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The Better Parent

The thing about being a widow is I am always the better parent. No matter what I do.

Because every day I DO wake up at 5:45 am, and I do make breakfast for three kids and pack their lunches and go to work and come home and feed the kids and clean the house and fold the laundry and put the kids to bed. And no matter how I do those things, even if I spend fifteen minutes in the car crying before I pick my baby up from daycare, I am doing it. I am parenting. I am sticking around and dealing with shit.

I judge myself a lot. I see toys left out on the floor, or an unmade bed, or walls that have remained unpainted for six months, and I tell myself I should be doing better.

It comes from outside sources, too. My parents tell me to feed the kids more vegetables. My job tells me to get to work on time. I can do better. I can always do better.

In my head, when I hear these things, I say "fuck off. At least I'm doing it. At least I'm here. At least I didn't leave my kids without…

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