Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Struggles of a Single Mama. Part 1.

I have been single parenting for almost 8 months now. Crazy how fast the time has gone, and also crazy how much my life has changed in those months. Last night, as I was feeling exhausted and frustrated while trying to help P change into jammies, I  eventually threw up my arms and declared that I couldn't help kids who were not listening to anything I said. I then gave a mini-speech about the importance of listening to your parents and gave a warning that consequences would happen if listening did not begin. And then I immediately felt guilty. Why couldn't I have just been funny and made some jokes and turned getting dressed into a game? Why couldn't I just shut my mouth and walk away for a moment? Because I was exhausted, that's why. But was that enough to justify a lecture before bedtime?
And then I realized how hard it is to not have a co-parent around, at least some of the time. A second set of hands to take over if you are exhausted and feeling at the brink. Or someone to justify your decisions in parenting. Or even someone to throw ideas at, someone to thank you for your hard work, someone to tell you that you are a good mom. Single parenting also has a lot of advantages-- getting to do things my way and  having breaks from my kids (which I had no idea how much I would enjoy until I had them)-- but it can be seriously hard at times. It's crazy how alone one can feel with two wild kids in the house....
Anyways, I know I am still in a period of transition, but I obviously need to have a better plan for the times when I am tired, burned out, or just plain frustrated. If I don't have someone else to lean on, I need to figure out a way to become a bit more sturdy. I am so lucky to have these amazing children in my life, and so afraid that I am not always doing a good enough job.
So here is to working on being patient with my children, even when I am exhausted. And to being patient with myself, as I get this new life figured out.

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  1. Parenting can be such a mental work out at times :) I learned to remind myself to 'take a deep breath and walk away for a moment' when needed. But rules are rules and they need to be practiced at home, it can be tough depending on the kids, but once they learn with practice that mom is serious business, they'll do it. In desparate moments, a reward always works here - 'if you get pj's on and teeth brushed quick, we can read an extra few pages or chat in bed a longer or (if energy is still high) have a few running laps around the house with the dog".
    Wishing you a good weekend!

  2. I can relate to what you say about exhaustion my friend, I am feeling it too. And I totally understand how you are feeling about doing this on your own. It's tough, and we are human, so yes, we will struggle and we will say things that we wish we could take back, it is all part of learning on this journey called motherhood. Hang in there, and know I am thinking of you. xo

    PS You are good enough, and you are doing an amazing job, don't ever doubt that my friend.

  3. Only a good mama would write a reflective post like this. Be patient with and kind to yourself. We have all had those moments (or days) of frustration with our kids (or life in general)where we weren't our best selves. I can tell, just from reading your blog, that you are a sensational mama - your kids are very blessed to have you! Doing what you are doing alone is a big challenge, but just know that you are actually doing better than you think you are!

  4. While I am not officially a 'single parent' I am often doing it solo when my husband is deployed for many months at a time (next month he leaves for almost 5 months) - it is tough. No doubt. But honestly some of our favourite memories and life lessons have been gained through the more difficult times. I too have times where I have little patience and have lost my temper, but I talk to the kids about it after. I apologize and it creates a great opportunity for discussion. I have no doubt you are doing an amazing job. We are always our worst critics.

  5. you are doing just fine, it's only been eight months for you to settle into this new life style and the kids are settling in as well. think of that whole day, and you did great, it's okay to get frustrated for a few moments, minutes.

    Schedule yourself more 'me' time if you can. have a friend watch the kids, a relative if possible. Your kids are happy and smiling and it's because of
    Y O U.

  6. Oh, mama. I have been there. And it's hard. And you are doing it. So. Very. Well. Delighted to have reconnected with your blog. Thank you for all that you share.

  7. This post totally resonates with me, as guilt can be such a drain. I agree - you are doing an amazing job and aren't alone.

    1. Thanks Carlin. It's so nice to have friends along this path!

  8. I am no single parent but I know those moments too. Moments when I get fed up with our kids and I start to have speeches (that no one listens to), start to should, get annoyed and then I feel annoyed with myself and frustrated and think about what I should have done instead. Well- theory is sometimes hard to put into action. And we are human beings after all, aren't we?! I try to work on being more patient too...