Just when I think I’m finally finding my groove as a single mom, something comes along to put me in my place.
You see, for the first few months, I wasn’t being much of a mom at all. I was in a grief-filled haze and had little energy or desire to do anything more than the basics. Then I quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom for a while. I had all the time in the world for board games and baking cookies.
But even that wasn’t exactly right.
So, I decided to not only go back to work but to go back to school for another degree. I realized I was taking on a lot. But my daughter was starting preschool and I was ready to take on some new challenges. I want to be a good role model for my daughter and a good provider. So I rolled the dice.
And most days it works out really well. I am loving my job and my classes. I’m rediscovering a career drive and ambition I thought I had lost long ago. Julia is excelling at school. My shy little girl no longer clings to me and is the first to run through the door without so much as a kiss for her mama.
We’ve pretty much got our schedules and routines down pat.
But when something happens, say a stomach bug or a teacher training day, it’s like our whole world crumbles to the ground.
Because I’m not just a single parent, I’m an only parent. I don’t have an ex to pinch hit. (Wow, wouldn’t Mike be proud of me for working a sports reference into a mom blog? God, I hope I used it right… )
And that’s when life can get overwhelming. Who’s going to pick up Julia if I’m stuck in traffic? How am I going to get my reports done when she’s sick? Who will watch her when there’s no school? Drive her to a doctor’s appointment? Wash the dishes? Study for a test?
I panic and doubt myself when there’s a kink. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone back to school. Maybe I should quit my job. Maybe I should just stay home and take care of my daughter.
Then I take a deep breath and realize I am actually not completely alone.
And on this week of Thanksgiving, I am especially thankful for my own mom and all my awesome mom friends who step in and help me, even when I’m too stressed to ask. Even when they are overwhelmed with lives of their own.
Thank you moms for helping this single mom somehow make it work.