The Single Mom’s Recipe for Kicking Resentment to the Curb
By Jamee Tenzer
What have you done for me lately?
You know the drill. Your son asks you to leave the office
early to pick him up at basketball practice and run him over to his friend’s
house where they will throw together the science project they should have
started last month. It’s due tomorrow!
And, he hates to ask, but he’d love it if you could be back in
90 minutes to run him over to school for the fall musical rehearsal. Did
he tell you he got the lead role? No? Well he did and now he needs
a ride. Lots of them, in fact. Isn’t that great?
Oh and by the way, his feet grew a size since this morning and
the new shoes you bought him for P.E. are too small. Can you buy some
more in a bigger size? Thanks, Mom!
Truthfully, it’s a confusing cocktail of joy, pride and
amazement with just a splash of stress and overwhelm thrown in to keep things
interesting. And you are happy once again, to belly up to the bar and
throw back a few. After all, he is your boy and you want to help him
evolve into the wonderful person he is becoming.
So you kick into gear and perform some inter-office gymnastics
that would put Nadia Comaneci to shame. You reschedule two meetings, eat
lunch at your desk and peel out of the office parking lot to pick him up with
moments to spare.
Then a quick dash to the gym between science project and fall
musical, where you have time for a push up and 2 squats before running home to
take a shower and eat dinner over the sink.
And as you get back in the car to drive back to school for the 3rd time
in 5 hours, you ask yourself; “Is it worth it?” The answer is a resounding yes.
But now you are tired. Your work is piled up, you didn’t
get a good workout and you haven’t had any time to breathe. Plus the dog
was not walked, the mail is unopened on the counter and if you don’t vacuum
soon, you may drown in the cloud of dust bunnies that is replicating under your
Now is the time that a bit of resentment
can find its way into that confusing cocktail.
If you spend too many days like this, you will find resentment
is a part of daily life. Who needs it? It’s just as important to
fill up your reserve tanks of good will, patience and energy as it is to be
there when your children need you. And yes, you can do both.
3 Steps to Keeping Resentment out of that Cocktail:
next time resentment darkens your door, take a moment to feel it fully.
Getting familiar with it is the best way to make sure you see it coming so you
can nip it in the bud.
what your limits are and what your basic needs are. Maybe you can go a
week without going to the gym, but more than that and you begin to fray a bit
around the edges. Perhaps you have the ability to miss a few episodes of
your favorite show – but if missing an entire season of Downton Abbey is going
to make you feel like you’re living in the 19th Century,
it’s going to take more than loosening the strings on your corset to feel human
again. Nip it in the bud.
your limits to your child BEFORE you’ve had so many cocktails laced with
resentment you begin to slur your words. Explain that you can run the gauntlet
between school, science project and the fall production rehearsal today, but
tomorrow you need to take some time for yourself.
Motherhood is a gift and a challenge. It forces us to look
at ourselves and to be more vulnerable than we ever expected was
possible. What an opportunity to grow, learn and in so doing, help our
child find their own balance.
After all your child will need to kick resentment to the curb
one day too. Why not learn it from the master?