Since my husband and I separated, I am almost exclusively responsible for our four year old daughter. She is with me 12 days and nights in a row. And then she spends a weekend with her dad. She has dinner with him most Monday and Wednesday nights… he picks her up and brings her back about an hour and a half later. Everything in between falls to me.
Someone recently expressed respect for me as a “single mom” with my own business. Much as I appreciate the sentiment, the term sticks in my craw. Munchkin has a father who is present in her life. He spends time with her and he calls her almost every night. I want to give him credit for that. I think he is trying under the circumstances to do right by her.
Sure, I am exhausted and constantly trying to balance it all. If Munchkin is ill, or the sitter bails, or there is a play date or birthday party, it is all on me. Making certain she gets to school, to speech therapy, a bath, clean laundry, all of it is my responsibility.
So what is the more accurate title? Primary caregiver? Nah, too legalistic. Custodial parent? Somehow connotes that the Munchkin has a criminal tendency… which she doesn’t, yet.
I don’t know what the right term is. I’ll let you know if I figure it out. If you figure it out, let me know. In the long run, I know I will get to sleep and the everyday stuff will fall into place. I think what’s important, though, is that Munchkin know her father is there for her and loves her.