Six weeks out of the year, I am a single parent.
It's only six out of fifty-two weeks, and they occur one week at a time.
Nothing compared to what many military families go through.
A few weeks ago, as I packed up the hubs, I felt recharged because of the new year. So strong, with a
naive positive attitude focused on enjoying my time with the girls alone for the week while the hubs was in Iowa.
As I got ready for bed alone that first night, I went to grab the meds I require to sleep every night... especially when I'm alone. I had a panic attack as I discovered the bottle of precious pills were gone.
The hubs took the bottle by mistake.
The hubs felt awful about taking them all, and promised to overnight the pills the next day.
Unfortunately, that meant the next 2 nights I had to go without my meds, and that whole positive perspective I had was immediately as trashed as I had to get in order to sleep.
Little did I know... those first two nights were nothing.
On the last day of Single Parenthood, Week 1: 2013... I hit my wall. Or maybe the wall hit me?
The kids missed their Daddy and were starting to take it out on each other... and me.
On the drive home from school, the girls fought from the moment they stepped into my truck... and would.not.stop.fighting.
I drove in silence while they screamed at each other over the tiniest things... I was soooo over this whole single parenthood bullshit.
Every second we grew closer to home, the girls screamed louder, and I fumed deeper, so deep, tears streamed down my face... thinking I still have 6 more hours of this?!
Finally, we arrived home, and I set the girls up with a show so I could crack open a beer & breathe...
But... the arguing continued.
I couldn't take it anymore. So I finally screamed...
And stomped up the stairs into my bedroom and slammed my door shut, crying into my beer.
I was so mature, throwing a temper tantrum rivaling my own children's!
I felt so alone, and beyond frustrated. I didn't know what else to do but ball my eyes out.
But crying felt cleansing, and minutes after I let it out, I went to open my bedroom door... and I couldn't.
I slammed the door so hard, I couldn't pry it open.
I wiggled for a minute, then started yanking the hell out of it so hard, the kids heard the banging & came up to apologize for fighting... and became scared because Momma was locked in her room and couldn't get out!
Parent of the year, reporting for duty!
If I hadn't displayed such a dramatic exit, and simply snuck away like an adult, I might have enjoyed being locked in for a little while! Hey, I had a cold bottle of Crooked Tree IPA on me, my iPhone, I even had a bed & my bathroom... what more did I need?
It's like the universe was testing me... You *really* want to quit? Ok, here ya go!
But, I was alone, my kids were on the other side of the stuck door, and the guilt & weight of responsibility took over.
So I put on my big girl panties & red cape to spring into action.
At first I thought something was in the way, so naturally, I started kicking the crap out of the door to try to will it open. The bottom half would budge enough that I could tell I had kicked the frame out mostly, so my oldest (she really is amazing in a crisis) wanted to help, so she somehow ripped the frame all the way off, set it aside, then set up a "safe-zone" in the corner of the hallway away from my door with the girls' favorite blankets & stuffed animals.
When I finally realized that I had slammed the screw into the door-knob's latch, I worked my ass off ripping the door toward the hinge and FINALLY willed it open.
After a very l-o-n-g 30 minutes of blood, sweat & tears.
My girls leaped up from their safety-zone to give me hugs & to apologize for fighting again. I apologized for storming off and slamming my door shut... and then we all laughed about what just happened.
I wish I had taken a photo of that sight when I finally broke free. It was the sweetest to see the girls snuggled together, and a complete 180 from where their attitude was just minutes prior.
The next few hours, the girls & I watched a movie and enjoyed a nice dinner together at home before picking up the hubs at the airport. We were all exhausted, but seemed to carry a fresh perspective again, appreciating each other instead of pushing each other's buttons.
Parenthood is not easy, especially when you're going it alone.
But it's not a role that's easy to quit.
As parents, we do all deserve & require a break sometimes, and even though my "break" led to a humiliating situation, the rest of my evening could've gotten even more dramatic if I didn't step away for a few minutes.
Have you ever locked yourself or your kids in a room, vehicle, etc? How did you deal with it?