It’s hard to be a single parent. But it is not the sleepless nights when the children are ill, or the fact that you have no one to take over for you so you can take a break. It is not about the blurred or inexistent walls that delimitate work and house work for most people, the life of a single parent is a full time job that starts the moment you wake up and goes up until the moment you finally crawl back in your bed. As a single parent your body and mind confabulate to get you through the days fully functioning as if you were an elite athlete but in reality you are usually exhausted, overworked and living on an alarming amount of sleep.
The hardest bit is when you are in need of emotional support when times get though or when you don’t know if your decisions will affect them. Or when you have to bite your lip and clench your fists to not cry in front of them after getting your heart broken for the umpteenth time. It is also hard to not be able to share the amazing moments -which are many- with someone who can also find those silly little things incredible.
But sometimes, even the worse decision maker can get things right, and sometimes get lucky enough to have the other parent near to come and save the day.
Last night I went to bed in the middle of a half painted room in a little flat that is upside down because of the unexpected refurbishment and decoration included, and couldn’t sleep thinking on what my little girl had to go through because of my bad parenting.
At 8:30 am today we were both fasting -and myself totally sleep deprived- at a dentist clinic to get her sedated so they can did a filling in one of her teeth. I would have never imagined this when we went for the regular checkup a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the cavity attacked her little tooth very fast.
We might think we are doing the right thing getting our children to be independent and making them brush their teeth on their own after teaching them how to, but there are things that we need to keep helping them to do for a longer time. I mean, not even some adults know how to brush their teeth properly! So expecting a five year old to do it well is a big ask. I got told by two awesome dentists that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself as it turns out her teeth enamel is not super strong and apparently is something very common in a lot of kids lately.
The procedure is supposed to take around ten minutes and it is the only way some kids and adults will be able to get their teeth fixed. The patient goes down and wakes up fast and hardly remembers any of the procedure due to a loss of memory, very common as well, and helpful, as this is done with the thought of not causing any more trauma so in the future any other procedure can be done as it’s regularly done by just relying on local anaesthetic.
Mia was crying and scared when the anaesthetic had effect and although it was all super quick, the waking up was horrible.
She kept saying that she was blind (but she wouldn’t open her eyes), and kept asking me to slap her to wake up, and would not stop saying that she was daydreaming and that her heart was moving down her belly and that her stomach was getting big and that she was going to burst open. Doctor kept saying that she was ok and that most kids wake up really smoothly and smiling, as I could witness in the recovery room.
But not my kid. She kept wriggling and screaming and was tripping big time. Her arms growing massive and long at one moment, her head and belly about to explode and her legs being all bendy the next. Very distressing, and very scary to watch. It took four times more than the usual recovery time for her to be normal and chilled. We were meant to head home back in a cab but I was scared of her reaction in a stranger’s car, so had to call her dad. By the time he arrived she had finally stopped fighting everyone and screaming her lungs out and was exhausted after getting herself all worked up. And as if by magic, when she heard her dad’s voice and got a kiss she was fine. Turns out that even the bravest girl sometimes needs her dad to give her a cuddle. I know this very well, and for that reason only, I will never live far from him. I know I will continue to make bad decisions because I’m a bloody expert, but I know for sure that at least moving out of London and making it difficult for them to be together won’t be one.