Would you like to come to my Pity Party (Part 2 of 2) ?

Yesterday, I whined and complained about the issues I had when getting my Green Card.

Today, I regale you with my current and up-to-date whines and complaints. No more of these stale old tales. Nope, just the breaking news.

Life sucks.

Well, not completely of course.

I have decided I want to spread my wings and be more than just a working dad and a single parent. I want to share time with someone else. Finding that time is not going to be easy. Finding that time is actually very hard.

I know for a fact that a number of people reading this already know exactly what I mean. Working full-time and looking after kids of any age is a few measures beyond time-consuming.

As teens, my girls are not much better at cleaning up after themselves than they were as toddlers. In fact, they might even be worse. They get the concept of chores and do help out…but…their concept of completing a task on time and mine differ by a decade or so. For them, cleaning up dishes after cooking or eating is fine and they’re happy to do it sometime within a few days of said eating or cooking. Ummm, seriously? When I suggest in the gentlest terms that perhaps doing it Right Now is best, they have become very good at sighing, eye-rolling, and that quizzical look you give someone who you’re sure has an IQ below 75. When I use some additional decibels to get my way, the grumping and stomping around the house has some entertainment value for me but doesn’t do the light fixtures on the floor below any good.

Many separated and divorced parents have shared custody arrangements. Some are of the 50/50 variety. Some are of the ‘n’ weekends per month, plus some time over the summer, and special arrangements over the big holidays (like Xmas). I used to think it must be terribly lonely when the kids aren’t there. Now I read phrases like “guilty pleasure” from parents talking about those times when the kids are with their ex. I hear and see how others make use of those times to be themselves and live a little and organize their lives. These days, that just makes me envious.

I love my girls, I really do. But it would still be nice to hand them off to someone else for a while. My weekend out West some time ago was a well-deserved break. I need more like that. Not necessarily a weekend away, but a weekend free of my three ‘time consumers’.

I need to do a few things:

  • I need to catch up. I have important paperwork to process, bills to pay, and decisions to make. I have home maintenance and DIY tasks that I should work on because I might be selling the house next spring/summer.
  • I need downtime. I hardly ever watch TV or movies anymore. I blog far less frequently than I used to. I write less.
  • I want to socialize more. I see fewer friends at the moment, although I have a list of invitations to meet for coffee or drinks from a dozen neighbors and friends. I’d like to have a party for some local friends, but that takes time to prepare.
  • I want to work harder. It might sound silly, but I’d like to get more done and I need to be able to work longer hours to do that.
  • I’d like to meet someone special. More than likely, that special person would want to spend time with me. I doubt that helping me tidy the kitchen counts towards building a relationship.
  • I’d like to get more sleep. To try and do some of the above, I’ve missed a lot of sleep this year.

I’m not unique in my situation. Not only are women statistically more frequently in my position, but often fare worse financially and struggle much more than I do. But I’m still going to have my own Pity Party anyway — bring something to eat and drink!


About Single Dad

I married young. Now, after more than 20 years of marriage, 3 wonderful daughters, and many ups and downs, my wife has decided the marriage is over. The "About Me" and "My Background" pages on my blog have more details.
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35 Responses to Would you like to come to my Pity Party (Part 2 of 2) ?

  1. Caroline says:

    Such a Pity I’m too far away to come round and join in!

    But I’ll raise a glass to you – do let me know when you’re holding it. You deserve it and parties are fun!!


  2. Lady E says:

    Yes, I’m also a tad far to just pop round for the party, but I’ll be joining you in spirit. I too have my son pretty much 7 days a week all the time, and I am craving regular times to live my adult-non parent life. It is tough… And I understand the impossible time stretching exercise. That’s just me. Especially the getting more sleep bit these days. x

  3. With three boys, I feel your pain. You’ve listed all of the things on my Christmas wish list. Sleep is the one I want the most. I only average about 6 hours a night, and I think it’s affecting my stress level and ability to lose weight.

    Cheers to selfish me time! Try harder to make sure you get it. You know, back in the day, I started babysitting other people’s children at age 13. I think you should strategically carve out some time for you starting with those coffee dates.

    • Hi MDP,
      I think you’re right about the ‘me’ time. They’re old enough to be without me some of the time and it’s important for them that I’m happy.
      What I neglected to mention is I’m still active in the local community and so my time on a local Governing Board means some evenings away each month. These evenings are times the girls need to get themselves organized and to bed before I get back. Which means I get to put them to bed when I get back… *sigh*

  4. Well…if I lived closer….I would help ya clean your kitchen 😉

  5. TikkTok says:

    Ya, if it was me- we’d be home and cooking something really good (and then cleaning up right then) and then chilling back watching some tv. Or something. Surely the girls can find their own out-of-the-house entertainment for an evening once a week?

    • Or something? 🙂

      The girls are great at getting out. My oldest has taken some time off college and is home (darn it) and she works at the mall, so she’s often out in the evenings. What I need is for them to *coordinate* so they’re all out on the same evening!

  6. TikkTok says:

    And PS- in my house- doing the chores is a condition of going out and doing things- or staying home and doing things, like playing on the computer or talking on the phone- chores come FIRST. Much bumming and unhappiness takes place, but fortunately, we have ear plugs. At this actual moment, I am waiting for oldest dd to do some darn dishes so I can have a spoon to eat a bowl of cereal……

    And goodness, I really hope those are snowflake thingies on your theme, or else I have a major case of wicked floaters…… 😯

    • Hahahaha…I was thinking I had a brain aneurysm going on with the flakes…scary stuff….

      • LOL!

        I changed the settings for the Theme this evening and it has an option to let it snow until January 4 (why that date???) so I switched it on. I thought it was just be on the banner, I didn’t realize it would be there all the time and drift down the whole page! Maybe I’ll switch it off in a few days…

    • TikkTok, I like your approach! I am officially putting you in charge of my girls. I’ll let them know tomorrow that they need to make sure you’re happy they’ve done their chores before they’re allowed to use Facebook, watch TV, relax, etc.

      In all seriousness, I try this. But it often comes down to getting them to bed at a reasonable hour (which is important for school kids) or getting everything done (chores and homework), so it’s tough to make it work consistently. Drats.

    • mysterycoach says:

      WordPress has this as a feature now for the holidays, the snow stuff. I thought my monitor was broken when they originally showed up. You can turn them off, but I forget how LOL 🙂 I like snow so I left it there.

  7. anne says:

    I will join yours, but you have to come to mine first!
    SD, I am right there, with you… trying to work hard, be the 100% time parent of 2 teenagers with rolling eyes and messy habits. I moved 2 weeks ago, and am so tired, sleeping less than I should, exercising less than I should, not blogging bc I am so damn tired the creativity is wrung out of me. No wonder! Thanks for the post though. I am trying to see the CG still, and thankfully it is going on, bc I need the dates as vacations from my life. But, I can’t afford the sleep deprivation, so only see him every couple of weeks. I honestly don’t know how to do any more than that… I want hope, but your company is nice too. Pass the chips and dip please!

    • Hi Anne,
      You’re back!…But somewhat broken. 😦
      Poor you. Moving house is a Really Big Deal (as Lady E can confirm) and is disorienting for a while, especially when having to take care of kids too. Come to the Pity Party, dance and have a nice time, then wait for the clouds to clear and the sun to come out again (my apologies to our North-Western friend, My Dating Prescription, for these ongoing references to sunshine).

      • anne says:

        I am back, sleep-deprived and going bonkers w so many boxes of junk I don’t want to care about any more. But the Cute Man from the office is still here, too, just in slo-mo Victorian times yet longer.

        I am SO enjoying the posted comments on teenagers we want to leave alone, and yet cannot bc they won’t do homework, get off of facebook, clean up dishes, eat anything but Xmas cookies for dinner, and STILL manage to take all the hot water too. The muttering abt me is nails on a chalkboard.

        • At least Cute Man is still around. Better than him going out with someone else in the same office instead of you!

          My “Law of Moving” says that if you don’t open and unpack a box within 2 weeks of moving into a house, it will be 2 more YEARS before you open the box. So…no pressure! 🙂

          • Anne says:

            2 weeks?! Dang, I only have 2 days to finish those boxes now!

            I thought of you last night, as my daughter was melting down. I did a little thank you prayer that I don’t have 3 of them! I think you oculd buy more sweaters, bc that is very cute that they want to wear yours. My son doesn’t miss a beat to let me know when he htinks I “don’t smell right”. He wouldn’t be caught dead in any of my sweatshirts, he is way too cool for mom.

            • Yup, 2 days and then you will magically lose all interest. You will use the boxes in place of a coffee table and wonder until the end of 2013 what happened to the coffee maker, and how you were sure you bought a big bag of bananas just before moving and what is that funny smell anyway, and occasionally you’ll wonder whether you had two or three children before you moved into the new place.

              For Xmas, I want to have 48 hours go by without any of my daughters having a meltdown or grumpy word for me because I have the — *gasp* — temerity to ask them to clean things up or finish their homework or get to bed before dawn or some other completely unreasonable request on my part.. 🙂

              • Anne says:

                SD- you are so funny, I don’t know how embedded our comments on this post can get, but I am already using boxes as furniture, and smelling funny things, so I am totally doomed. I have about 20 boxes in my basement now of crap that I don’t want to care about.

                Trying to have a date tomorrow night with CG: I should do a whole blog post on this and the amazing number of precisely timed things that need to work in order fo rme to pull it off.
                I am almost inspired to write it!

                • Hi Anne,
                  I have it set for the maximum of 10 levels. We’re almost there!
                  One day you can sell those 20 boxes unopened as some kind of Surprise Auction.. 🙂
                  Note: Loved your post about the upcoming date.

              • mysterycoach says:

                48 hours … 3 girls.

                Huh… yaaaeeeeaaaa suuuuure… LOL 🙂

                Seriously though, when are their cycles? Do you know? Because you could stock up on midol 😉 Maybe you’d get 24 broken up hours and the rest they’d be sleeping?

                I remember when my daughter first became hormonal. She’d be like … ugh, awful. I’d be like “what’s wrong with you!!” Her: “i don’t know!”

                That was fair. 🙂 I totally identified with it.

                • Yes, I know, 48 hours and all 3 girls, it’s a asking a LOT. 🙂

                  Regarding their cycles, which is not something I spend a lot of time thinking about. Based on subtle hints, like mood and messy bins, I think they have them all the time!

                  • mysterycoach says:

                    Usually, and this is true ask any office of women who work together, they all start going on their cycle around the same time after a while. It’s weird but it’s true, give or take a few days. Well… they are hormonal right now anyway with puberty and growth spurts and the things going on in their own lives and stuff.

                    My bosses son became quite the handful himself after a while. His mom was like, “who is this kid?” I fixed the whole hormonal thing in my house by us warning one another, making sure is salty stuff and chocolate around when we need it (and I don’t say “need” lightly) and making sure we rest as required. Nothing feels worse than having to push through being tired when we can rest instead. All women are different too and all things dietary etc., affect these moods as well.

                    LOL! I know when I’m highly sensitive to sound, I just want “quiet” … have less patience, irritable etc., just a thought for ya. I know how much you love the thought LOL 🙂 but it’s part of being a young lady. (as you know)

  8. Lost in France says:

    AT the outset of this post, I thought you had already found someone, but I think not, you are just trying to mentally work out how it would work out if you did.
    Very difficult is the answer, there never seems to be enough time available to do what we already have to do, let alone the massive amount of time you need to invest in a new relationship.
    Good luck with your quest.

    • You are right; no current relationship. Probably not enough time for a relationship either. Just the willingness and the twinkle in my eye is a good starting point for now. (More on this general topic in a soon-to-be published post.)

  9. Pingback: She said, “I love you” | Four is a Family

  10. mysterycoach says:

    I make a mean spinach dip, I’ll bring that, some white merlot (ever have it? s’really good) and welcome to my world I understand completely how you feel.

    You”ll be a’right… do you have any sitters you could have come over so you could go do things? You have three girls and all of their activities too, that’s quite a lot to do.

    LOL I can see you raising your voice (although I’ve heard your voice so it’s like… you get loud? :)) and them stomping. LOL Eye rolling is like my fav … until the very last time she did it and it was like, “roll your eyes ONE MORE time!” … course, she has since, but only on occassion. I’ve even told her if she’s going to mutter about me, do it in her head.

    Actually, I have a pretty good young lady here. She still irritates me sometimes in their infinite wisdom but I expect it’ll go up and down. It’s like, she’ll borrow something, I go looking for it, she doesn’t have it and then I find it later in her room after I’ve torn everything up looking for it. I thoroughly hate that.

    Fortunately for you, they don’t share make up or clothing or anything like that. LOL

    • MC, you are right, they don’t share my make-up. 🙂

      However, they DO steal my clothing! Sweaters are their favorite, so as winter sets in, don’t be surprised if I’m found freezing at the end of the driveway after going to get the newspaper!

      Mine are old enough they don’t need sitters, but I can’t really leave them too often. They’re teenagers, which means they have the IQs of raisins and it would never occur to them to go to bed before dawn, do their homework before spending time finding funny links to post on Facebook, or things of that nature. 🙂

      Re: “roll your eyes ONE MORE time” … I try to avoid saying “one more time” because I only end up saying it many more times! *sigh*

      • mysterycoach says:

        ROFL! I never thought about them stealing your clothes! Oh my god, LOL … You’ll see SD standing there, end of driveway, icicles forming from his nose, his eye lashes, his ear lobes, ends of his hair … 🙂

        They do so have the IQ of raisins. Don’t I know it, short term memory loss too. I asked my daughter the other day if she swiped something of mine. She said No. I go looking for it, cant’ find it. Go back in her room… do you have it? No… go back out, look around some more… now I’m like grrrr… go back in her room, “find it” … I was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!? I mean I must have looked like Medusa for goodness sakes.

        I changed mine up to, something like, “Go on, roll your eyes, see what happens”. Course the problem is, there’s not see what happens, it’s really just an idle threat … I am amazed though how a good eye roll at the wrong time can irritate me beyond words.

        • Yes, they love the smell of Daddy’s clothes. Grrr. I mean, it’s very sweet, but it’s getting colder each day! I’m glad I don’t live somewhere in the middle of NOWHERE…like Maine, for example. 🙂

          Memory loss? Shall we talk about my hair brush. After a hair-cut I barely need it…but…I keep it in one place and the number of times I discover it’s been s-t-o-l-e-n when I need it. More GRRRR. Especially as the three prime suspects all deny everything and then I find it in one of their rooms after all. *sigh*

          • mysterycoach says:

            My daugther will pick up my coat or something and she’s like “smells like mommy”. 🙂 Time to buy more sweaters? OR buy them some and (snicker) wear them, then give it to them. Course you may not look cute in a frilly pink sweater but what the hell, why not?

            OMG I hate when something I need is “stolen”… I thought, Okay, how to avoid parental melt down… buy more of whatever it is that’s stolen. So, I do, did, have, and continue to do so and you know? That did work for a while for most things.

            Oh yah, the “It wasn’t me ghost” in the house. I’m familiar with that little thief and you have three. LOL 🙂

  11. kimberly says:

    i am there. you put it really, really well, sd.

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