Sunday, June 27, 2010

All The Single Ladies

My husband James and our friend Paul are on the final stretch of their epic fundraiser cycle for  Bob's autism unit.  This afternoon they will coast into the most northerly point in Ireland at Malin Head, after leaving the most southerly point in Mizen Head six days ago.
Hope their brakes work.
The imprint of a saddle will be permanently tattooed on their backsides, for anyone brave enough to take a peek.



                              (the boys with their two favourite cheerleaders Katy and Breda)



While the boys were toiling in the mountains, I was doing a bit of cliff-hanging myself, as I got a (blessedly) brief taste of what single parenthood is like.

I'd love to do a schmaltzy post about missing James, but I'm a grounded kinda gal.  It goes without saying that I miss him, but I also know that it's only for a week.
I've spent longer in hospital.

The single biggest change for me was making decisions without consulting anyone.  
I didn't do anything major like buy a yacht or sell one of the children (or at least that's what I'm telling James), but it was the hundreds of mundane things that couldn't be left to anyone else.



There was no-one else to bounce ideas off ..."should I argue with my teenage son or just let it go?", "will I wash the floors now or wait til the kids go to bed?", "fish or chicken for dinner?".  
Riveting, eh? 
But 24/7, that kind of mental responsibility gets very weighty.


I knew I could handle the kids/cooking/cleaning etc. etc., but the constant rehearsals in my head of what needed to be done next was hard to switch off when bedtime came.

On the flip side, I'm secretly quite pleased with how super-organised I can be, if not a tad concerned about the obsessive relish with which I stream-lined the notice board and rotated the towels in the hot-press (aka the airing cupboard, for anyone who can't speak Irish).
I practically used a ruler.
To hell with religion, alphabetised bills is where inner peace is at.

So I would like to make a bow to single parents, who have to organise having a shower with military precision, and can leave nothing to chance... because if things fall apart you're the only one trying to fix your life with glue and sticky tape.
Respect.

25 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Jeanie! I'm so full of respect for the single parents out there. This is a hard enough gig when you have an extra set of hands, eyes, ears and legs!! Huge cograts to the boys - they've made us all very proud! xx

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  2. @ Taz, yep...single parents are a breed apart. I'm really proud of the lads as well. XXX

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  3. The lads have done great, post a pic of their bums when they get home.. Yes the decision making or just the plain old "I have to get out of here, you are in charge" is impossible without the co pilot on board !

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  4. @ Our Sue thanks for that...hey, I'll even get them to sign it for you lol XXX

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  5. You really fancy that towel photo, gave me a fit of the giggles seeing it :D Oooh, yes, single parenting is something I am in awe of. I do it during the summer holidays for 2 months (with some respite at weekends) and it takes me until the following summer to get over it!! and I don't do all that well at it, I just about survive, if you can call it that!!

    Best of luck to the handsome cyclists for the finale. Maybe if the imprint of the seats wear off they could get tats :D Jen

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  6. @ jen, there's just something about that picture...all neat and perfect...sigh..XXX

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  7. The boys are amazing and they made it look so easy on the video xx

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  8. Rubber rings all round to sit down on, then? Have put you up as BMB of the week, btw. Best, PM

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  10. A huge congratulations to James and Paul! They did Bob and everyone proud :) (Edited as accidentally put Bobs real name in lol)

    Single parenting is not a choice but rather an unfortunate twist of fate for most but hey, you just get on with it like every other challenge that faces you xxx

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  11. @ Blue Sky, they're really something, aren't they?
    @Potty Mummy, rubber rings and ice packs in situ...thanks for the BMB Blogger of the week slot...I'm really overwhelmed
    @ petunia, yep, after a mere week I can see it's not a path you would choose
    XXX

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  12. Neat towels and streamlined notice boards are vital. Control in a world of madness. Am sometimes tempted to alphabetise the herbs and spices but I resist-the thought of my husbands face when he realised would be too much. It was bad enough when he noticed that I had organised my bookshelf according to the Dewy Decimalisation system...

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  13. Great post, I am with you on the respect for single parents.
    What a fabulous thing to do to raise funds, congratlations to the two men, hope they arent too saddle sore.

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  14. @ Alison, I knew you'd understand
    @ Brigid, thanks...they're walking a bit funny but otherwise seem to be intact
    XXX

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  15. well done boys xx
    great post hun, yes those decisions to get too much for us at times

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  16. @ coolkid, it's really nice to have someone to confer with, isn't it? XXX

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  17. Great post Jean. What do you mean you resisted not buying a yacht - You must be the definition of restraint! :) I am with you on having the utmost respect for single parents, it's nice to have someone to take over the reins for you every now and again. Well done to your husband and his friends sounds like a fantastic undertaking x

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  18. @ Musings...shhhhh! I've secreted the yacht under the 3 tonnes of ironing on my landing. it'll never see the light of day XXX

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  19. I'm a single mum myself but you get used to doing everything on your own, and the good thing is: there are no debates, no arguing over colours and nobody to blame when you miss the bin collections

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  20. @ Mags, there's always a silver lining! xxx

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  21. A very big well done to your James and to Paul too. they are amazing to take on that daunting task.

    Well done you on surviving single parenthood! It is not easy and I too am in awe of the single parents amongst us. Just tonight I couldn't wait for Mr Jazzy to come home from a meeting!

    Fab post :)) xx Jazzy

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  22. Great post but then I love all your posts Jeanie :) I think what your hubbie and pal did was fantastic and hope they are being given hero like status chez Carroll!! I also have huge respect for single parents, well done for having survived it. xxx

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  23. @ Andra, thank you hun. It's always good to hear from you xxx

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  24. I did it for 6 months and then and again I do it when someone needs a mental health break. (a week in Kerry or Spain)
    It's ok as long as you are organized and in control. And you get to watch what you want on the good tv, eat or not eat when you want, and fall asleep when you want.
    But I think you need a safety net - so I hope our single friends have that behind them. xx

    Ps well done James xx

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