Monday, August 24, 2009

Who Needs a Husband? I Need My Mommy and Daddy! by Jamie Levine

To be a successful single mom (or at least a sane one!), you really need a good support system: Friends or family whom you can lean on when you’re in a clinch. And, most importantly, they must be people whom both you and your child like and trust. In my case, those people are my mom and dad.

I’m not always comfortable asking for help when I need it. This is a weakness I’ve been working on ever since Jayda was born, but I haven’t yet overcome it. While I’m blessed to have a lot of wonderful friends, it’s never easy for me to ask one of them to watch Jayda when I have to be somewhere else. But my mom and dad? I’ll ask them in a heartbeat. When I need to go to the city for a meeting and it runs late, my parents pick Jayda up from daycare. When I want to go to the gym on a weekend morning, my dad happily entertains Jayda while I’m gone. And when I have a date—with a man, or even just a girlfriend for a glass of wine—my mom and dad are there to listen to the baby monitor while Jayda snoozes.

But what about when they’re not around? Ugh. Only hours after my parents had left for a week-long trip to Vermont, my car started acting up and I was told by my mechanic that I needed to take it to the dealership…a 30-minute drive away. When I made my appointment at the dealership, they told me they’d drive me home after I left my car there, but they had no loaner cars. Huh? I could drop my car off on Tuesday morning right after I took Jayda to daycare. But what if the car wasn’t fixed by the time I had to pick her up? Or worse…what if it would take an extra day to fix it (that day being a Wednesday—the day Jayda is home with me)? How would I pick up my repaired car with Jayda in tote? And, well, simply, how would I deal with being stranded at home for two days?

I wanted to call my mom on her cell phone and cry. But what on earth could she do? She was halfway to Vermont already. And besides, I was supposed to be a “grown up.” Heck, I’m a mom, myself! So, instead, I panicked alone. Binged on gummi bears (the ones I give Jayda to encourage her potty training). Gave myself a migraine. And then, I did what I should have done first: I picked up the phone.

First, I called Jayda’s daycare to see if Jayda could stay later on Tuesday, if necessary. Affirmative. Then, I called a friend whom we had plans with on Wednesday and told her I wasn’t sure we’d be able to make it…everything depended on when I’d get my car back. She immediately offered to come over and watch Jayda if I needed her to—and also suggested we move the play date closer to my house. Wonderful!

That evening, I vented to another friend, who said she’d be in my neighborhood on Wednesday and that she’d love to watch Jayda—or give me a ride somewhere if I needed it. Oh, I love my friends! And on Tuesday morning, as I pulled out of my driveway to take Jayda to daycare, my neighbor waved at us and asked how I was. I mentioned my impending trip to the dealership and she told me she’d be around both Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning if I needed her help. Thank you, neighbor!

Suddenly the unsettled feeling I’d been having ever since I’d spoken to my mechanic disappeared. Everything was going to be ok. And you know what? I took my car to the dealership and they asked if I wanted to wait while they repaired my car. Wait? A whole day? Oh, no. The repairs took 45 minutes and I was back home in time to go to the gym and get all my work done before I had to pick Jayda up from daycare (without the extended hours). Go figure. I guess I don’t need my mom and dad, after all. Well…at least not this week while they’re on vacation!

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger Joanna Brody said...

I was a single mom for the last four days while my husband went camping. I have two toddlers (one an extremely active boy), six months apart, so was quite nervous about spending the weekend alone. I too call on my parents frequently for assistance and they are always willing, but this weekend I didn't want to rely on them for a number of reasons. So I called on my friends and boy did they come through in spades. One friend in particular, who is single and childfree, actually moved in for the weekend. I was able to walk my dogs, go to yoga, buy groceries, etc., and whatever I couldn't get to, yet another girlfriend came to the rescue (we nearly ran out of diapers and she went to the store and brought over a box). So don't be scared or ashamed to ask for help. I always give my friends an easy out (I never put pressure on them) and guess what, they tend to enjoy it (if you don't overtax them!). The girlfriend who moved in with me said at the end of her duty that she so enjoyed the time with my kids that she offered to repeat the weekend with my husband so that I could go away and get some R&R. Mom and Dad are great but they need a break to, so definitely shore up other resources!

3:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home