This is my son’s wedding weekend, so I’ve asked the talented Claire McCarthy to write a guest blog post.
I recently met Claire, a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, who helps people in the Phoenix area to lead healthy, happy and productive lives after experiencing loss. Although she hasn’t buried a spouse, she, too, has experienced great loss. Six years ago, her 6-week-old infant died, followed by the almost immediate disintegration of her 10-year marriage. Just one year later, her father passed away. She has managed to mend her broken heart, and she has a strong, yet comforting, voice in her writings about coping with grief. I think there are other blog posts that she has written, which you might find helpful. Click here to visit her blog.
This particular blog post, which I’m sharing, is a tongue-‘n-cheek look at some of the issues with which you’re confronted as a single person. I hope you’ll chuckle as much as me when you read it!
There are countless articles and opinions on which is better or harder – being hitched (or in a relationship) vs. the single life. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of commentary about single parenting vs. solo parenting vs. part-time parenting. I’m not about to argue because I could probably come up with a decent pro/con case for all of the above. Instead, I offer you a few nuggets that I’ve learned over the years.
1. The weight of your 40 pound sound-asleep child, especially when you’re trying to get him out of a vehicle, is the equivalent of a Cadillac. Throw in a flight of stairs, and you might as well audition for American Ninja Warrior.
2. Bugs be gone …or, for us living in the desert of Arizona, scorpions aka the spawn of Satan. I have to hunt them and kill ‘em, and I’m not too proud to say they make me cry a little. I can handle spiders, ants, crickets, even roaches, but them dang scorpions. Ick!
3. No matter how many parenting books you read, you will never be fully prepared for your 5-year-old son to call excitedly from the bathtub… “Look at this Mom; look what it can do.”
4. Groceries are to be bought strategically because you’re the only one unloading them. Insert the earlier referenced stairs and a parking space approximately 18 miles from my front door, and you just got your workout in for the day. Young ones don’t always make the best grocery schleppers.
5. Just because you know a single guy, and I happen to be single, does not a perfect match make. I learned this the hard way over the years, so now I ask questions like: “Why do you think we’d click? What makes him such a good catch? Does he even like kids? And, my favorite – If you were single, would YOU date him?”
6. Things that go bump in the night are all on you Sistah! Could be a kiddo with a nightmare, projectile vomit, or Freddy Krueger’s even scarier brother, Frankie. No matter what it is, you’re up! Learn defensive tactics; get an alarm system; and, for goodness sake, if you have a firearm, GET TRAINED!
7. You are the good cop / bad cop all rolled into one (without the back-up). Kids are smart, like really smart, and, at some point, they develop the ability to figure out when you’re too exhausted to even stand. That’s usually when they pounce on your weakness, spill entire bottles of nail polish, break family heirlooms, ask for everything on their Christmas wish list or decide to have a total meltdown of their own.
8. Cooking for one (and a half) can actually be harder than coordinating a themed formal dinner for twelve. I love crock pot cooking … but really, how much chicken can one person eat in a week? The war of leftovers: an unexpected challenge of single life.
9. I don’t have a cat for many reasons, but mainly because, if something happens to me or I drop dead in the middle of the night, I don’t want it to eat my face off. Be sure to have a check-in plan with a family member, friend or co-worker who somewhat knows your schedule through-out the week.
10. Some things just take two adults, at least. No, not that… but… hanging a large picture, assembling ANYTHING from IKEA, card or board games, a good back scratch and getting certain jewelry on or off (I’ve given up on most of my bracelets).
What did I miss? I’d love to hear from you! You can reach me via my website.