Wednesday, March 6, 2013

All the single ladies... with babies!


This one has been in my drafts, waiting to be published since March 6, 2013.

Lately, things have been difficult. The kids keep getting sick (the weather in Dubai is in this phase in between "winter-sort-of" and "summery-springy-summer" and you can literally see it in the sand floating the air). 

So far I had been lucky with my mom taking most of the housework load off my back but eventually, she has had to go back home and leave me alone with the kids. 

Well not really alone but it certainly feels like it. I am not a single mom, hubby is well and alive (thank God) and we are not divorced (yet). But he travels a lot and he does not do nights. He has to wake up really early in the morning and needs his sleep to be able to function during the day. 

I came to realize, I too need my sleep to be able to function during the day.

Except when the kids are sick, they do not sleep. They keep chocking on mucus, crying to catch a breath and generally just fuss around because, well, it sucks to be sick. Of course, someone has to be up with them to try to get them to sleep and more importantly give them their meds at specific hours. 

So yeah, it has been feeling like single parenting for a while now.

Kids keep getting well for a couple of days and relapse immediately, we have been at it for over 45 days now. In our case, Mia is two years and three months old and Jad is turning one on March 8 so they often "operate" like twins. And as much as I find a pair of cute identical babies adorable, dealing with them in actual life, well. Well. 

I know I have no right to complain. I am blessed with two precious gifts. I waited for them. I dreamt them and I made them. 

But right now, I am also sleep-deprived and way too exhausted to be gracious, so sue me.

A friend tells me: if you think your husband or even your children will take notice, acknowledge or remember all that you are currently doing, think again. So quit looking for appreciation (or help) and start looking for solutions. Find ways to make your life easier so you can have the strength to continue providing for your children. Or you will break down. Simply.

Ha? Thoughts, other than the obvious "did really sign up for this?" "when?" and "was I high?" which are the only three I can think of at this hour of the night?

So basically, I need to get everyone out of the equation or I will end up fighting more than parenting. Stress, sleep deprivation and exhaustion have a thing against marriages. In a nutshell: they hate families and they will destroy them in a matter of instants. 

Obviously, I need to choose my battles. At times of crisis (like 40+ days of sickness and no sleep) I should shift my attention and fight against stress, sleep deprivation and exhaustion instead of trying to get other people to act the way I want them to.

I have been working on some of that for the past few days and, well, it takes time.

Why all the ranting? 
Because I want to introduce some new friends.
What do you mean ranting is not the most exciting way to introduce new friends?

Every time I feel all alone in deep shit, I remember that there are women out there who are actually really all alone and who somehow manage to run families. By themselves. All alone (yeah, I know, I already said that)

Some of them have launched a support group on Facebook: Single Mothers in Middle East.

Now we all know what sorts of taboos, silly myths and scandalous infamies are associated with single mothering in our region. I am willing to bet, there are many the general public is not even familiar with (the nastiest often comes from the closest)!

Sadder and even more dangerous than society's cruel judgements are the disgusting assumptions implied by both men and women against single mothers. After all, she has children (i.e. she is not a virgin which means she has sexual experience, oh my God, that whore, shame on her, couldn't she have orderd her children on like everybody else?) and she has no man in her life (says who?) (i.e. she is available and for whatever reason automatically willing to partake in extra marital intercourse).

So in addition to all the mommy-crap these women put up with, they have to deal with harassment from repulsive men and from brutal women which I believe is even worse (shockingly, solidarity is very difficult to find).

Ironically, a single dad is a hero. Look at him, raising his children all by himself! He is even more caring than a mother, Bless him! (while that may be true and I mean in no way to bash single fathers, I think they are as extraordinary as single mothers; in the interest of fairness, I truly believe the congratulatory poster should read "Look at that single PARENT raising children all alone, Bless that hero!")

I can see my writing is not really top right now but again, feel free to sue me. Or you could come baby-sit so I can get some sleep. That could help me go beyond the high-school diary editorial crap.

Let us stay focused and not loose track of the reason that led to this (inspired?... ahem) post today (actually it is already tomorrow) (also, it appears I am literally abusing parentheses tonight, they are everywhere on this page):

Whenever you get the chance, visit Single Mothers in Middle East on Facebook.
Also, if you are or know single moms, tell them to join the page!
Whoever you are, join the discussion too: follow the page and give your input whenever you feel you can.

This group aims for single moms (and those who love them) to support and help each other in every way. With advices. With assistance. With a shoulder to cry on. With a shoulder to rant on (we know how much I love that). Really, any way and every way needed by and for these women to understand and know that even though they may be alone in parenting, they are not alone in life.

- Published on April 23, 2013

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