administrative assistant, deadbeat dad, single mom, toddler

Buffet for the soul

My daughter really is amazing. Mostly I just think of her as a very adaptable, intelligent, out-going, observant little 2 and a half year old. Every compliment she receives, I usually brush off with a “oh, stop.” I’m the one who needs to stop, because she deserves every bit of praise.

Its hard to stop and appreciate how awesome your kid is. Especially when you’re sharing your free time with another parent and his girlfriend. As a single mom, most of your non-working time is spent bathing, dressing, cooking and driving your child around, without the aid of another adult. You need shark-like focus. Good thing motherhood rewires your brain to accomplish these tasks.

 I once read about a study on virgin rats and mother rats. When put through the little “cheese maze”, the mother rats found the cheese faster and made less mistakes than the virgin rats. After a series of other test, Scientists concluded that the survival instinct in mother rats was significantly higher than rats without babies to feed. They did studies on the rats’ brains and saw radical differences between them when it came to problem solving skills. In other words, mamas get the job done. 

After my whole Planet Earth kick, I became convinced that single motherhood was a thing of nature. That moms are instinctively engineered to make sure their offspring survive, and that the instinct to please a husband just isn’t part of our DNA. Having a partner in parenting is an obvious perk and highly desirable, but as a functioning member of the animal kingdom, single moms aren’t anything out of the ordinary. I guess this would be a natural explanation as to why there are so many deadbeats as well. Ms. Single Mama is right. The dads who stick around should be given medals.

Ok that was a tangent. I’m watching CNN Live while working and blogging. My mind is a little spastic right now. I really just wanted to express how spending an entire day with my daughter was the equivalent of going to an all-you-can-eat buffet for the soul. Being a single parent really is bittersweet.  Its horrible to be separated from your child, but at the same time, you value the time you have with them even more.

My daughter currently likes calling me, “LB” and herself “Mommy.” She then sends me to timeout, cooks food for me and asks if I want to take a bath. When I react too loudly, she is quick to furrow her brows and say “Don’t be angry at me.” She does puzzles at lightning speed and sings

I hope one day I have a job where I can spend more time with my daughter. I’m glad I took the opportunity to play hooky while I still could. Now its all craziness and chaos at my job. Panic is setting in. I’m attending an inaugural party tonight while LB is with her dad. I’m also going to see an apartment in town tomorrow. What are your plans this week? Are you going to keep your sanity?

P.S. Please send your thoughts to my friend North Dakota. She is a young single mom who’s daughter’s father was killed in a car accident this week. She is struggling already, and this is throwing her for a mental loop. Send her your single mom strength if you would.

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12 thoughts on “Buffet for the soul”

  1. I have to disagree; while we are part of the animal kingdom, most assuredly, I also think we re highly eveolved creatures, and single parenting is not, in fact, natural. Even in more eveolved species such as primates, daddy is around unless he is dead. While I will continue to work my ass off to do what must be done, and while I agree with your thoughts about how mama brains are more hard-wired to get things done, I can’t and won’t see my single-ness as a natural, normal state.

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  2. LB does sound amazing. I think her and Shiloh would get along well. (Why don’t you live closer?) Shiloh has been telling me that I’m Violet (one of her friends) and she’s Beka (her aunt) lately. She won’t answer me unless I call her Beka. And she puts everyone in timeout. I love this age. Oh and she’s into puzzles and singing too.

    Hope you guys enjoyed your day together. I know they are rare, but very enjoyable. And I agree that something changes in our brains after becoming mothers. Before Shiloh, I would stress over silly little stuff. Yeah, I still get stressed out, but I do way more than I ever thought I could handle and on less sleep than I thought possible.

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  3. The two’s are the best age I know. I love watching how much kids absorb on a daily basis at this age. I can sit and watch N-Man play and learn for hours. It’s amazing.

    I’m so sorry abour your friend’s kid’s dad. As much as I loathe having X around, I can’t imagine having to raise N-Man alone after his father died.

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  4. The part about the rats and survival totally resonated with me.

    When my daughter was 3, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. When particulary turbulent times came throughout the upcoming years in our journey together, I noticed something.

    When the docs told me the cancer was back, or that this terrible thing (menengitis, daily shots, etc) was obvious,…I held it together while I was there in the presence of my daughter alone. Stellar. That’s what I was. Then, once reinforcements arrived (in the form of a friend of mine, daughter’s father, etc.), I would come apart. Just sobbing uncontrollably, heaving, dizzying.

    Because it was safe then. I would not come apart until someone else was there to keep my girl safe and tended to.

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  5. LB IS amazing and that in large part, is because her mom is AMAZING. You are doing a great job sweetling….never doubt that. 🙂

    As for sanity…yep, I’m keeping mine…a little humour goes a long way!

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  6. LB sounds very very cute 🙂

    We have started a chick flick club so tomorrow I am going to our first movie – its for our sanity :))

    Sending warm thoughts to your friend – that is simple aweful!

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  7. so amazing to hear your words of appreciation. your daughter know too!
    all moms struggle with time away–too much or not enough.

    i wish i had been so insightful back when i was parenting my son alone.

    blessings.

    hope the party was fun. its a great day.

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  8. 1. I originally misread the title of this post. I thought it said “Bullet for the Soul.” I was concerned, to say the least.

    2. I seriously need to check out Planet Earth.

    3. Thanks for the shout-out the other day.

    4. I’m so sorry for your friend. That’s just terrible.

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  9. Your friend will be in my prayers, it’s a horrible event to go through.

    The rat study is interesting, but I’m afraid I’m going have to disagree for one reason. Rats are not humans. Rats follow instinct which is to survive and procreate, humans on the otherhand follow freewill which can be following instinct or not. There are good moms and bad moms, hardworking moms and lazy moms, smart moms and ditzy moms (my mom falls in the latter catergory). And you know if my mom was the rat in the maze she would stop half-way through and wonder “What was I looking for again?”

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  10. I am just noe getting into Planet Earth. I hope two works out for me. But then I have a boy. I think everything’s good right now, we’ll see in two years…

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  11. sending a lot of soothing vibes out these days, but will definitely add her.

    i NEVER thought about the animal reference, must watch planet earth again!

    maybe that’s why i am so obsessed with elephants, that whole matriarchal thing.

    thanks!

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