Dear single mom,
I have always had this special admiration for you for doing most of this motherhood thingy alone, but this month that admiration went to a whole new level. Let´s face it, being a mom can be freaking hard and I really had to adjust to this new life but I did have someone to share the load with. You probably didn´t, single mom.
Those first months during my maternity leave, I thought a lot about you. The adjustment to becoming a mom is intense, let alone if you have to go through it alone. Maybe you had a lot of help from friends or family, maybe you didn´t, in any case it must have been so so hard to go through these first weeks of sleepless nights alone. To be a lot alone with a baby that is crying again and you don´t know why. To not be able to leave the house alone for a little bit to regain your energy because you always need to call somebody to stay with the baby.
You might have been quite lonely, not being able to rant to your partner at night when the baby finally is asleep. You might have been frustrated when for the third day in a row you didn´t manage to get a proper dinner for yourself because you just didn´t have the energy anymore to prepare something and you didn´t want to call someone to help again. You might have felt isolated sometimes because you couldn´t just go out and meet with your friends like you used to do before. You might have felt lonely when your baby smiled or stood up for the first time and there was nobody to share that proud moment with.
When I was traveling alone with my baby I thought about you as well. Many people here in Spain told me I was crazy to go on trips back home to the Netherlands by myself with a small baby. I remember thinking back then already that for you this would be common practice because that´s simply the way it is for you.
But especially this month I am thinking a lot about you and every day I am getting more impressed by you. This month my partner is away for the Olympics so for a little over a month I am alone with my son as well. And as you know better than anyone, it´s not always easy to do everything alone. Yes, I get help from grandparents for babysitting when I am at work but if my little guy wakes up for the 3rd time that night I am the only one at home to get up. If he is super hungry and cranky and I need to prepare his food, it certainly gets more complicated when there´s nobody else to distract him for a little bit. If he pooped all over the place and literally everything is dirty, there´s no extra set of hands to ask for help. If I want to take a shower myself, there´s just the hope that the toys I gave him will entertain him long enough. If I want to go to the gym or have a drink with my friends, I need to plan that way in advance because there´s no other parent at home anyway to stay with him. If I am close to going nuts because he has had a difficult day, there´s nobody to take over for a little bit so I can calm down again. If he is finally asleep at night, there´s nobody on the couch waiting for a good conversation, a nice dinner together or for just unloading my stories from that day.
I also know that although it might be hard sometimes, it´s only for this month. But I realize very much that that´s your life every single day and night, dear single mom, and I truly admire you for the amazing job you´re doing for managing it all alone.
A usually not single mom