I’m hoping that by writing this post I’ll work out the optimistic twist that often emerges when I talk about how things are. Usually I put distance between these kinds of truths and what I post on my blog, maybe to put on my “we can do it!” face for others. So that my friends have faith that we can endure this lifestyle with grace, so that my family doesn’t think they need to worry about me.
I’ve been sneaking in some reading before bed that’s encouraging me to be brave with my honesty. To let my guard down a bit.
Now, this is what’s real.
This solo parenting thing? There was nothing about it I could anticipate when I said “I do” fresh out of grad school, fresh into my career, fresh into our first home, in the middle of our Roaring 20’s.
Potty training: a total failure. My son woke up from a nap clinging to his Daddy Doll and refusing to let me change his wet diaper. “No potty! No potty!”
Every day: “Daddy home?”
When he’s looking glum: I ask him what’s wrong. I usually get a shrug. I ask if he’s sad, if he misses daddy. He says yes. We hug and talk about him. Usually. His response yesterday? “Mommy.” What do you do when your child tells you YOU are making him sad? When there’s no daddy or gramma or papa or aunt to give you a break from each other?
When you’re feeling sad: you have to get out of bed and do your best. You don’t get to withdraw, be alone with your thoughts. It’s an introvert’s torture.
When you’re pretty pregnant: horsey rides, box races, wrestling moves, foot races… never as good as with Dad.
When you’re pretty pregnant: sighs about “bwutha.” Talks about “bwutha.” Feeling your firstborn’s uncertainty about the whole thing – with your entire being – alone.
The twinge of emptiness when you see a couple walking or shopping together. The twinge of envy when you see a couple sneak a quick smooch. The twinge of sadness when you see a toddler laughing with his daddy at the park.
The heaviness of thinking “we chose this, we do this, in time I will forget this.”
One day at a time.
We take it one day at a time.
Yes, we can do this. No, you don’t have to worry about me. (And, hurrah! Optimism! Tomorrow is “school”! And my mom is visiting soon.)
Thank you for listening. I’m making a promise to myself that I’ll be back tomorrow with some good humor.
PS – I have a bad feeling about this Sandy. I hope all of you and your loved ones are safe (and that my feeling is wrong).