Single Mom

“You are a single mom trying to make it work. It’s obvious you love your kid…My mom had me at 21; she raised me pretty much and made do with like 20k a year. She was a savage….and we survived. You remind me of her. The reality is, you’re still a baby, but we all are. You’re finding out who you are, but you have a kid too. So you’re extra savage for pulling that off. So give yourself some credit…You are pure bad-ass. You took the hard road, and you didn’t have to. That speaks of shit right there.”

I am going to admit it right here, right now. I am terrified of being a single mother.

I know, I know most people already kind of see me as a single mother, since I’ve been divorced since May and have been the sole provider for the kiddo (as well as the ex-husband, but let’s not get into that) but I know that I won’t really feel like a single mother until the ex-husband moves out in the next month or two. And I am terrified. (And yes, I realize we are lucky his dad is hanging around to share custody. I am thankful for that.)

First of all, there’s the change in routines. Saturdays and Sundays will still be days set aside for just me and the kiddo to run around and play, and maybe run an errand or two. Mondays and Tuesdays will change a little bit. I really don’t see much of him now anyway, but soon it’ll be those two whole days that I won’t see him at all. They are the ex-husband’s days off, so he’s obviously going to have the kiddo with him. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are going to be the biggest adjustment. It’s most likely that we are going to just trade off these three days every other week. Which means there will be one week where I’m going to see my kiddo two days, and then the next I’ll have him for five days in a row.

Five days in a row with no other person there. There will be nobody else to pass off the brushing of the teeth and the fighting about getting dressed for bed and the arguments about how much dinner is an acceptable amount to eat before being allowed to run off and play some more. It’ll be all up to me to do everything. When I come home from work, exhausted, and there is a sink full of dirty dishes, the only person I’ll be able to yell at is myself.

Of course, there will be the weeks when I won’t see him for five days. Which means, it’s a trade off that I can probably adjust to fairly easily. Chores could be done on the off weeks. If I’m feeling ambitious enough, I could even cook on those days and freeze the meals, making meal time a little smoother when the kiddo is around, and leaving more time for us to play. Now that I think about it, that might actually work.

It’s still terrifying. I’ll be the first to admit that I do have a temper, and there are just some days where I don’t want to crash cars on the rug, or eat the imaginary food he prepares, or listen to one more second of his whining that he “doesn’t want to [insert menial task here].” Where is the buffer zone when there is only one parent in the house? I’m not going to be able to just lock myself away in the bathroom when I need an hour to cool down. It’ll just be me and him. And maybe it won’t be so bad. Most things that terrify me end up not living up to my dismal expectations.

It’s going to be a lot of work. It’s going to be a big struggle. But, in the end, it’s going to be for the best. For all of us.

This = <3

PS The quote above was taken from a conversation I had a while ago with a friend.

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