Solo Parenting

I had a very hard time sleeping the first three weeks or so after Greg passed away. I couldn’t stop my mind enough to relax. The first night, I cried all night long, and I knew I would need some help with sleep. Thankfully, my doctor gladly prescribed a sleeping pill, and I used it until I could manage to fall asleep without help. 

Two months later, I have a hard time keeping my eyes open the minute I slow down at night. Sleep has not been a problem for me lately. I am exhausted! I find myself telling others that I’m just tired. I am so tired. The list of things to do is long, and I find myself keeping extra busy. I think staying busy is probably a coping mechanism to help me deal with the grief slowly, but I also have so much responsibility. I feel that I need to stay together and functioning because I have six kids relying on me. A lot is riding on me and my ability to keep it together, and I worry that I can’t keep this up much longer without falling apart.

There is a reason that children are (usually) born to two parents. Parenting in general is hard, but parenting solo is even more difficult. Sometimes it feels impossible, and I know I am not enough. I pray daily that Heavenly Father will make up for where I am lacking. Some of my kids are quick to point out what I am doing wrong, and they don’t give me much grace. They have a lot of needs and high expectations of me. I hope someday they can understand the difficult position I’m in and have some compassion for me and forgive me for being human.

Being able to consult with another person who is equally invested in my children is something I took for granted when Greg was here. We didn’t always agree, but that was good. We could blend our ideas to come up with better solutions than I could come up with alone. I find myself bouncing ideas off of people who I normally wouldn’t consult about parenting decisions, and it feels strange. I think it will just take some time to figure out who is okay with helping me with these kinds of things and being more comfortable with it myself. 

We still haven’t gotten back into all the busyness that comes with a large family and activities. The biggest reason is I just don’t know how I can do it by myself. It’s not always humanly possible to get everyone where they need to be, and it sounds so exhausting to get back to all the activities they were in before Greg’s death. I want my kids to be involved in things, but I’m having a hard time finding a balance that will work for all of us. 

A couple weeks ago, I was at a goal-setting activity for church with one of my children. The church has a wonderful program for children and youth that encourages them to make goals and work toward them. I have always been grateful for it, but this time I found myself overwhelmed, wondering how in the world I was ever going to find time or energy to help my kids set goals and work on them. That feels like a luxury for me right now. We are in survival mode, and anything else feels hard. 

A friend helped me see that it is smart and healthy for me to adjust my expectations for myself, and help my kids adjust their expectations as well. Right now, our goal is to survive and love each other. That is enough, and I want to be able to congratulate myself for that, instead of getting down on myself for not being more than one person. Things are different now, and that means that life will not look the same as it did a couple months ago. We have some things to figure out to make things work, but we will get there with time. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: