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Double life

April 2, 2017

Being a single parent often makes me feel as if I’m caught between two different worlds. On the one hand, I have wonderful mom friends who can empathize with what it takes to be a good parent–but having husbands, they rarely have time to see me on my days off from work because those are their husbands’ days off as well. On the other hand, I have an amazing group of non-parent friends who are almost always up for fun when I don’t have my girls with me–but who get to see each other far more often than I get to see them because they don’t have children to take care of 60 percent of the time.

I’m not complaining about my situation and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love my children and they have taught me my most important lesson in life: that it isn’t all about me. Ironically, having my life become tied to my children has been one of my most freeing experiences because it has broken me of my habit of feeling in control of my life and of becoming aggravated when things didn’t go as I had hoped or planned. Although I’ve always been a conscientious person who endeavors to make the world a better place, I was once very particular about my personal schedule: I wanted to help and care for others on my terms and at my convenience.

I now expect that most things likely won’t go as I hope or plan and instead live by a motto that adorns one of my throw pillows: “Sometimes our plans don’t work out because God has better ones.” Indeed, the fact that, on most days, I feel extremely happy and content with where I ended up in life must indicate that He knows what He’s doing–because being a single parent in Billings, Montana, was certainly never a part of MY plans! But I’m happy nonetheless.

That being said, it can still be tough to live between the starkly different worlds of parent and non-parent. When I’m spending time with my non-parent friends, I frequently feel pangs of longing for my two beautiful girls as I pause between conversations and realize that several days will go by before I again see the two people I love the most. When I have my girls, I sometimes feel pangs of jealousy when I hear of an event or gathering that all of my friends will be attending without me because I’ll be at home giving baths and tucking in my children, then quietly reading or working while they sleep.

Most of the time the Gemini in me doesn’t mind jumping between these two different worlds every 4-5 days when my ex and I exchange our girls. But sometimes, on days like today, when no one else is around and it’s just me in my apartment, the solitude feels oppressive. So I write to flush out the emotions that periodically build up inside, knowing that they shall pass and I will soon feel gratitude and optimism in my heart again. In fact, I already feel better…

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From → Parenting

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