The Hustle and Bustle: An Ode to the Single Parent

Updated on November 10, 2018
jhamann profile image

I can't seem to stop writing poetry or reading poetry. I think it is safe to say I love poetry and I love sharing great poetry with others.

Elias is in Kindergarten now!
Elias is in Kindergarten now!


So many problems to solve by seven.

Must sit and plan and make many budgets,

find out where every coin properly fits.

To never forget the roast in oven.

To gather awhile with children's teachers

a managed meeting looking for results,

to separate our problems by our faults,

our solutions hiding in the bleachers.

So many problems to solve by seven.

Are all rides and children properly

annotated in my daily notebook.

Time to accept all gifts that are given.

I must work many hours worry free

to move forward never a backward look.

Hannah is in second grade!
Hannah is in second grade!


On these many sticky notes, lists posted.

I feel like a lawyer with a legal pad

with colored arrows pointing like its plaid,

to forget this party that I hosted.

A single parents job is never done.

To get them to every sporting event

or every carnival and circus tent

or a day at the beach under the sun.

To fight against our household entropy.

All this mess constant movement seems to make.

The energy to keep this even keel.

A never ending struggle with laundry.

From when we fall asleep to when we wake

this upkeep a hidden part of the deal.

Sam has started Middle School.
Sam has started Middle School.


Each small moment begins before sunrise,

the smell of coffee brewing in the dark.

The sounds of waking from the morning lark.

I pick up my pen and write down my sighs.

To limit my problems to those of verse,

to hide in early morning finding rhyme

as if this practice is a major crime,

a key to breaking apart this life curse.

If only for a moment in the day,

to find a way to share this world through words,

to show the world that I am more then chores,

to know that sometimes I can sit and play

or find in music joy in simple chords

before I start the mopping of the floors.

Until the next year!
Until the next year!


So many problems to solve by seven.

Sometimes pain and anxiety are real,

a constant reminder of how I feel,

to remind myself that this is heaven.

Must remember the joy in my effort

and put anxiety into a plan

to provide comfort as long as I can

along with activities and some sport.

So many problems to solve by seven.

Solutions that never make history books

but hopeful for children whose lessons last.

Find peace in form and movement of my pen,

avoid the judging eyes and painful looks

that everybody seems to want to cast.

© 2018 Jamie Lee Hamann



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    • jhamann profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      17 months ago from Reno NV

      Thank you Val.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Val Karas 

      17 months ago from Canada

      Jamie --- In those many books dealing with self-help, that could have passed for ones on psychotherapy, I learned to make difference between just collecting impressions about someone and drawing conclusions.

      My impressions about you are the ones of a warm and sensitive person, with loneliness possibly underlying all other things that you are labeling as issues of single parenthood.

      Your poetry is your emotional outlet, and sharing your emotions through poetry with the world makes your loneliness more bearable.

      But, you are not lonely, my friend. You have yourself. that higher "you" that won't let you down. Some life situations have to reach their maturity stage before they unfold into something more rewarding. We get guided from within -- the path may feel bumpy, but patience is the ultimate test in all this.

      Your poetry is perfect because you are. You don't need editing your poetry, because you don't need editing yourself. Instead, give more love to who you already are,

      That's what most of us owe to those tiny kids that we used to be --still living in our chest,

      Also, remember the Law of Attraction --- we get more of the same by disliking what we are and what we have. So, start pretending, because you are right whether you say that life sucks or it's a fantastic journey.

      Keep your poetry alive, you've got the talent, my friend. - Val

      P.S./ This comment is based on my impressions, not my conclusions. Jamie is much more complex than she is revealing, and I can't conclude anything-- except that you are one wonderful and complete human being.

    • jhamann profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      22 months ago from Reno NV

      I appreciate your insight and understand the joy in trying new outlets. I apologize for my quick reply. I appreciate your comments and criticism and do not mean to be unruly. Please feel free to be honest, the best kind of flattery, and try to ignore my moods. Thank you again.

    • profile image

      clark cook 

      22 months ago

      Jamie--I'm sensitive to the quandary, and I certainly did not mean to come across as some posturing egghead who insists you write in-depth profound poetry when all you want to do is find a channel that enables you to express yourself personally and emotionally. what I AM suggesting is that if you FIND that writing 'channel' that really works, you'll get a great deal more satisfaction out of the act of writing and get the impressions.\/insights/memories in a 'home' more precisely suited to what you might want to achieve.

      I'm shooting blanks in the dark because I don't really know hat you want to achieve. I was just hoping you'd think about these issues, try a few experiments, that sort of thing.

    • jhamann profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      22 months ago from Reno NV

      Clark, one of the hardest obstacles I have is finding myself and revealing myself in a more intimate real level in my poetry. Sometimes I am successful and I can look back upon the poem and feel that I have broken through. Others not so much. Most of these poems are just my attempt at an idea and most of these ideas go South. I just love writing in crusty old lyrical forms that take lifetimes to master even if It May qualify me as a “bad” poet. Hell there are a lot of those out there. I would rather struggle with forms that I enjoy writing, even if badly. I am not looking to “fall upon the perfect poetic line” or “change the world through a deeper look at our souls.” I am just writing where the impulse takes me.

    • mooner profile image

      Clark Cook 

      22 months ago from Vancouver Area, Canada

      I was a single parent for about 7 years and, yes, you've certainly captured anecdotally many of the frustrations and joys of that difficult role. I think you're doing one helluva job. Congratulations on that! Is this piece a POEM? Now that is a thorny question best put on the back burner, perhaps. But in the interests of experimentation, would you consider re-formatting it as FLASH FICTION (even though it records factual events). That somewhat 'looser' form of presentation might actually open up more possibilities for you to get inside your own head, explore introspectively how all of these practical issues have impacted you. Just a thought, Jamie, not a criticism.

    • jhamann profile imageAUTHOR

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      22 months ago from Reno NV

      It is good to hear from you all I hope that you are having a good weekend. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I did the single parent gig for fourteen years. You captured it perfectly here.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      22 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Jamie, I can feel you poured your heart and soul into this as you give every day for your children. Being a single parent is such a tough job and doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves. You describe the struggle of keeping up with the dail6 chores as well as getting the kids to school and sport and other activities. There would be very little spare time for writing or anything else. You are doing a great job, however, and I am sure your children appreciate it.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      22 months ago from Canada

      Jamie, so great to see you writing. I loved the insight in these pieces, your children are truly blessed. Enjoyed the urgency of finding time to write. And the photos are adorable.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      22 months ago from Norfolk, England

      That is lovely to read. It must be very difficult being a single parent, but your children look lovely and so happy.


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