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A *Small* Glimpse into Solo-Parenthood

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

The challenges of solo parenting and motherhood. You know how when you’re a new mom and your child eats their first bite of sweet potato and you literally think they just hung the moon?

Or when you have 99 pictures of your toddler (through the monitor) sleeping with their butt up in the air because you think it’s the cutest freakin’ thing ever?

Every kid does it…but not as cute as yours does. The first thing you do is snap a picture and send it to your partner because they are the only other person on this planet as obsessed as you are with every single move those little humans make.

As a new mom, that’s what I used to do – like, all day long.

The other day, Dante wanted me to build a Magna-Tile tower as high as the ceiling while Dominic was loudly and proudly calling me over to show me the 500 tiny pieces of Play Dough he cut all over the dining room floor. As I tried to divide my attention, Dante playfully said “I think we need TWO mommies!” I recognize how fortunate I am to have an extra set of hands for at least a couple hours on most days – which is not the case for every solo parent.

I’m so grateful that I have help when I need it and most of the time when I want it. I’m truly grateful that I don’t carry a lot of the other burdens that solo parents often carry (financial struggles, isolation, etc.) Sometimes it even feels like I should be struggling more to carry such a title. But honestly, I’m just not giving myself enough credit. Because even with a very hands-on and supportive village around, it still comes down to me.

I’m the only one with magical smooches that can fix a boo boo. I’m the only one popping out of bed at 4am to someone screaming “Mommy! BOOGERS!” or at 3am to clean up chunky, red throw up all over both the crib and a sad, sleepy little boy.

these snuggles do make up for the all nighters. at least a little.

I am the sole decider of where these boys go to school, what activities to sign them up for and how much screen time to allow.

I am the tracker of all birthday parties and doctor’s appointments and the one responsible for remembering that Dante needs to bring something that starts with the letter “D” in for Show and Share this week.

I’m the one who bathes them, reads to them, and lays with them as they fall asleep. The one they look for each morning and the one they expect to fill their bellies at breakfast.

I'm the one dishing out enough pirates booty so I can have a moment of silence to add up all the medical expenses for our "jointly" filed tax return - reliving the h*ll that was 2022:

February: hospital bills March: medical travel to Michigan May: mileage to and from radiation treatment June: chairlift installation and rental September: funeral expenses

I’m the one who must notice that Dante’s shoes don’t fit anymore or that we’re running out of diapers.

the one to clean up the mess Dom leaves behind *all day long* :)

I am the one responsible for staying on top of their mental health (as well as my own) and I’m also the primary person in charge of keeping their daddy’s memory alive for them.

I’m also the one Dante jumps up and down for when he walks out of school and the only one Dom wants to snuggle on the couch with when he’s sick (besides his big bro, if he'd let him)

I’m not writing this to toot my own horn (or like, maybe I am just a little), but I started thinking the other morning (the 3am throw up morning) that I’m doing it – something that if you asked me a few years ago I wouldn’t have believed I could do.

And sure, it’s a heavy load to carry. But not being able to share those moments, or text that picture to the only person who could possibly care as much as I do, mixed with the unwavering guilt of being present while daddy can’t….

That takes the cake. That ranks high on my list of crappy-young widow-young mom scenarios. This may be a less profound post but honestly, I’m just here to say don’t take that stuff for granted.

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1 comentário

Wow! You have a lot on your plate! But you are doing wonderful. I can't relate but I can empathize with you and your family. There is never any words to make it better but I think you are doing great!

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