It's been a journey, that's for sure.
But I think I'm starting to get a little of what it can feel like at times. I took Rowan out of town for the weekend for some daddy/daughter bonding time. We got back earlier this evening, and tomorrow she starts back up at her preschool. This is what my evening was like, both in my head and what I actually did. Does this sound familiar to you parents, especially single ones?
|Rowan is excited about the |
"Disney princess" lip gloss I
let her get.
Like I said, sound familiar, parents?
When I spoke to my mom earlier, I said to her that this is one of the times I miss having a spouse from a purely logistical standpoint. But even when I said it, I knew I could and would get everything done. Single parenting is as old as time, and LOTS of people have done as well or better with a lot less to work with. It's just that for whatever reason, women seem to do this better than men, or maybe that's just my perception (not the necessarily kid-raising part, I mean the planning, organizing, getting all this crap done part). At any rate, it's taken me some time to get the hang of this, but I'm getting there.
And as I hinted at earlier, it's not just getting all the tasks done. I'm getting better at figuring out when to turn male-brain off and turn female-brain on. "Oh, she doesn't want me to tell her she fell down because she wasn't watching where she was going or that if her friend upset her she should find better friends. She just wants me to hold her, stroke her hair, kiss her forehead, empathize with her, and make her feel better. OK, I can do that..." I'm trying to figure out the finer points of putting outfits together so that when all of this sudden this matters to her, I'm ready. And I notice cute girl clothes in the stores now (and when they're on sale). I converse with sitters and teachers about her care and her current mental state. I bring home books from the library, some that teach moral lessons and some that are just fun. I role play with her, and as such I voice characters from TV shows and movies, sip 'tea' at tea parties (water I sincerely hope is from the bathroom SINK), or make her toy unicorns fly through the air and guide them through an adventure to rescue a princess from an evil witch. And lastly, when her voice is breaking and she's telling me that she's just really sad because she misses her mommy right now, I hold her close and I tell her I miss mommy too. And I wish I could soak the pain right out of her and into myself so that she didn't have to bear this huge burden on her little shoulders.
Because that's what mommies (and daddies) do.