I adore single mothers. I was one myself for 5 years, pretty much still group myself that way for some reason and will always have enormous respect and admiration for those moms. Especially for those of you who choose to be single mothers, for whatever reason. I elected to be a single mom. Not from the start mind you, B was an incredibly planned pregnancy. (My joke is that I have all the paperwork to prove exactly how planned she really was-cervical mucus charts even! “Yuck mom, that’s just gross”.). However, her father chose to make a relationship-altering decision during that pregnancy, and I was unable to move past that. Unlike lots of women I know, I opted out. I worked extra jobs, kept our house and was determined to give her the life she would have had, if her father and I had stayed together. She has never gone without. Not materially, and most certainly not emotionally. She has had the bulk of my time always. I stayed at a job that allowed me job flexibility and was very “family-friendly”, just to be the mom I just HAD to be. Given the trauma of the pregnancy situation with her Dad (which will be a story for another day, I mean mentally, since the pregnancy was beautiful and all that carrying your lovely baby should be), I kind of feel like when she was first born I was just going through the motions and learning as I went. But I remember waking up one day and thinking, “My God. I love this little girl immeasurably. I’ve never felt anything like this”. And every day since it has been her and I. She melts me into a huge blubbering puddle and doesn’t even really know that. Well, wait, maybe she does. She thinks it’s very silly of course, but she knows that her mommy can’t possibly love her more than she does. My old blog would be helpful here, it had many tributes to my little B. So some of you already know all of this.
However, it has recently come to my mind that although I got married in January this year, I still consider myself a single-mom. I semi-function as one. And despite how difficult it could be at times to be doing it by myself, I know now that I never really was alone. My girlfriends, my family-they all helped it to be a much easier road. And I seriously miss those alone times with my baby. We still do lots of stuff alone, but dinner now involves my husband and his son. His son lives with us full time and is a more demanding child, so its a different dynamic for us both. She, as is her style, has adapted with such style and grace. She’s a social child, perhaps more social than me, and loves people around all the time. I loved us alone, cuddled up in bed, talking as we fell asleep. We stayed at my parents this weekend, just to get some of that same old cuddle-time in.
Now mind you, I was definitely a single mom by choice. Over those five years, I sold our pre-divorce home, bought a new one in a much desired area, and all these choices were made with B’s input. She is in an excellent school district that we both love, which is a way better fit for her “joiner” personality. We live closer to her Daddy, which allows him to drive her to school when I drop her there in the morning (I start work earlier than he does, so it’s a win-win!) and her to visit him whenever she wants to. I dated several people, for the longer term and all of them were wonderful men who would have loved to get married. But I wanted nothing to do with that. I felt that Barrett was my life and I didn’t need to get married. Lo and behold, I ended up back together with one of those first guys (yeah, the one I could NOT forget), and we do make a GREAT team. We co-parent effectively, and he’s not threatened when I want all that alone time with my girl. And she loves having family dinner every night, and the routine of normal life. I also love that when she’s gone to her Daddy’s for his weekend, I have a life that isn’t the one I lived as a single mom. I was a bit more inclined to go out with my friends dancing and then being exhausted the rest of the weekend. And unlike I previously thought, I had been depriving her of something that this child apparently loves. She is a family girl. I did my best, and involved her with her Dad and friends and my family as much as possible, but it’s not really the same. It’s been a bigger and harder adjustment for me. I loved being a single mom. And part of me will always be one. So for those single moms who visit here, this ones for you. I’m proud to have been amongst your ranks, and I hope you’ll still accept me in your discussions. I admire you and respect you more than you will ever know. And for you single moms with girls, well, aren’t we just the luckiest women?
-B’s Mommy (first and foremost)