Mar 27, 2015
Last summer I was having a really hard time with my kids -- mornings were hell, they didn't seem to listen, I felt like they weren't getting what they needed to me. Over an early dinner at a local bistro with a good (childless) friend who knows my family well, I spilled my guts.
Whether out of blind friendship or strategic therapy, she told me what I wanted to hear: You are an awesome mom. Your children are lucky to have you. You're doing a great job.
I listened, even if I didn't really believe her. But something shifted. Because when we finished supper we walked a few blocks to buy some frozen yogurt and ran into my ex and the kids on the street. It was awkward for obvious reasons -- the kids were confused and a little upset. But it was even more so because it was 8:30, and they were still dressed and coming home from their dinner. Their bedtime is 7:30, and at my house, they are fed, bathed, read-to, bedtime-snacked, evening-gratituded, kissed and in bed at 7:30. WTF, dude?
I could see in my ex that a) he was scared of my reaction, and b) clearly overwhelmed by parenting.
Just like I was.
I walked home, and thought about the evening. My friend's support was a gift. It bolstered me in a dire moment. It gave me energy and strength.
I picked up my phone. It was only 20 minutes or so after I bumped into my ex and kids.
I texted him.
Hang in there. You're doing a good job.
He replied: Thanks. I'm trying.
Have a listen to this week's podcast about how moms -- single moms in particular -- need support. And of course you can find all kinds of support on Single Mom Society forums.
Also on this episode, Tim calls in to ask what to do about his nationally ranked athlete son who is failing three classes out of laziness (spoiler alert: follow your guts). Have a listen!