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Captains wife

The Lack of Sympathy

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This is just a vent, as a widowed, full-time working parent with no family close by. (My inlaws are an hour away but will only help if I travel to them - and that's not possible when my son is home sick from school - which he is this week). For some reason over recent weeks I have repeatedly encountered comments from married or divorced mothers or fathers - about how busy they are, how they are single parenting (or almost single parenting as the other is working) or "I know what its like to go to school meetings alone as my husband is always working", or how "single" parenting is so so hard. (I have told my divorced boyfriend that I sympathize but PLEASE stop saying this - his ex lives 10 min away and they co-parent plus his parents also live in the same town). I just stepped up to be an assistant Scout leader so my son's den wouldn't fold as the married couples were "too busy right now" to pitch in - I don't even know how I'm going to make this work in my schedule but I will, because Scouts is really good for him.  I try not to complain about my plight but I admittedly do sometimes but I also think I maintain a very good "can-do" attitude about it.

 

Ok - I appreciate that life is hard, and parenting is super hard - and most people are very busy with the stresses of life whether you are widowed, divorced, married etc. But for some reason I get super irritated listening to these comments above and cant help but draw comparisons. I work full-time with a long commute, my immediate family is far away, I don't really have a great mother support community where I live (long story) and I manage a household plus mother a child with some developmental issues that needs extra oversight and I volunteer at school and other places to support my son. I just wish people would be more understanding and supportive.....sigh. And please stop saying these aforementioned comments to me...it doesn't help my brain chemistry.

 

Vent over - thank you for listening. 

Edited by Captains wife
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I hear ya. I flip back and forth between thinking many folks are idiots or many folks don't put their thinking caps on before speaking.

 

I will say many folks don't observe carefully and therefore, can't make informed, thoughtful comments to other people. Many also are too quick with the "me too" crap and want to tell you how hard they have it when they haven't carefully listened to what we are saying.  

 

It does make you want to slap them, doesn't it? 🙂

 

Best wishes - Mike

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Yup, those comments about how hard it is and the lack of understanding about how much harder it could really be.  Some people have a tendency to complain about whatever is going on in their lives, without the realization of how petty those comments can sound to others.  I've called some out on what I perceive to be insensitive comments, no patience or filter and I've just blurted out what my reality is.  Makes for an awkward moment, for sure.  I try to remember that times can be tough for others though, whatever their reality is.

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Sending you lots of hugs Captain's Wife. I have one with autism/adhd and the other typical. I am a widowed, self employed mom. Totally not easy at all. My kids are in scouts too. Its a great program but requires a lot of time. I have been very irritated in the past month as I face numerous items breaking down. I am up to 10 different items at this point. I am getting cranky, frustrated, and depressed. I love when people tell me, just call a repairman. Yeah, each repair is a minimum of $250 to fix, like I got $2,500 sitting around I can part with. Oh yeah, that is what YOU do, you just call someone. Yes because you are a mom (SAH/PT Worker) whose husband is really the one who supports the family. How nice and convenient to just pick up the phone and call for help not having to worry about how it will be paid for. How about this too; stop posting pictures of everywhere you take your kid? My kids see them and I can't take them to all the wonderful places you take yours. I am also sick of seeing you and your hubby pictures touting what an amazing relationship you both have. I am totally not in the mood for this. My defenses have been weakened. I am emotionally vulnerable. Why is it me, always me, who has to do everything, pick up the pieces, carry on, overwhelmed and continually exhausted. No family here either.

 

Somehow we make it all work. We live with loss and are reminded of it everyday. We have come to the point where we usually can get through the day but there is a day or two that just knocks us down and the ugly grief monster rears its head reminding us it is right there just beside us. 

 

Sending you peace and strength.

Eileen

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Hi CW,

 

I hear you loud and clear. Almost 10 years into being an only-living parent with zero support (the closest family is a thousand miles away), I have gone through periods of anger, resentment, exhaustion, and weariness. My own mother once told me that she knows what it's like to be a single parent because my dad worked late - like 7pm - some nights.  🙄 Divorced friends mutter over how little they get in child support, and how hard it is when they have to do everything alone (on their 50% of the days). A husband goes out of town for business and suddenly the moms are "single parents". (I will say, when my husband used to travel, it was hard. Certainly not only-parenting hard, but from our baseline normal family life, it was indeed hard.)

 

At the moment, things are somewhat calm here, but there is never a time I am not grappling for one thing or another. Whether it is transportation, event coordination, financial stress, or a parenting challenge, it is all me, all the time, with no backup, safety net, or someone to tag in. Sure, there are things I could let go, but they are priorities to me, as scouts is to you, so I keep on keeping on. 

 

I long-ago gave up on expecting support and/or understanding from the outside world. I rarely ask for favors, saving them for emergency situations. As such, I realize I can't do it all, so some things of lower priority to me have fallen by the wayside. Comments such as you state above don't bother me much anymore. A pregnant pause or holding eye contact usually speaks volumes gets the point across. The fact is we all have things that challenge us, and they change over time. Just keep doing what you want to do for you and your son, and that will serve you both well.

 

abl

 

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Yes, CW.  I hear you and understand.  Only parenting is hard.  There are some single parents out there, not widowed, but only parents, too.  I think they get it, also.  

 

Some days, I just can let it roll off my back, and other days, it is like the scream painting happening inside.  I understand.  

 

PS Good luck on the cub scouts. My son did his scouting until we moved to a new town and was finished at 13.  His dad had started him in it.  We had a good group of men to support, so I was not a volunteer. But my NG just resigned from his Cub Master position.  His  kids quit liking it, and he got tired of the drama of it all with their mom, and with the poor volunteers. Too busy, expecting him to do it all and even a confrontation to get popcorn money from the treasurer that went MIA for 3 months.   It IS a great organization for kids, and your volunteering is a BIG deal. THANKS for finding the time, when lots of parents do not.

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People can be so ignorant and self absorbed that they can't see what any one else is living through.   Solo parenting is an exhausting and overwhelming responsibility, you can't be expected to hold it all together without venting once in a while.  Venting is better than Bitch slapping a cubscout mom!

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Vent away......it always feels better.

 

Did I mention I got home  from work today, exhausted .......and my son announced" bad news mom, the ceiling was dripping after the rain this morning.".....so the roof is leaking, great...I'll join Eddiehp and just hire someone with my millions of dollars....might as well hire a chaufuer to take over my mom taxi duties while I'm at it.

 

ok feeling better , see venting works😉

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I used to say (and it depends on person/situation handling it. “You think single parenting is hard..try solo parenting..24/7 no weekends off”. 

 

Usually got the stare or they would backtrack and nervously get away.. 

 

But I was a bitch then-but even now at tunes I think to myself “Oh wah wah was get over yourself”

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I have just learned to nod and smile...given I am in a small town and don't want to create rifts. But I loved all these comments - so thank you!

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