Sore feet and single parenting

My feet and I have an ongoing love/hate relationship. After years and years of flip flops, and way too little arch support, my left foot went on strike and I had plantar fasciitis that left me hobbling around for about 6 months.

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Right now I’m battling it in both feet. Severe heel pain, especially in the mornings or after I’ve been standing or walking too long. I think basketball season is largely to blame, since I was a lot more active and on my feet than normal. I use tape to give better support and all of my shoes are good quality. The best thing for it is to rest the ligaments, but life does not provide fainting couches anymore, so I will soldier on. And possibly buy some extra supports for my cleats.

Did I mention softball has started? Super exciting, even though we didn’t have a very big turnout this year. We are covertly trying to get some of our basketball girls to leave volleyball and come to our side. It’s not working very well though, and I blame those damn booty shorts. The volleyball uniform is way cooler than our softball pants and cleats. Eh, such is life.

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Ryan is in Iceland right now for high school discovery week… as you do. It’s basically a free trip where he gets to explore and pretend to be working for a week. He called last night after they landed and when I asked him what the landscape looked like, he said, “The moon.” Apparently it’s very stark and rocky.

I am about 40% happy for him that he gets to have such a fun adventure in a place we’ve both been curious about. And 60% envious/annoyed to be a single parent for a week. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, single parenting sucks. There are absolutely no breaks! It’s kids’ needs/wants/whines/bodily fluids/crying/meltdowns/playtime/messes all the time, until everyone is finally asleep.  Don’t get me wrong there are good things in there too, laughing/smiling/kisses/hugs/dancing/silliness, but the day gets very long when you’re “on” nonstop. By bedtime, I’m so exhausted there’s no point pretending to keep the house in order or even trying to be productive. I am done. Capital D.

Our nanny knows that Ryan left yesterday morning. When she arrived today I started to sputter and mime and explain that I had tried to keep on top of it all, but the dishes and the spills and the explosions of life kept coming, like a never ending siege, until I surrendered the kitchen to the opposing side and retreated to another room in the house. Since I only speak about 30 words in Russian, I probably just kept repeating “I’m sorry” over and over again.

She didn’t bat an eye, just patted my arm and said it was ok, then went to get the broom.

I’m seriously in love with that woman. If it was a choice between Ryan and Valya…. let’s not go there, some threads should not be tugged.

I know there are people who handle this, even more than this with calm composure, clean kitchens and children with non-snotty noses who don’t know what screen time is. If you are one of those people, f*ck you, I mean, how on earth do you do it? Seriously what is your secret? Are you magical, a demigod, immune to fatigue? You probably don’t have stretch marks either, do you.

I knew it, you are magical.

I feel like it’s important to share this side of parenting, because it’s not all unicorns farting glitter rainbows. And the cute pictures of my kids on Instagram do not tell the entire story. They don’t speak to the frustration of dealing with a toddler who is in a never ending battle of wills, or to the baby who has a sensitive gag reflex and takes one bite of food at the wrong moment and spews oatmeal all over herself, the high chair, your hands, the floor. Now really imagine that moment, there is no one else above the age of 3 available to help while you cradle 4 oz of warm human vomit in your hands. And at this exact moment, the 3 year old will decide he needs something and lose his mind that you are unable to help him, because you are simultaneously hosing down yourself, the baby, the high chair, the floor, while trying not to turn into dragon mama over his whining cries. Single parenting is hard. Full stop.

It is getting a bit easier though. This is not my first time at the single parenting party. And I’m trying to take more ownership for my frustrations and remember that I am the adult in toddler confrontations. Do not engage. Do not engage. Walk away from the ticking bomb. The battle of putting on pants is not a hill I want to die on.

It’s also learning to call it when you’ve reached your limit. I got several play date invites yesterday that would have been a fun way to keep the kids entertained for a bit. But it wasn’t worth the battle of pants. So we took a long bath instead.

These are the times that make you remember why you deal with all the other hard times.

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One of my all time favorite parenting articles is “Free but not Cheap” by Moxie. If you’re struggling with some parenting angst, I highly recommend. It’s a great validation and reminder of all the jobs that come with being a parent.

The jobs are tough, but the relationships are everything. And just like my sore feet, this too shall pass.

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