Posted by: thediygeochemist | January 31, 2013

to my well-meaning friends and family:

I am not some sort of superwoman. I am not some sort of do-it-all Goddess. I am just a person, ok?

Yes, I am a single mother. Yes, I am also a grad student. Yes, I am also involved in other things. But this does not mean I “do it all.” It’s true that I do lots of things, but right now I am doing none of them very well.

My research is creeping along. My custody evaluation is moving at a glacial pace. My house is a mess.*

Do I “bring home the bacon”? Yes I do. But I make somewhere around the federal poverty line for a family of four, and I have to pay my ex child support out of this amount. Did I mention that I have a son (Nate) who’s applying to colleges such as Caltech, MIT, and Brown? So next year I not only have to support myself, my oldest son full-time, and my youngest two half-time; I have to pay for Nate’s college somehow. I hope he gets lots of financial aid.

Do I take care of my kids? I try. Of course, they spend most of their time on weekdays with their father, and as a result at least one of them has mental health issues that I can’t fully address with the current parenting plan. Again, I try.

Do I have hobbies? Thankfully, yes. Unfortunately I have hardly any time to indulge in them any more, and as a result I am very stressed.

I am tired all the time. I get frustrated at how little I get done, or rather how much I leave undone. I move forward only because I have to.

So please stop treating me like a brilliant, amazing, immortal heroine. Just give me a hug or pat me on the back and say, “Hang in there. I’m on your team.”

Your exhausted friend/family member,


*My kids always try to tell me that my house is quite clean compared to their Dad’s place, but this is little comfort, since UnlikelyDad is the worst kind of slob.

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