Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If I Wanted to be a Single Mom... - by Cara

I’m having a hard time thinking of how I would complete that sentence. I have been finding myself playing the role of “married, single Mom” now more and more.

I adore my son...I would give up my life for him. I truly put my own needs aside to meet his. But when my husband and I discussed having a child, we knew that there might be some complications both during pregnancy and afterwards. I have a chronic pain condition that rears it’s ugly head every so often. I felt confident that I would have a partner who would be able to chip in when I wasn’t feeling my best. And through the years I accumulated more medical conditions. But still, I felt that I had someone to help “carry the load,” especially with the addition of two dogs.

But now I feel completely drained. It could be my hypothyroidism, but I don’t think it is. I am drained of being the resource for a very needy child. My son needs his “emotional tank” filled to the brim every day. I am drained of his continuous high energy, and schlepping him from place to place to burn off that energy.

I am drained of two wonderful dogs that are a real part of our family. But their needs are rising as they are getting on in age. And two fish that are relatively maintenance free, but do need to be fed and have their tanks cleaned regularly.

I no longer have that partner who made a promise to me that he would be there for me if raising a child were too much for me to handle on certain days. I feel cheated. And at the same time I admire all of the amazing single Moms who willingly chose to become single Moms. My best friend is a single Mom. She always sounds frazzled. She also schleps her son from one activity to another. And she also has an aging dog. I continually wonder how she does it. She DOES have her parents to chip in when she needs a break. And a slew of close friends who are more than willing to watch her son when she needs time for herself. I have none of that. Which makes me even more resentful that my husband is bailing out of his promise to me.

So I have to ask myself: If I wanted to voluntarily be a Single Mom, under my same medical circumstances and lack of resources to help out when I need a break, would I still want to be a one? I honestly don’t know. I can’t imagine life without my son. But I feel as if I am getting older exponentially at the same time.

My son is getting more mature and is taking on more responsibility. In a few years, he won’t want to even acknowledge that I even exist! And I desperately want to see him mature into an adult. But right now he is so sensitive that he needs to know my every move, my every step. I guess instead of wondering, “what if,” I should slow down and try to capture each small moment with him.

He lost his third baby tooth a few days ago. And since my husband was on a business trip, I thought that the excitement of losing his tooth (at the Bronx Zoo of all places!) would be diminished without his father here. It wasn’t. At all. He squealed with excitement at what the Tooth Fairy brought him. His Tooth Fairy is named Nute and is a Surfer Dude. We sent an e-mail to Nute, apprising him of the situation! And that whole night was filled with excitement, even as drained as I was from the day!

I guess I can now assuredly place an ending onto my opening sentence. If I wanted to be a Single Mom, I would definitely want to be one! Gladly! Otherwise, I would go through life with regrets. And that’s the last thing I want. And this childhood phase is passing so quickly! I better hold on with two hands, because I am going to be going on the ride of my life! Together, with my beautiful son! Being the best Single Mom I can be!

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Blogger Jamie L said...

Oh, Cara, I feel your pain. Though technically I AM a single mother by choice, this certainly wasn't my plan A. I always pictured raising my child(ren) with a loving man by my side. But you know what? Sh*t happens...and you deal with it. I know it's a total disappointment for you to NOT have the man you planned to be a parent with "there" for you -- and you're allowed to mourn that. But then you gotta pick yourself up and just be the best mom you can be (which you seem to be doing). Oh, and the most important rule of being a single mom is to ASK FOR HELP when you need it. If you don't have family you can lean on -- lean on your friends. Or, if you must, pay someone to help you. Every mom needs a break from being *just* a mom sometimes -- and you deserve one. And if you can't afford to pay someone to help -- try to barter. Switch off on "babysitting duty" with a friend -- give each other a break on different days. You'll find a way to work it out. Hang in there!

6:52 AM  

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