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Single Mom Slice Of Life: The Fool In My Fool-Proof Plan

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Single Mom Slice Of Life:
The Fool In My Fool-Proof Plan 

With an arrogance that only young 20-somethings tend to possess, I was not only the smartest person I knew, but had my perfect marriage planned, and the fool-proof way in which I would raise the best children anyone had ever seen set in stone.  Fast forward a mere six years later, as I limped away from my abusive marriage and starting what would ultimately end up a ten-year journey as a single parent, I realized the fool in my fool-proof plan… was me.

In any case, things I had been so certain of, plans that had been so rock-solid, and my unshakable belief in myself and my abilities – well – they were all crap.  Here are some glaring examples:

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Jenn Durfey

Creative Commons/Jenn Durfey

I was a teenager once, too!

Okay.  See where I made a mistake with this perfect thought was in assuming that teenage boys are anything at all like teenage girls.  They’re not.  Boys/men are a completely different species from girls/women.   Plus, I was a completely different person, period.

Where I was the goody-two-shoes who came straight home from school, did my homework before watching TV, and spent every spare moment in the library; my oldest son, well, is the exact opposite.  He comes home, takes a three-hour nap, will sometimes do his homework (sometimes even turns it in), is rarely detached from some sort of electronic device, and will only enter the library when he’s guaranteed money for the snack machine inside.

These completely different views on responsibility have lead to more than one (thousand) fights.  Ironically, they usually end with him screaming at me that I “just don’t understand”, and with me screaming, “I just don’t understand!!”

Read more:  Single Mom Slice Of Life: Getting Comfortable With Change


Creative Commons/delawarelibraries

Remember #1?  Yeah, well, it’s true.  But, it turns out that just because we are far from a perfect match academically, doesn’t mean we have been completely unable to communicate.  Surprisingly, there are patches of common ground.  Admittedly because I’m kind of sort of a geek, we like the same sorts of movies.  We also have the same sense of humor, the same appreciation for the fine art of sarcasm, the same insecurities, the same sense of loyalty, the same craving for attention, and the same short fuse (hey – I never said they were all good qualities!).

Read more:  Single Mom Slice of Life: I Admit It…. I Need Help!


Creative Commons/Thrifty Vintage Chic

Sure, I had visions of perfect bedrooms, hospital corners on the sheets, and kids who would put one thing away before picking up something new.  HA!  Ha ha!

I’m not proud, but I’m also (gasp) not perfect.  I’ve learned which battles are worth fighting for, and which hills are worth dying on, but in reality, this wasn’t one of the battles I was willing to spend valuable life moments on.  There are safe passageways from the beds to the doors,  and when things go missing?  I smile, and gloat, and suggest perhaps if their rooms had been cleaned…

The compromise has been, as long as the common living areas are kept up, and we aren’t shut down if the fire marshal does a surprise visit, then their own personal rooms and spaces (as long as they are aired out on a regular basis) can be their own personal worlds to rule over as they see fit.

Read more:  Guest Posting: Five Tips For Single Mom Sanity


Creative Commons/pyjammy

Ok, so really this was a more recent belief of mine, starting about six years ago when I had to start sending the boys to Georgia every summer so they could visit with their dad.  In the past, I would suffer from insomnia about two weeks before they left.  I would wake up with my teeth clenched together, and panic attacks on a regular basis.  The need to call them daily was overwhelming, and I never left the house on the off chance they might call…

Last summer, I called once a week.  I know, it still sounds like a lot, but consider that in the past I would attempt to call them multiple times a day.  I also realized just a few days before their flight that the week had arrived.  It was a scramble to get organized, a race to make sure everyone had what they needed, and dare I say it… I was even looking forward to the time alone.  I even have a trip away from home planned. Of course, the way my plans work out…

Read more:  Single Mom Slice of Life: Hey, YOU! Time To Let Your Kid Grow

So what about you?  What perfect plans did you have before you had children?  If you are still in the planning phases, what is your master plan?  Please do share!

More from GEM:

Our Story Begins: Happy Mother’s Day, Dad!

Tandem Tantrums: 3 Things I Learned From My Dad’s Heart Attack

Single Mom Slice Of Life: Not My Story To Tell..My Lesson To Learn



Wendy Syler Woodward has been a single parent since 2002, with two boys ages 13 and 18.  Originally from southern California, Wendy moved her family to Phoenix where she manages a law firm for work, writes for fun, and has returned to college for her B.A.  Follow her on Twitter @WendySyler .

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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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