Single Parenting While Sick

I cannot recall the last time I was so sick for so long. Tonight is my second night of Tylenol cold medicine.

In the meantime, my kids still need to go to school and get picked and then go back and then there’s tutoring and then there are my other “kids,” my students in SI. I skipped my own class on Wednesday because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t have the energy to get through their class and they have an exam Monday.

This is one of the parts of parenting people don’t spend enough time talking about. People, when they are trying to force others into being parents never mention that the majority of parents do this alone. The number of well-functioning relationships between adults is really not as high as we like to pretend and most women I know live like single moms even if they are married.

The lie we sell to others is, well, a lie. Parenting is rough and really, there are not enough rewards to outweigh the sacrifices and the suffering. Look, I love my kids. They didn’t make the choice to be born so I will love them and be responsible for them.

But that doesn’t somehow make parenting easier. Add two autistic kids into the mix and a number of other health issues that have me on the phone with a doctor’s office at least once a week and this job is absolute shit.

So, let’s just start being real about parenting. That doesn’t mean we don’t love our kids, it just means we aren’t going to lie to try to get other people to have kids in order to validate our decision to have kids. And that’s really what all that prettified talk about the joys of parenting is.

Let people come to their own conclusions about whether to have kids. Be honest about the sacrifices and the pain and don’t make believe that it’s all somehow worth it for one smile.

Then go love your kids enough so they won’t feel the need to cave to the social pressure to reproduce for the sake of reproduction itself. Because I doubt being a grandparent is much less of a heartache than parenting.

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