Happy Monday! I've been having major bloggers block lately. I've been focusing on what direction I'm going with my life, with my career, even thoughts on going back to school... besides all that though I've been seeing all sorts of posts on blogs and Facebook about working moms vs. stay at home moms, husbands writing about just how hard being a mother is...so on and so forth...
My question is...what's it like to be a mother who's married or with a partner vs. being a single mother?
I couldn't say what it's like to be a stay at home mother nor can I say what it's like to raise a child with a partner. I can read about other peoples views, I can wonder...but I'll never know....well, never say never.
I look back at the past three years of parenting and sometimes wonder what it would have been like to share the firsts with someone...first smiles, first foods, first words, crawling, walking...I wonder what it would have been like to share all the milestones. To texts photos to someone of a silly face or a sleepy babe. I wonder if I would have had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom?
What about sharing the parenting duties? The household duties? The you do this and I'll do that. The end of the day conversations. The good and the bad. The working out schedules, family adventures. The "I'll cook dinner, you clean up, I'll do bath." Family photos...not just selfies. Being able to run to the store after 7:30 without having to get a baby sitter? Crazy talk.
I've been a single parent basically since day one and I'm 3.5 years in. It's all I know and when I truly think about the pros and cons...I don't think I'd really change it. YES it's hard, YES the pressure lands on YOU and only YOU. Decision making, errands, house keeping, bills, budgeting...etc. etc. It's all you. There is no break, there are no timeouts or sneaking away for a minute to catch your breath. Your night ends at 7:30 when she's asleep, there are no late night Target runs. The decisions you make for yourself are not just yours...they'll affect her as well. You're alone in your thoughts, there's no one to hash out the "what ifs and what about this." Every step you think about taking you constantly weigh the good and the bad. A new job, starting school...what will the schedule be like? Can I make this work? Who can help me if I need it? What if I FAIL?
It's so easy to be at a standstill...to afraid to take a chance. I live with constant guilt (as I'm sure many mothers and parents do). I have the fear of failing, of cheating her or myself out of something we both deserve. My heart breaks every other weekend when I have to let her go to her dads, a situation that I never would have imagined would be my life...our life. It's something I'll never accept or get used to. I feel guilty over not being the one to pick up or drop off at school, of having to ask for help, of being stressed, of working late, of wondering if the way I'm raising her is right? The pressure and thoughts can easily take over...but, this is my life...I'm alone in the daily life with my girl and I'm honestly ok with it...every things ok.
So yes...I wonder and yes, I sometimes wish I had a partner to be on this journey with. I sometimes wish I could run to the store alone...not selfishly but realistically. I wish I didn't battle with "my life" vs. "my momma life" finding a compromise between the two, blending the two.
I can wonder all I want. I can compare single mom life vs. life with a partner. I can wonder and I can assume things would be so much easier...but would I change it? No. I like my life just as it is. I like not having to depend on someone, answer to someone...I like my little family I'm creating. Of course I wish for Makena that she had the family life like others...but she's loved with me and when she's gone. Honestly that's the only thing I'd change---not having to give up time with her.
Life as a single mom isn't ideal for a lot of people...but it works for me. Possibly because it's all I've known. One day I might not be alone, for now though...it's life and I'm ok with it...we're ok with it.
Life for me is an unfinished puzzle...its a constant work in progress. It would be easier with someone I'm sure, but I'm creating a life for her and I that we can be proud of, that I can be proud of knowing I've done it all on my own.