I know y’all didn’t miss that little blurb at the top where I told you this would be a place for mom truths. Just like every other woman who’s had the pleasure of pushing out a tiny human, I am sure to remind most people of it often, because the reality is that my child is 97% of my life. (For those of you struggling with math, that leaves a measly 3% for myself, and I choose to spend it complaining, trying to appropriately caffeinate, binge watching true crime shows and stand-up comedy on Netflix - shout out to Ali Wong, who is the realest MVP - and folding tiny socks. Oh, and there’s a little painting and creating in there somewhere.)
Just like anything else about being an adult, what they don’t tell you when you decide to have a kid, no matter your situation, is that it is hard af, and our mothers basically deserve a Purple Heart for their sacrifice and their service. Seriously. Or whoever raised you, whether it be a wolf or a grandmother or a father. I really think that parents should make the millions reserved for professional athletes. Our job is like fifty thousand times harder.
So, here’s my reality. And yes, I did choose it. Don’t think I don’t know this. For one second. My reality looks like: I am a single mom. And when I say this, people have this idea of what that means because of the family dynamic of the world that we live in today, and that’s just...not my personal experience of single motherhood. I’m not a single mom in the “gets-child-support-splits-custody-baby-mama-drama-baby-daddy-ridiculousness” sense. I’m a single mom in the “doing-it-herself” sense. While, yes, I am certainly luckier than some in that I have the support of my mother, who watches my son while I work one of my jobs, it has its moments where it is extremely lonely and incredibly overwhelming. On top of working two jobs and trying to run a business to keep my bills paid, I have the huge responsibility of creating this little future human: I have to teach him, play with him, care for him, inspire him, and love him.
It sounds like something that should just be...second nature almost. The idea of having a “maternal nature” is such that mothers experience a great deal of shame from a lot of sources for their humanity. “Mom-shaming” is a huge, HUGE unfortunate reality and, personally, I believe it has to fucking stop. Unless you are beating or severely neglecting your kids, you feel free to do you, honey. March to the beat of whatever drummer your family is going to. Be super organic, be super into fast food, be into pageants, be into this that or the other thing, just be a good human and raise a good human, and we good. While I may be sassy and snarky myself, anyone who knows me will tell you that I am like a human blow pop...once you get past that outer seemingly impenetrable layer, I am slightly squishy inside. I try to love people, but once I decide people are unloveable, I’m over it and the honesty comes out. As far as my son, I am doing my best to raise a kind human who loves everybody, and so far, all signs point to me being on the right track. That’s all I have come to expect from other moms, and all I think we can realistically be held responsible for.
Oh, wait, also - vaccinate your kids. #herdimmunitysaveslivesyall
That being said, some of my mom moments are unique to my experience. Where my friends may have a spouse or a co-parent to kind of help them shoulder certain burdens, I don’t have that luxury. When my son is particularly crazy, I have to be the bad guy and the good guy all at once. I have late nights and really early mornings. I work late at night and often have to get up in the middle of the night to take him to the bathroom. I’m the one getting up every morning and doing homework and packing lunch and doing all the laundry and kissing the boo boos and laying down the law and all that shit that parenting entails.
And I won’t lie to you: it is sometimes incredibly fucking lonely.
My kid could be sickeningly sweet and some days I have just about had it. There are moments where, no matter how hard I try, I just want to run away. Moments where I wonder how it is possible to love someone so much but also want to punt them. Moments where I have actually used the words “I would literally sell you on the black market:” happen in the same hour as moments where I just look at him in wonder and go “wow. I made that.”
While I have said before, and will tell anyone who cares to hear me how grateful I am that I have my mother and our “village”, so to speak, it is not the same as having a true partner in parenting this child. There is no one I can turn to in those moments of awe and know that we created this little person together and that he is a piece of the best of each of us - and, at times, the worst of each of us. When I feel like ripping my hair out and just need a minute, I can not ask his father to take over so I can excuse myself. Instead, I have found my own methods of coping in those moments…most of the time.
But today…today, I cried into the open refrigerator.
Today, I cried into the refrigerator because I felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility and just how heavy that is. Today, I cried while looking for creamer on the shelves because my son had been going non stop since getting up before my early alarm. Today, I cried into the fridge because I have to work both jobs, which means a thirteen hour plus day, and even though he’s at school for six of those hours, it’s a long day, and just thinking about it is exhausting. Today, I cried before nine in the morning because I didn’t know what else to do. Today, I cried.
And you know what?
Tomorrow, I might cry, too.
There’s nothing saying I will, and nothing saying I won’t. But I told myself when I started doing this whole blogging thing that I wanted to be a hundred percent up front with y’all. And this post might not appeal to my entire audience. Which is cool. It’s swell. It’s just fine. But maybe there’s a mom out there who needed to know she wasn’t the only one who feels like she’s just fucking drowning some days, no matter how infatuated she is with her kid, or how focused she is on their care and keeping.
So, this one is for you, mom.
Keep ya head up, boo.
Catch y’all on the flip side.
Yours in creepiness,