Monday, April 6, 2009

The Struggle of Being a Single Parent

One of the things that I have learned over the last 3 years is how hard it is to be a single parent to a happy, active child. The struggle of how hard this is became painfully apparent this morning. As I looked at my schedule for the week and I looked at all the arrangements that I had made for Zack this week, something just had to give. I just can’t go on my trip to Philadelphia this week. It just isn’t possible. The strongest links in my support network for Zack are obviously Nancy – Zack’s grandmother and Tim and Celinde – my brother and sister-in-law. And unfortunately, both Nancy and Celinde are dealing with health issues. While Zack and I were away on vacation last week, Nancy fell. She fell on Thursday evening and it wasn’t good. She didn’t do any serious damage – no broken bones, etc. However, the fall has left her unsteady on her feet and basically not able to do a whole lot. I haven’t referred to it a lot in this blog but Celinde has been undergoing treatment for a reoccurrence of breast cancer for the last 5 months. She is at the point where the chemo has done a pretty good job on her and she is feeling not the best. She had her most recent chemo treatment just last Friday and she and Tim are not up to doing the things that would be need to be done to help out with Zack. So – when you add it all up, the lynch pins of my social support network aren’t really available at this point. I do have friends and neighbors that I can reply upon, but there is no one who I can reply upon to take care of Zack for the whole three days that I would be gone. Additionally, over the last three years I have heavily replied upon those around me to help out with Zack. I can’t always be making requests of them to take care of Zack. So – in this case something had to give – which means I will not be traveling this week. I know I will face some flack regarding my decision, however I just can’t do it. When I told Zack that I wasn’t able to go he was all concerned about my job. He was wondering if I would lose my job. He said maybe he will start running a lemonade stand to help out with the money around the house. I found his offer to be very heart warming – though I did chuckle to myself. One of the other hard things about this situation is you don’t want to make your child the very be all and end all of everything. It gets to be rough when you are dealing with other adults and everything is about your child. So though it is very important to me that I put Zack first, I also want to be cognizant of the impact on my relations with other adults. That’s why it was so hard for me to make this decision not to travel. But the bottom line in this case is there is no one to take care of Zack if I am out of town. It is a really rough situation – but in this case I have to put Zack before my trip. Thankfully the trip is NOT for client business. It is an internal meeting that was I scheduled to attend. I guess for the foreseeable future I will continue to struggle with this issue. I need to find a proper balance between what I need to do for work and what I need to do for my personal life. Hopefully in time I will be able to build a better balance between the two. As for the day – there is not much to say. Work was HELL. I feel like I am so far behind on so many things. I am totally and completely falling down on the job in regard to my internal administrative stuff. The exec that I work for has just about every reason in the world to kick my butt for not keeping up on the day-to-day administrative stuff. Thankfully, I have continued to focus on the important stuff – what my client needs. So though I am not on top of the internal IBM stuff my client is at least happy with what I am doing. Zack had a good first day back at school. He also got some good news in the fact that he has been pulled out of the regular reading class and has entered the advanced reading class. Up to this point he has been kept out of the advanced reading class because of his “maturity” issues. (i.e. issues with dealing with the death of Patty). We had to be at school before 7:00AM this morning so that I could get Zack registered for Willow Creek Cares for Kids Summer Camp. We were one of the first to register and Zack got all the field trips that he wanted to go on. I feel good about this as he really enjoyed WCCK last summer and it helped him immensely deal with Patty’s passing. Otherwise the day was pretty normal. A lot of work all day long and then pick up Zack from school and get him to Sylvan. Zack appears to be doing well in terms of improving his writing ability so I am pleased with his progress at Sylvan. After Sylvan we came home and I began cooking dinner. We had angel hair pasta with meat sauce, “ranch” coleslaw and Texas cheese toast. It is always good to cook a nice meal for us. I opened a bottle of wine while cooking and had some good Mozart music playing on the iPod. The opening of the bottle of wine turned into a very fun discussion between me and a number of friends on Facebook. We are now getting ready for the end of the day. Zack is watching a little bit of TV while I type. He is watching the new series on Nick HD – “The Penguins of Madagascar”. In a few minutes I will get him upstairs to bed and then I will sit down to begin working again. Ugh… I really hate having to work as much as I do, but I guess for right now I don’t have a choice. Thanks and peace to all!

1 comment:

NanaRose said...

Have you ever considered looking for a MATURE college student, male or female that could come and stay with Zack when you travel? My granddaughter stayed with some children when their parents traveled while she was in college. If your Mother in law could be there to oversee maybe this would be an option. Or a grandmother type that could stay when you are gone. Of course this would cost something but-----