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Well, things certainly got more lively around here!

WMOT, I admit I was a bit taken aback my your post. I never would have mentioned it to you, though. There are some similarities between being a married working mom and a single working mom. My husband used to make dinner every weeknight, too, but it turned out that one benefit was not worth all the extra trouble. After our third was born, one of our friends remarked, "Well, now you're a single mother of four!" I don't think she realized how true that statement was.

Now that we no longer live together, I am a single mother of three. While I prefer it to my particular marriage situation, it's by no means perfect. There are three of them and only one of me, and when I have all three by myself for an extended period, I feel like there is just not enough of me to go around. Their dad and I share the parenting to an extent, though, and that helps. I like my occasional nights off (every Tuesday and every other Saturday), and I like the rarer times when I only have one or two of the kids, and can focus more on them as individuals (and not as a small herd to be corralled).

WMOT, if you do separate from your husband at some point, I would urge you NOT to seek sole custody. Yes, my husband is a complete pain. He cannot check a backpack, supervise homework, get anywhere on time, notice a prescription is running low, or keep track of jackets, coats or shoes. But he is the only help I have, and I'll take it. Maybe in theory, if I had unbounded patience and energy, my kids would be better off with me all the time--they'd be clean, their clothes would match, they would eat regular, nutritious meals every day, and never be late for school. But guess what? I'm not perfect! If I had them 100%, or even 80 or 90% of the time, I'd be an exahusted, crabby, no-fun Mom. I NEED my Tuesday nights and my every-other-Saturdays.

And even more importantly, clueless as he is, he loves his kids and they love him. Fathers are so important. I want that for my kids. So I'll put up with him being a total pain (and an abusive jerk besides) because in the long run, it's good for them.

My life is very complicated and exhausting right now, but I have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that I did the right thing, for me and my children (and my husband, though he doesn'r realize it yet). I'll work it out, imperfectly, and we'll all grow and get through it.

And when I'm at the end of my rope, I remember what Roseanne once said: "I figure if everyone is alive at the end of the day, I've done my job."

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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