Last week began with my oldest, E., calling me hysterically from the automatic banking machine. He had deposited his cash tips totaling $140.00 and didn't receive a receipt. 18 years old. I've been told by some that I should and even could declare myself more "free" from him. That legally I am no longer even responsible for him. Are you kidding? Maybe 18-year-old males need parental input and support more than ever. I will never desert my sons. My childhood involved my siblings and I to be virtually self-sufficient. And I didn't have children to carry on that legacy. Yes, I need to guide my sons to be responsible and independent adults. But that doesn't mean shooing them out on their own upon their 18th birthdays.
My son ended up calling the bank's "Help" number. I didn't know what else to tell him. He was upset that it was outsourced and had difficulty understanding the woman he spoke with. It was not the time to tell him that I do not use these kinds of machines after hours for just the reason my son experienced. But he was assured that his deposit was credited.
Later in the week, I had the surreal experience of getting E. to two locations at the same time - his first volleyball match, which he was very pumped about since he is head team captain, and yet another band concert. Both locations were 30 minutes apart from one another. Said heroics involved a migraine (mine), negotiations with the vb coach and band director, my son changing into a tux in the van, and running down the halls of the high school to get his instrument from the band room and then to reach the stage. I will leave it at that and forgo more details.
This weekend, I had a 12:15 a.m. run to the all night pharmacy for some medication for my youngest, A. And so it goes.
I am tired and depleted. No one to share the responsibilities with or the logistics of how to figure all this stuff out. Sometimes the difficulties cancel out all the joys of parenthood. When I sink under the covers no one pats my shoulder and says, "Job well done, Mom."
I bring this all up now because I feel I haven't taken care of my own needs. The boys have always come first as it should be. But my relationships have always seemed lopsided, uneven. How can dating or seeing someone ever be fair and equal when my life is so intense and busy? The men in my life haven't had full time parenting responsibilities and have not understood the pressures always on my plate. I end up getting resentful and upset because it isn't even. Sometimes it has felt as though I have to do most of the work in my home along with my personal life.
Is there a solution to this? What do other only parents do when dating when they end up feeling like this?
I have decided to direct the focus onto myself this Spring a little more than I have in the past. I need to tend to my own home and affairs. That is just the way it is and has become. I still have never finished organizing our living environment or my finances and paperwork. It is Spring Break and the boys have promised to help me in this process. I will be more demanding of them.
One of my divorced girlfriends leaves her two kids, the ages of my sons, to fend for themselves over the weekends as she is with her boyfriend, out dancing, going for a drink, etc. I don't approve. She, I suppose is disapproving of my not getting out much socially. We represent two ends of the spectrum. Maybe it is impossible for only/single parents to lead balanced lives. It will just end up being lopsided, falling more on one side than the other. Parents constantly bemoan the fact that there aren't enough hours in the days. For only parents, there truly aren't. Nor is there enough steam in the engine to sometimes accomplish what needs to get done in the most productive manner.