Wednesday, October 31, 2012

thoughts on being a single parent...

Being a single parent, a single mother, it doesn't define me. I am a mother. A momma. That's what defines me. Being a single mother is not the hardest thing I've experienced. But I only say that because I've been alone in parenting since my daughter was 2.5 months old. Being a single mother is the only type of mother I know how to be. 

Being a parent is HARD. With or without a partner, I imagine. I don't want to make my life as a single parent sound dreamy or like the ideal situation. For me, yes, I would have loved to not have gone through what I did and be divorced. But I can honestly say I've enjoyed mothering alone, with a few exceptions. Obviously everything being on you and you alone is extremely hard and stressful.'s not enjoyable. I have a very low paying job, I do get child support, but I barely make it. Because of my situation I do feel empowered to do everything alone and not ask for help...even if I need it. I look at my life as my life, my mess, my craziness....but all this makes sense to me.

In the beginning the thought of me as "single mom" scared the crap out of me. Considering I'd never been alone before, how was I ever going to be a mother alone. How would I handle life alone with a child. You can never imagine things clearly. Your mind will take you to the most negative, darkest places imaginable. But I live in the moment. I do what fits us best. I don't hide from this life. But I will not lie and say it's the most comfortable situation, especially in a world where what you don't have is what you see the most. As in I don't have a husband or "family" and that's ALL I see when we're out and about. But I don't shy away from the "family" the pumpkin patches for instance. I went full force in this area. I can shy away and be sheltered because I'm a single mother and I feel awkward or I can fully embrace it and make memories. I choose to embrace motherhood...single or not.

Being a single mother and having to work full time and then share your time with you ex is hard and stressful. The mornings get pretty hectic because my child and I aren't morning people. We rush and eat breakfast in the car on the way to daycare. I do the drop off every morning. Rush to work, most of the time being late. Work. Usually 3-4 days a week I do the daycare pickup. Home, cook, eat, clean, play, bath, snugs, bed, clean...SIT. Then I have major insomnia so I don't fall asleep until after midnight. I'm exhausted 24/7....But this is the only life I know. It's not bad. And in the craziness I'm still able to slow down. Play. Read. Embrace her and this life. Then every other weekend she goes to her dads...I feel selfish in saying I wish I didn't have to share her. Why should I anyways...I do it all. But no matter what, I know why. Because that's her dad and they need each other. As much as I need her and she needs me...they need each other as well. So I share. I go three days without my baby. It's unnatural for me...for any parent, mostly mothers I'm sure. It's one thing to choose to be without them for a night or a weekend...but to HAVE to give up time...not normal.

I'm lucky enough that I actually in general get along with my ex and try to communicate properly for my daughter's sake. I won't say that happens all the time. There is arguing and disagreements. Jealousy and moments of feeling left out. This is the reality of divorce and trying to co-parent. When I think of what my life would be life if I were to still be married, I often get to a place of thinking I would have missed a moment that Makena and I have shared because I would have had other eyes watching her, I would have been preoccupied cleaning a bigger house, doing more laundry, distracted by something other than her. I often think I could have missed many things with her if I was still married. Sounds bizarre right?

Nothing about this life is simple and nothing about it makes complete sense. One day it may get more complicated. One day it might not be as easy and go with the flow. But for now, single motherhood works for me. It's easy. I embrace the "label" and I will not let it define me. I'm just a mother loving her baby, living life.

I've often been told I make parenting look easy and not intimidating. I laugh. I run around like a crazy person and when she acts out I constantly think, "it's because I'm a single mother." I do have a pretty well behaved little lady and she's understanding...if you're not a nice girly and listen to mommy we can't do fun things. She needs to live life as much as I do. We would go out and about if I were married or just because I'm single doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to see and experience like every one else. It may take us a little longer to get out the door. We may run back and forth a million times because I forgot something. We may have tantrums...I say we because momma has had many breakdowns. But this is life. This is the reality of my life as a single mother.

But with the happy of my life as a single mother...there are complications. Thoughts of the future. Decision making. Just because I'm "alone" doesn't mean I can really ever be alone in this...if I like it or not. I can live day to day minute by minute in this life...but thinking beyond that, slightly freaks me out. So for now, we'll just live. Breathe. Enjoy. Embrace.


Lindsay said...

Beautiful :) I love you!

blesid thrifter said...

Those were amazing pictures of your girl! What a great setting. I was just thinking the other day, I don't know how my single friends do it. A good friend is a single dad to 4 and his ex moved 2 hours away... I don't know how he parents high schoolers AND elementary aged kids, works, cleans, shops ... but he just does! I bet it's the same with you. You do what you gotta do. I hope you allow yourself moments to be proud of YOU. I enjoyed your thoughts today!!! *new follower via Mom's Mingle xoxo jules

Leisure M. said...

Your little one is so adorable. I love this little mini photo shoot. I'm one of your newest followers. I wanted to say thanks for hosting this weeks blog hop! You can follow me back at

Melissa said...

Following you from Mom's Monday Mingle. Thanks for co-hosting! :) Your daughter is SO cute. Look forward to reading your blog more now that I'm a new follower.

SimplyyMayra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SimplyyMayra said...

Hola Julie!
Amazing post and photos! Your little girl is beautiful. Thank you for sharing you experience of "single motherhood", it brought me back memories...memories of the struggles and my survival as a single mother of 3 little girls. Yes, it was tough, but I made it! And by the look of your little one, you are doing a great job! Once again thank you for sharing!

~SimplyyMayra of PonderWonders

Pinkie for Pink said...

Your daughter is beautiful! Great pictures! I came over from the Monday Mingle and I am a follower of yours now. Would love if you could come visit and follow me.


Vicki said...

Your daughter is adorable. And your post was beautiful. I can only imagine how hard it must be being a single mom, I find it hard enough having my husband around to help! When your daughter is older, believe me she will appreciate all you have done and will continue to do for her.

Kera Martucci said...

New follower from MMM :) So glad to have found your blog--I've been browsing around and I love your writing style and your honesty. Those pumpkin patch photos of you and your little girl are so sweet. She's lovely! You seem like one fabulous mama, and I'm looking forward to reading more :)

Come stop by my blog if you'd like!

blm said...

your girl will remember all the lovely little things (and big things!) you do with her. you can see how joyful the little miss is already. :)

P.S. I nominated you for a Liebster Award over on my blog. :)

Shaye walsh said...

Hi there! I had a question for you about us possibly collaborating on something and was hoping you could email me back to discuss? Thanks so much!

- Shaye

shayewalsh1 (@) gmail (.) com

Carlos Strey said...

I guess whatever works for you is the right option, regardless of how bizarre some people may find it. In the end, it’s your life; you’ll be the one to live with the choices and its consequences. Living on the moment is a beautiful thing to do. After all, your little girl seems to be happy growing up embracing the setting you have. You don’t have to burden yourself with what has yet to come. =) – Carlos @ The Bridge Across

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