I am a single mom.
I’ve been giving this single adjective a lot of thought lately.
I have really been feeling the weight of being a single parent, certainly, all of Hope’s time with me, but it’s been especially so the last few weeks. I think because parenting Hope has been more challenging recently.
I have to do everything. Between Hope’s modest, but still present, emotional delays, and the typical teendom antics, it is an exhausting job keeping her out of trouble and keeping her on the path to healing. I know I’ve done a good job, I can see it, but good Lord, I’m so tired and alone.
When it’s tough, I’m drawn into thinking about not having someone to tag out or that I need to call the sitter for some respite time and fret about the costs since there’s only one income. It feels hard and lonely. At the end of the day, at the end of a long challenging day, it is just me. When I think about the depth of that toughness…that loneliness, I am drawn back to grieving about the life I thought I would have. Not that this one is bad, but it’s just…harder than I thought it would be.
And I know that it is ok. It has to be, right?
Oh, I appreciate the few upsides: I don’t have to consult with anyone on how best to raise Hope. I get to make all the decisions. I get to be the ultimate ride or die mom because it’s just me!
But it’s not easy. It isn’t at all easy.
Lately, I have been wondering what the devil I was thinking getting into this journey alone. I knew it would be challenging, but I never would have conceived that it would be this hard. I wonder what it would be like if I had husband when I started. What would it be like to have had a husband or just long time love to help me raise Hope? I wonder if Hope would have still been my kid if I was partnered; my being single was an important part of our match.
Of course I’ll never know.
But I do wonder.
I suppose ultimately I would prefer not to be a single mom. I don’t know if my status will ever change. Again, this journey is just not what I thought it would be. We’re surviving; we may even be on the path to thriving, but this single parenting thing is not what my plan was supposed to be. And sometimes that reality makes me sad.