Sue to Mark 3, part 2
When I do I go to bed? Well, normally between 10 and 12 p.m. But I get up between 4 and 5 a.m. - the only time the house is quiet and I can do school work. This is my first year to teach middle school English and Social Studies at a private school, and I'm still mostly winging it every day. That's the source of most of my stress right now. I haven't worked full-time since the girls were born and the adjustments have been massive. We (you and I - and the army of other single working parents out there, bless their hearts) are literally doing the work of three people: a mother, a father, and a professional whatever. I can just manage on 4 or 5 hours of sleep if I can get a power nap in the middle of the day. I took an old couch up to my classroom, and when the kids are out at P.E., I lie down. I've been main-lining vitamins lately, too, because everything would go to the hot place if I got sick.
By the way, what is your profession?
I love to cook, so we eat at home 3-4 nights a week. We eat at church on Wednesday night and then it's either Marie Calendar or Souper Salad (girl food!) one other night a week. I believe that gathering around the dinner table as a family is a sacred daily ritual. That remains a priority for me. This summer I plan on working with the girls in the kitchen to teach them meal prep. My oldest is 14 and she can already severely mess up the kitchen just making packaged spaghetti.
I saved some of Roger's clothes that were favorites. I still wear his shirts to bed sometimes. I gave the rest to a close friend of the same size who felt honored rather than weirded out, to have them. I took my wedding ring off on the one-year anniversary of his death. It is nestled inside his in a safe deposit box.
I'd be very interested to hear how the single-parent adventure is going for you. What are the ages and sex of yours? I imagine the challenges are a little different, but it would still be enlightening to hear any of your insights on the joys and sorrows of single parenting.
Grace and peace!