICAL day in my life, though sometimes it feels that way!
Oh, and did I mention tonight is also “date night?” Now how am I going to pull that off too?
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She is an active member and former organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.