“What is the hardest thing about being a (solo) single mom?” Someone just candidly asked me this. She wanted to know one thing only. “The hardest,” she said. Honestly I feel like things change day-to-day—situation-to-situation. It used to be 2 AM feedings. Then it was potty-training. Then it was picking out a day care. Then it was dealing with a sick child and a job. (Well, this never goes away.) Then it was moving. Finding a new car. Then it was going to the ER when JD smacked his head. Then it was Nanny’s death and wanting to cry in my bed and not function, but I had a baby to take care of every day. Then it was finding someone to watch JD at 6 AM so I could drive to NYC for work (reoccurring). Then it was anger; knowing JD’s father’s life had progressed so naturally, while mine often times felt at a stand still or in shambles. And ya know, all these hard things only feel hard. If you take a breath, you find your will, then your way. And those angry feelings about the absent parent are fleeting. So right now, life’s biggest drama is … finding the balance when it comes to motherhood and dating.
Dating after your child is in school all week, on top of before AND after-care, is a horrible, horrible feeling. You are away from your child so much that when the weekend rolls around, you want to spend every moment with your kid. But you also want to spend time with someone else because you’re 31 and single. So if you’re me, you jam-pack Friday night with a mommy-and-me pizza date and your Saturday with soccer, lunch (Anywhere you want, bud!), the park or zoo. But then nighttime comes and you start to get ready. For the past 3 weekends, JD has stayed at my father’s or with Uncle Bri at my place, and I’ve stayed out. Like, bring a bag and toothbrush out.
JD loves being with my family and my family is encouraging that I have fun and just do what I have to do. They are all aware that the majority of the past 5 years have been dedicated to raising my child and working. They’ve seen me sit alone on a Saturday night watching On Demand. They know my weekends were consistently filled with all things JD, with never much of a break for anything adult. I’m doing something really out of the ordinary these days though. I’m being selfish. I’m just doing it.
Adventures In Babysitting: What Really Happens When A Single Mom Goes Out (This is hysterical. Read!)
I’m buying cute outfits at Urban Outfitters. I’m going on dates. I’m staying out all night. Drinking wine. Eating steak. Talking, flirting. I’m lounging around all morning with my friend on Sunday, reading the NYT on my phone, watching movies, drinking coffee, eating pastries. And then around 1 PM I leave and pick up JD at my dad’s, or my mom’s, or my brother’s. He’s always happy to see me, but never misses a beat: Where were you? Why did you leave me? My answers will make no sense to him now. “I’m sorry, I’m here now! Let’s play and eat!”And we do. And he doesn’t care anymore. Legos and meatballs on Sunday never fail me.
Solo, single parents with no help from the other parent… be selfish. Life is short. Your child loves you. You love your child.
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