Thursday, March 31, 2011

It's 3 o'clock and Daddy's Nowhere to be Found

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you are wrenched from sleep by the distinct sound of your child whimpering from their room. You dash down the hall, only to find you’re too late and not only have a child to soothe, but a mess to clean up. This is the start of a potentially long day. We’ve all been there, and it doesn’t shape up into anything pleasant, but what about if Daddy is nowhere to be found?
If you are a single parent with another child to tend to, and start your day like this, then life might be a wee bit miserable for the day. And while it might not bring much comfort, you are not alone. According to Statistics Canada’s 2006 records, 15.9 % of all families in Canada were lone-parent families. That’s 1,414,060 single-parent families within our borders[1]. There’s a lot of potential for a logistical nightmare, if those families tending to an ailing child, also have to provide for other children as well. With brains racing through the previously planned activities of the day, such as shuttling children to school, or getting to that big game, what do you do with your sick child that has their head hung in the toilet?

[1] 2006 Census – Statistics Canada

Well in my case, I hold the garbage can for my little girl's head, and pray that the bug doesn't spread beyond her. It is one thing to have an ill child, but to follow one sick child with another, or even to fall pray to illness myself, makes life more than tricky. I don't want to go down that road. I am hoping for blue skies in my tomorrow, but we shall see.

Today I begged a favour from a neighbour to watch the poor pasty girl and ran the other to school, then hunkered down for the day. I managed to still be productive between bouts of dry heaves, by working on this article (see beginning of it above) for the class that I had to cancel this evening. Laundry got done, but the icky smells in the house made that a priority, so I don't claim to be a superhero there. I kept a water glass filled and held hair out of the line of fire. I was here to help, but was mostly helpless to stop the ills of the day. It had to run its course.

Now I am tired. My sleep was interrupted and the flow of my day was far from ideal. My child was ill and I sat back and watched, offering what little support I could. I feel melancholy and alone at the end of this day. I have supports, but these are the days when I miss the normal that "you" have. You two parent families. You single parent families that can call the missing parent back into the fold for crisis. You are blessed and I hope you cherish that. I survived, but am reminded of my loss again. Damn lonely day.

I am going to lay my weary body to bed. Kiss your children. Tell your partner you love them. Let's all hold the world a little closer in our hearts today.Tomorrow is a new day.


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