Friday, March 27, 2009

Rental Grandmas

I saw a piece on the local news tonight about Grannies for Rent. Seriously. Single, older women "adopted" kids of single moms. The older women don't have any family around, and the single moms don't have any grandparents handy. So, they spoil the kids rotten, spend holidays with them, develop relationships with the single parent family/extended family and do life together. Unfortunately, the story came over the wires from Poland. But they are so on to something over there...and it's exactly what we're hoping to do eventually with Eve's Daughters.

We recently lost a sweet sweet neighbor who was one of E's rental grandmas. It was especially hard because that kind of adoration--the kind with no strings attached--is beautiful and rare. I remembered my own grandmother who, by her own admission, made a better grandma than a mom. She was the one who took me to the Disney movie openings and to Big Boy for a hamburger afterwards. She was the one who told my mother (my MOTHER!) to lighten up when it came to being fashionable in the 1970s :) and the one who'd remind me that grades weren't the be all and end all.

Thing is, kids need this kind of attention and love, yet so few of us are near biological family these days...and sometimes, biological families aren't interested in that kind of relationship. But what about, for example, the youngish widow who has a lot of time and love and talent and chocolate chip cookies to give?

Cathy and I have been chewing on the notion of working with local senior populations as well, for this very reason. Tell us your thoughts: Is this something that would be a blessing to your family?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Garbage Strike

Dear Single Mom,
You are loved. You are special. You are enough. I know that at times it seems like the road is forever long with no end in sight. I know that there are days when it would be such a relief to have someone, anyone, give you a hug…shed a tear or two with you…and then graciously take out the garbage and recycling. I know because I have been there and today is garbage day.

I’ve heard it said that “we all have our roles to play”. Why does the single mom have so many? I hate garbage day…it is irrational but I have done the single mom thing for over 14 years, and for 14 years I have hated Monday nights…garbage night. I resent the heck out of it! Each Monday night, when I drag the cans to the curb, I am reminded that I am on my own…with the garbage, and all the other things that come with being “alone” without a husband.

The question I ask myself…why do I do it...why do I hold onto the garbage? I have a 17-year old and a 14-year old – why can’t they do garbage day? Sometimes they do…if I bug…if I nag…if I cry…if I throw a fit. They are good kids, but they have no radar into garbage day…

Could it be that I am not good at asking for help? Could it be that I feel a bit guilty that my kids grew up in a single parent household? Am I trying to make up for the “normal” life they didn’t have? Society has such a way of labeling us single moms as misfits and our kids as future delinquents. Maybe I am buying into it. Maybe it is time to liberate myself…maybe it is time to turn over garbage day to the kids…to realize that I have done the best possible job that I can…that I am a darn GOOD mom…and that my kids are growing up okay and will make positive contributions to the world. No amount of garbage can take that away from me!

“KIDS, come take out the garbage…and don’t forget the recycling!”

All you single mom's out there...hang in there...and remember it isn't a weakness to go on garbage strike!