I consider myself a mom, no more no less. Never truly a single mom. Am I wrong for thinking that?
This is a question that often comes up, internally. On the outside, I’m sure that I am considered one amongst those that know me. On the inside though I’ve never quite felt that I deserve that title. I’m one of the lucky ones, there’s no doubt about that.
It’s no secret that I am forever grateful for Aurora’s dad. When it comes to our sweet girl, she’s always the priority, our number one. We communicate as well as we can, split our time with her as evenly and as fairly as we can. The both of us constantly make sure she always knows she has us on her team, no matter what. Even when she tries to pull fast ones on the other, she is a weekly occurrence. Within the big moments of her life I don’t ever feel like I am alone. For instance, a couple of months ago Aurora broke her arm at grandma’s house. I showed up first and then her dad. I knew in my heart something was wrong and just because she hit her head but her constant complaining of her arm and never her head injury. The advice nurse said for us to bring her to the ER to get checked. We both took her, not in separate cars but together. Also, let’s be real, it’s stupid to take two cars 45 minutes away and to be following one another. It was reassuring to have him there and have someone to turn to, instead of sitting by myself and having no one to talk to. I worry and overthink and it’s worsened when I am alone and under stress. When there’s basketball or play practice to get her to and I can’t due to scheduling conflicts, I can call him and know he’ll help out when he can. I get stuck in traffic and my mom’s back is out and she isn’t able to pick up Aurora, I can call and he’ll come through and bring her where I need him to. She’s always the priority and I never have to question that with him. Due to moments like that, I’ve never felt that I am truly doing this parenting thing alone.
It’s the smaller, almost insignificant little things that make me feel like a single parent.
In the mornings when I have to wake up my little sleeping beauty and while getting myself ready I have to leave the room and come back five minutes later to see her still asleep. At night when I ask her to do any of the three trigger phrases, “brush your teeth”, “take a shower” or my personal favorite “go to the bathroom”. If it’s passed 7pm and I ask Aurora to do any of those she knows bedtime is near and sometimes she flips out. It’s at night before she bed and she starts to cry because she won’t see me for the next few days and she’s already missing me. It’s when I am emotionally drained and have to battle with a six year old all my own. When a majority of our pictures are terribly angled selfies or ones of just her, unless a kind stranger obliges and takes our picture, which sometimes end up blurry. When I go to basketball games or performances alone. School functions and fundraisers.
See, the small insignificant shit. That’s when I am confronted with the fact that I am at times a single parent. Maybe the picture thing I care about, but I try to have our local, incredibly talented photographer and fellow badass mom take our pictures, so I have those to look back on of Aurora and I. But everything else is so small in the long run. As long as that little girl see’s her mom in the crowd and has me there to argue with, that’s all that matters. That I am there.
I’m also left with the feeling that I am not doing this whole raising a child thing alone because I have such an amazing village backing me up and willing to step-in when needed, if needed. They show up to her performances and basketball games. They participate in her school fundraisers and buy wrapping paper, of all things. My friends and family have been willing to pick her up and have her over to play dates if I need to be at work and or have any other form of scheduling conflicts. They support us in every way possible and am so indebted to them all. I am never truly alone in this journey.
Now, in no way am I knocking the whole single parent title. There are people in this world who truly hold that title and deserve every single ounce of acknowledgement. They are out there being both a mom and dad. I commend them and feel I am no where near their level of super-mom(dad) capabilities and strength. They wear ALL the hats and take in the stresses that follow, solo.
So to all the single parents, I raise my coffee to you. We’re all in this together and need to be each other’s support through the good and the bad. Whether we are doing this alone or not.
In fact, I raise my coffee to all the parent’s who show up for their kids day in and day out.