I haven’t written for so long, for so many reasons… because it’s complicated. I’m complicated. My life is complicated.
In a little more than a week, my daughter will be one and a half. Eighteen months seems like such a long time to have this little person I’m responsible for, and I’m happy for the little wins–she’s never had a diaper rash nor ear infection, she’s still nursing and growing. But there are many things I often feel make me a “failure” as well. She’s a night owl and currently doesn’t go to bed before midnight. She is far beyond your average picky eater toddler. She is clearly bright, but uses her words selectively and our lifestyle hasn’t yet taught her social skills.
Maybe it isn’t like this for all single moms, but for me, there is always a trade off that makes me realize how truly unable I am to do or be everything. I work from home because I feel strongly convicted that it gives me the best opportunity to still forge a stable bond with my daughter. And it does. In many ways I am very happy. I enjoy my job, and the flexibility that goes along with working from home. I don’t like the guilt when I tell my daughter she has to quit climbing on me when I’m working. I don’t like the stress and worry that if I don’t get my work done right away, an emergency could come up and prevent me from finishing. I don’t like forcing myself to stay up til 3am to make sure I get things done while my daughter sleeps, because lately I fall asleep in the middle of my work. I don’t like the worry that all my clients will cancel one month, or I’ll have a month where I can’t pay rent or some other bill. I don’t like that I’m not completely “back on my feet.”
It seems that as a single mom, I trade one security for another. It’s stressful, but I know I must learn to be okay with this stage of life. In this stage of life, I am alone. I don’t have real family help and I don’t have friends to call to come over and spend time with me and my daughter. I don’t have a babysitter close enough to my daughter to help give me a bit of a break.
Some moms will judge me for saying this, but being the single mama of a young toddler is very lonely. I love my little girl and am amazed every day by the joy a little one can bring, but I can’t say that joy doesn’t get overshadowed by the loneliness. Because it does. I want to have a whole family and right now my family feels broken. I am not someone who does well on their own. I have spent most of my adult life working alone and supporting myself without family–taking care of yourself and being alone is something that for me had gotten very old before I became a mother. Now it’s even worse.
I’m kind of at this point where words escape me. I write for a living but I’m running out of the words to express myself. On the occasions that a long-distance friend asks me what I need, I hardly know what to say. Where do you begin when you seem to need everything? How do you say you don’t know how to have a friend or enjoy life outside of motherhood because your life is so complicated?
I’m at a point where I know I need to take care of myself. Quit putting off my needs. I need to make changes. And i need to do it alone.