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    Posted March 11, 2013 by
    Gainesville, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Work and family: Making it work

    More from amyjlawson

    Single Mom with a Disclaimer

    Technically, I am a single mom because I am the divorced mom of two boys. When I refer to myself as such however, I often feel the need to add the disclaimer "but my ex-husband is very involved with my children and we share custody." I have started doing this because the term "single mom", more often than not, seems to describe a mom who is doing things totally on her own. I have nothing but respect for all parents,single or otherwise, but I am totally in awe of someone who can parent alone with no help from anyone because I am the first to admit, parenting is hard, and it DOES take a village. Sometimes a village and a neighboring village. And a police station. And that Beyond Scared Straight show on TV.

    My ex-husband and I have been separated for 4 years, officially divorced for one and a half. At this point, we have worked out a functional shared parenting schedule for our children. One of the ways we do this is by sharing an online calendar that includes not only events we would like to attend with the boys, either separately or sometimes all together, but also events that we would like to attend without the kids.

    My ex-husband and I are truly friends but to get to this point it has taken communication, some tongue biting, lots of flexibility, and a sense of humor, especially when an appointment that I don't remember making for something such as an enema shows up on the calendar in my name.

    All of these things makes the schedule of the boys spending one week with me and the next week with their dad workable for us, and for the boys. All they bring with them from one place to the next are their school backpacks. I am fortunate that even on the weeks where the boys are with their dad, I still see them because I pick them up from their after school programs.

    My ex-husband's girlfriend is now a part of our family as well. At least once a week we try to all get together for dinner, or another function. My ex-husband and I agree that it is important for us as parents to continue to parent our children together, even though we are in different houses.

    Both my ex-husband and I work full time. We both try to fit in volunteer work when we can, and take the boys to volunteer, and I write as much as I can. As far as "having it all" I am reminded of a quote, "The secret to having it all is to think that you already do."

    I blog and read other blogs often. I have said that if you want to feel terrible about yourself as a mom, read mommy blogs. My blog leans less towards arts and crafts and more towards angst and anxiety, and usually I am totally comfortable with that, but there are times I ruminate on why I'm not the kind of mom that can stay home and make homemade hummus with organically grown crinkle cut cucumbers, then I stop thinking about that because there is laundry to be done,hugs to give, dinner to cook, homework to check, and inevitably something to pull out of the dog's mouth.

    Homemade hummus or not, the boys know they can always count on me and their dad, and their extended family, and that is my version of "having it all."
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