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Working Around The Nonexistent Partnership In Single Parenting

As a single mom there is no one to divide up the chores with, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have helpers. Please.


By Christine Coppa, Parenting

As a single mom there is no one to divide up the chores with, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have helpers. Please.

I was reading Erin’s new blog, mom without a filter this morning. I admittedly went, “Awww” when I read that her hubby tucks her in and brings her water. But, I also laughed about how he cleans drains and she writes thank you cards (that's so me!). Look, even though JD and I live alone in our condo doesn’t mean I’m Miss Fix-It. I’m not and I have no desire to be. Uncle Carlo gave me tools for Christmas and they’re still in the original packaging. There are things I can do, things I can probably do, but don’t want to do—and things I JUST CAN’T DO. NO SHAME.

For example, I physically can’t remove the fancy light fixtures in my kitchen, hallways and office. They are these beautiful, elaborate casings attached to the ceiling that require long light bulbs. First problem, I am 5’3” and my step stool doesn’t provide enough height for me to reach the fixtures. (I attempted to stand on a bar stool once, but, and see problem 2, quickly realized, I was going to fall and break my head and JD would be traumatized, alone and helpless.) Problem 2, the fixtures are these iced glass half bowl things with multiple screws. When you unscrew the screws, the half bowl thing comes off and this other ring thing comes off—now there are like 40 things in my hand. No. This is a job for my Dad, brothers, or kind male neighbors. My Dad has even said when changing the bulbs: “What the hell is this? Who designed this? Christine, I dropped a screw!” See, my point.

When the fire and carbon dioxide batteries are low they make this annoying chirping sound and then this lady says, “Battery.Low.” I am able to reach the alarms—with the unsafe bar stool approach, but I am apparently not strong enough to untwist the alarm correctly. Picture half hanging alarm and lady saying “Battery.Low. Chirp-Chirp-Chirp”—and JD saying, “Ma, you broke that!” Luckily I live next door to Eddie and his fiancĂ© Toni-Jeanne. He saved the day. Another time, my neighbors Alison and Dave (well Dave) saved the day. Eddie and Dave are both cops and find my shenanigans comedic. Once Dave unhooked the alarm in my room and asked for the replacement battery. I didn’t have one and told him I was buying one the next day and that the three other alarms in the condo were working. He looked at me like I was insane, went to his place and returned with a fresh battery. “You need a working alarm in your room, Christine!!” (He was right.)

My upstairs neighbor and best friend’s husband, Rocco, mounted the living room flat screen on the wall (I didn’t even attempt to open the box). In my defense, I cooked dinner and gave him multiple bottles of wine as a Thank You!

As for everything else: Working FT, laundry, cleaning, bills, changing regular light bulbs (ha), taking out garbage, cooking, grocery shopping, securing the condo before bed, caring for my child—I’m all over it and mostly alone, unless I’m sick. I’d like to say I’m a whiz at assembling the train table tracks on JD’s table (it’s a mindf*ck), that I put the Batcave together on Christmas Eve and painted JD’s room green, but I didn’t—and that’s OK in my book. I am good at some things and I am admittedly sucky at others. As the only participating parent, I think it’s OK, my Dad changes the scary light bulbs and that my brothers assemble the hard toys. But, I will say, JD gets so excited when I assemble a toy without Uncle Bri or Uncle Car. “You did it, Mommy! Just like Uncle Car/Bri.” And I will say, I feel like I accomplished something "maje" (major).

I’m not in a partnership. I’m in a village.
  Parenting Advice, Single Parenting

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Bloom Magazine: Working Around The Nonexistent Partnership In Single Parenting
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