Surprise! I'm a single parent

growing like crazy
March 30, 2008, 12:51 am
Filed under: environment

There are lots of things its been very easy to adjust to as a new single parent. A lot of this is because I kind of was a single parent before so I was already adjusted. But the lawn was an area I had always successfully managed to not own in the maintenance sense. Well even that’s not strictly true – I have always been the remover of dog poo. I have not however been the trimmer of grass. You might assume that trimming would be a preferable task and you’d be kinda right.

Thing is though, that lawn mowers have always scared me. I have visions of toes being lopped off. I think they might run off and cut through important shrubbery. I can’t cope with the idea of pouring in petrol.  I have tried and failed many times to pull the rip cord and get a spark and get the damn thing to go.

I watched my lawn grow with foreboding. At least once my ex did it for me. Maybe he was still, like me, not sure what we did now we didn’t coexist or perhaps feeling it was because I continued to do his washing and look after his kids. But anyway he stopped. And I tried and I couldn’t get the lawn mower going.  Turned out it was kaput.

So then Im trying to think what to do because its really a pocket handkerchief of a lawn.  Even if I had spare cash it seems ridiculous to pay someone to mow it. Anyway i asked this guy I know if he could mow it. He owed me a favour. And he said he would. However he didn’t – he turned out to be useless at making a time and coming to do it. And before during and after this period I spent a lot of time stressing about the lawn.

What I kind of realise now was that there were and are a lot of things going on that are just completely out of my control. But somehow I think I ought to have been able to manage the lawn business. It kind of symbolised the insecurity of my life now. My lawn was growing out of control.

But its a small lawn and I thought to myself whats the worst that can happen? Really? maybe I just bit by bit dig it up and put in potatoes – cos food is expensive and potatoes will keep us fed. Maybe I put in a few apple trees and gooseberry bushes. Why is it I have to have a lawn? And as I started to think like this it got better. I thought – I don’t have to do my life like its been done before. I can do it different.

Then one of the neighbors came around to pick up his kid and something made me ask him what kind of mower he had. A flymo he said. And I borrowed it – Ive borrowed it twice now in fact. No petrol and no rip cord and it goes. I managed to face my lawn mower fear. So – for the moment – I still have a lawn and I’m looking on trade me to see if anyone is selling a hand mower or an electric because I don’t really like borrowing. However it is much better than feeling funny and powerless getting a man to do it for me.  Luckily at Easter they felt they could ask me to look after their cat so I don’t feel like a complete user. I feel like a neighbor who exercises reciprocity.

If I am ever in a relationship again I want reciprocity.

In the beginning
March 24, 2008, 7:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

of course I wasn’t always a single parent. I was cautious about parenting altogether. I was 30 before I had my first child. And I was cautious about being a solo mum. I was with my kids father for 15 years before I upped and left him. 

Now I’m a solo mum I find myself thinking about that title: what does it mean? In a way my kids have more parents than they did before. Their dad has gone from passive to active. And ‘single’ parent – that sounds far too NZ datingesque.

So proud owner of a dog and a HUGE mortgage and custodian of two kids I no longer pick up my ex’s socks and explain to a babysitter I need to book her cos I have no way of knowing if its good fishing weather or not. Im still sleeping on my side of the bed but there are some good books and the remotes on the other side – and guess what they don’t snore.

It has been the first summer of my singleness. Lawn keeps growing and I will learn mowing.