I don't talk much about single parenting here, in spite of my blog's name. Honestly, it's been so many years now, that it is just a way of life. I've gotten over a lot of my feelings of being different just because I am not married. I now accept that my difference is more about being a little whacky than being a single parent.
Still, when I meet someone who is newly single or thinking of becoming single, I remember how important it was to me to meet other single parents, so I am going to try and write a bit more about single parenting on occasion.
When I first left my ex, I had been a stay at home mom for several years. Although I managed to find employment fairly quickly, it was at a 40% reduction in pay from my last job. I was poor. I got by, but I didn't have a lot of room for extras.
Big Pants was three years old that year and excited about Trick-or-Treating. He wanted to be Barney. I tried to talk him into dressing up as something that I could make at home easily, or that used a costume he already owned, but he wouldn't budge. He had his heart set on being that ugly purple dinosaur. I didn't want to disappoint him, especially because our family had just broken up, and he was confused and sad. I didn't want to let him down.
Tiny Pants was only seven months old, so I could make him be anything I wanted, so it was just one child I had to focus on, but that didn't change the fact that I could not afford a Barney costume. I couldn't afford much of anything. My only hope of any costume was the local consignment shop.
I had called ahead, and they said they only had a few costumes left, so I ran down there to see what I could find. I knew the chance of them having a purple dinosaur in the right size was slim to none, but maybe I could find something else that I could talk him into.
it turned out that I didn't have to talk him into anything. They had a Barney costume. A size 3 Barney costume that was cheaper than I had budgeted. I almost cried in relief.
Sometimes it feels like the world is against you, like no matter what you do, you can never win, but when i look back on my newly single days, all I see are the ways the universe took care of me. A teenager living next door who loved to babysit. A neighbor who anonymously shoveled my front walk. Or, in this case, a Barney costume that didn't break my budget and kept me from breaking my little boy's heart.
Here they are in their costumes that year. What's notable is that the photo was taken at Daddy's house. We took them trick-or-treating together for the first few years after we broke up, and Daddy and I both managed to have a less awkward time than either of us anticipated.