Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Going Solo

Just having one of those nights.  One of those single parenting nights.  One of those single, alone nights.

Parent teacher conferences are this week.  I shouldn't be going alone.  OR...I shouldn't be taking all of the kids...someone should be at home with them making dinner (or ordering dinner) while I go and truly concentrate on how my kid is doing in school.  Instead I sit and worry about the other 2 demolishing the room.

At the very least, I should be able to tell someone how his kid is doing...since he'd probably be out of town anyway.

My son, who needs his dad, has been throwing major temper tantrums this last week.  Knock-down, drag-out, punch-the-door tantrums.  He goes through these phases so it's really nothing new...sometimes I think he just gets overwhelmed with what's going on in that little head.  But my husband was the one who used to get down on his knees and calmly tell my son to take 4 deep breaths.  Now my kid is stuck with the parent who has a temper to match his and will just throw him in his room at the first sign of a blow-up.

I've been wishing all week that my husband could be here.  For many reasons.  To parent.  To comfort.  To support.  And to just celebrate his 38th birthday on Friday.

But he's not.

And where do I find myself these days?

Quietly crying as I fix dinner.

Feeling alone and like life will just never be the same.

Taking 4 deep breaths and waiting for things to calm down.


  1. Hugs lady...sometimes it's our turn to pick you up and tell you "been there done that...and survived" sometimes instead of being "virtual" friends I wish we all lived in a compound and could bring over a bottle of wine and a crazy chick flick at any time!

  2. Sending love your way. I am so sorry for your loss. I am so sorry and it isn't fair to you or your kids. I too wish we could run over with a bottle of wine and a good movie we could all cry and/or laugh with.

  3. Tonight I am also alone. With my dog. No children - by choice. But we were supposed to grow old together - so it seemed to make sense, at the time. Then he died at 49 years young. I just passed the "three year" mark of his passing, and it was worse than year one or year two - but I don't know why. Perhaps the permanence. Cherish your little reminders of the husband that you had. Look in their faces, and be joyous that they exist.

  4. THIS is the kind of post I needed to read tonight. I felt as though I could have written it... word for word.
    This single parenting gig sucks. And it's good to know that we are not alone in this crappy role.

  5. Sending care your way for the whole tough week for you and your kids.

  6. Yes It does suck.. I have been down since saturday. My 16 year and I went to a wedding for a couple in our church that we are close with. It was so hard.

    I was sick to my stomach for hours before. I got there sat down and was doing ok until the vows. In sickness and health , and death do us part had such a different meaning since I have been though it than it did at my wedding. Does the bride and groom really unterstand those words and what they may mean in the future.

    I went to the bathroom when it was over and just started to cry. But I knew I had to pull it together so I could go to the reception.

    I had to go out several times and be by myself but I did make it though it.

    Barry should have been here to go with me and dance the dance for just the married couples.

  7. Last week, as I was being told that we were stranded in the middle of the ocean (yes, I was on the Splendor)I was trying to make light of it because we weren't sinking. But all the while I was thinking, where is Victor when I need him. What happened next made me truly laugh out loud. The carrier that came to our rescue was the Ronald Reagan. My husband was part of the commissioning team when they christened this ship and Reagan was his hero.
    What this long story is meant to say is that even though my DH is gone, he has not abandoned me.
    Sending many big hugs your way!

  8. I have 2 teens & 1 tween and my oldest swore at me tonight... I am realizing that love you get from your kids is there theoretically, but more often they argue and voice their resentments of your "loving parenting" (I mean why else are we still here taking care of them?. My dh & I fought but the demonstrative love was there almost every day... the tantrums and arguments from my kids feel like the opposite of love from them to me... in a one-way, "it's your job to take care of me," ungrateful sort of way. I'm tired of their un-loving, punitive behavior so I guess that's the next thing I will have to tackle... *sigh*

  9. There in your kitchen we all wish we could be,
    We would bring all your favs & help set you free,
    Because, Dear One, your hurting hearts we do see,
    You are such an amazing mom, writer, and friend,
    May you be lifted-up with the TLC love we send.

    For you are never alone on this difficult path,
    Though we stumble, mumble, and fumble with wrath,
    We know A+ ways to spoil; salts or bubble bath?
    What wine could match the fine writing you serve?
    Oh, don't get us started on desserts you deserve!

    Single parenting is the hardest job on earth,
    Right up there with 9+mos and natural childbirth,
    We send you a gold medal to honor your worth,
    For someday, the son and life driving you wild,
    Will make you proud as he thanks you in style.

    (((Big Hugs))) And, remember your old buddy, Nita, made-up this one too: "Hanging-in there is much better than hanging-out there (clothes wise anyway)" ...Dark Chocolates Anyone?

  10. Beverly Borgatti BarthelNovember 17, 2010 at 7:34 AM

    This made me cry. As an elementary teacher... for 30 years.. I was at those parent/ teacher conferences and never thought how difficult this truly was for single parents, either through divorce or death of their spouse. Catherine, once again you hit something that many of the younger parents in our group will relate to. I'm an empty nester and absolutely HATE doing things alone now. The extra planning that you younger ones have to do with taking care of your children in addition to dealing with this horrendous loss is truly heart wrenching for me. Most teachers, unless they've actually gone through this themselves, will never know how hard this is for you. I certainly do... now.

  11. Catherine, I know exactly how you are feeling. I have had many of those days/nights. I will be feeling like you tomorrow night. It's my daughters first HS banquet and her daddy should be there. He should be sitting next too me with a smile from ear to ear and very proud of his baby girl! =(
    I wish I had a magic wand for everyone who is dealing with this and take the pain/tears/loneliness away. I never thought at the age of 46 that I would have to do it alone. It's so frickin hard! Sorry for that, just feeling it!

  12. I so feel your pain.. A 14 year old and a 4 year old.. Two different spectrums and never enough mommy... Been sick to add insult to injury and have no help. Stay close to his family for the kids but really could use the help of my own family. Hands tied on top of it all...

  13. Thank you for this post. The continuity of grieving in a family and the continuing ramifications of that death are not easy. But what is easy is for other people to forget that--to expect that after time things are OK, that the sense of loss is over. It never is. And regardless of the setting--whether parent-teacher conferences or in the workplace--or anyplace--we need to be our own advocates and protect ourselves and those who depend on us. Or sometimes take a time-out. Not easy the burden of surviving.
    Today would have been your husband's birthday. My guess is that he truly would be proud of you and happy you have been there for your children.
    But more important is that you be proud and happy that you have been there. It hasn't been easy. But it's love!
    Virtual hugs come your way!

  14. Sorry about my mistake date in the above post. ##??%%##!!!!
    Today Friday is the day. But the sentiments remain--and more virtual hugs come your way!