The last thing on my mind when I got pregnant was that I would be a single mom. I don’t think any one woman thinks that. But there I was just finding out I was carrying a little bun in the oven, and there’s his dad taking a swing at me because he didn’t want the baby. His thoughts were if he didn’t want the baby, I shouldn’t either. At that time, I was just numb and I reacted. He took a swing, and I swung back.
That’s not the end of the story. When I realized I would be a single mom, it was scary. I was bringing this baby into a harsh world without a father to help guide. I would have to go through everything by myself, the obstetrician visits, the ultrasounds, and the birth. I was a young woman. What happened if I were to have a boy? I didn’t feel like I could teach him what he needed to know to become a bright young man.
Three weeks before I was ready to give birth, it was when it hit. I was going to do this. The only advice I got was from my mama. “Just do it. Get in the position that got you there in the first place and act like you gotta take the biggest shit of your life.”
Well, she was right. She’d had two babies naturally. If she could be super woman, so could I. But she had my daddy beside her for what it was worth. My son’s daddy had walked out of the picture. This was in 2011.
Gray’s father has seen him a grand total of three times in his nearly six years. The last time I saw him was in 2014 when we went to court over child support. He doesn’t pay even though the state has stripped him of almost every right because. And I don’t depend on it. I make it work.
That’s my story. And if I can do it, so can you. It’s tough, but not every day is going to be hard. Your child will remember you. He or she will remember the sacrifices, the hard work, and the unconditional love of a mommy who also is being a daddy. I have a son, and if I can potty train and teach him to pee standing up, I guess I ain’t doing half bad. I still doubt myself a lot every day not knowing if I’m doing it right.
Hold your head up high.
You’re not the only single mom out there. There’s even a rare breed called single dads and single grandparents raising their children’s kids. We are not alone, even though sometimes it may feel that way. Don’t let people’s comments get you down. Certain family members have even gone as far as to say I’m the biggest slut this side of the Mississippi. OK and? Do I really look I care what they think?
I used to, but I’ve gotten to the point I really don’t care anymore. They don’t pay my bills or raise my kids.
Also remember, your anger is your own and nobody else’s.
Don’t let your anger cloud the time with your child, especially when they are young. You miss out on so much when you let that anger and bitterness take over your life. I know some day that I will get the proverbial, “Where’s my dad?” It’s early still, but I am trying to soften the shock of the day when I have to tell my son what’s up with the man that helped create him. My son sees quite a few of his dad’s family on a fairly regular basis. His dad may be a complete jerkoff, but who I am to keep my child from knowing that side of the family? I don’t want to add fuel to the fire by clouding my son’s judgement with my own.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
By the end of the day, I have nothing left for myself. My kids are in bed, tucked safely in and lost in dream land. By then I’m so tired I can’t even yawn, much less clean the kitchen up, get their things ready for the next day or take a shower.
But I force myself to. The kitchen can wait, but I can’t. I force myself to take a shower. It’s a way of cleansing myself of the day’s problems and getting steady for another one.
You will make mistakes.
Simply put, make those mistakes, take the lessons learned and move on. Don’t dwell on them, because they will only fester. Not every day will be a perfect Beaver Cleaver day. Yell plot twist and go about your day.
Recognize your limits.
In the eyes of your child, you may be super mom, but in the eyes of the world you are still human. Recognize that you can only do so much. Don’t be so scared and prideful to ask for help. I’ll be honest, when I started on this journey I was gung ho I could do it myself. Fat chance of that. I’ve had to drop to my knees and beg for help. I’ve fought tooth and nail for every service and thing my children have. Would I trade it? Nope. It’s taught me where my limits lie, how to push past them when needed and when to ask for help when I’ve gone too far.
It’s not easy, but when is life ever easy? Remember to live, laugh and don’t forget the loves.