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Single Mom Slice of Life – Oh, You Were Serious?

Young man with a Tablet PC and Headphones on the Sofa

Single Mom Slice of Life
Oh, You Were Serious?

I’m a mom.

A working mom.

A working mom with two teenage boys.

Do you know what teenage boys eat? Yup. Everything. Anything. During one spring break I actually got a phone call at work asking me if they ate a watermelon flavored popsicle would that be the same thing as eating fruit because after all (as it was explained to me) it would be less dangerous than trying to cut open a watermelon with a large knife.

Anyway, I digress. Let me share a story of a single mom, her two “starving” children – one of whom has been in culinary arts for 4 years.

“Mom, we’re starving. There’s no food in the house.” 

Ok, let me pause the story. Keep in mind, this is a conversation happening literally 3 days after I went to the grocery store. There was in fact food in the house.

“Well, I’m running late. I can’t leave the office just yet. It’s 5:30 right now. Turn the oven to 375*. There is a bowl of chicken marinating in the fridge. Put the silver racks on a cookie sheet. Put the chicken on the racks. Then put it all in the oven.”

Granted, I had every intention of going straight home. But there were three more ‘really quick’ questions from the new girl in the office. The main road home was down to one lane from three. Oh yeah, I remembered we were out of dog food so I had to stop at the store. And since I was already at the store, I might as well stop in at the gas station. So… it was a Tuesday. Nothing special.

Fast forward an hour. I was more than a little frantic. Would Nick have remembered to pull the chicken out when it was done? There was brown sugar in the marinade – if it burned while it was cooking would Nick know how to handle it? What were the chances he would make a side dish since he was already in it. And, since I was thinking nonsense… what were the chances they had saved some for me?

I walked through the front door. I petted the dogs who apparently had thought I would never return again. I noted that the floor hadn’t been vacuumed, and for some reason, the TV was set on volume level 572. No one had checked the mail, the load of laundry I asked get started still sat in the corner of the living room.  The house smelled of…


“Ok.  Dumb question. Did you put the chicken in the oven and forget to turn it on?”

There was one time when I had asked him to boil water… and he forgot to turn the stove on. So… you know… fair question.

“What do you mean?”

“Why doesn’t the house smell like chicken?”

Now, this answer, I promise you made me want to laugh, cry, and throw something all at the same time.

“Oh. You were serious about that whole chicken thing?”

Sigh. If this is your first visit to Single Mom Slice of Life … welcome to my world.

So, what about you? Have you ever expected – honestly expected – your kids to help, to step up, only to find out they really honestly expect you to do everything? How do you get them to understand it’s time to do their part?

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