I can’t say I didn’t do any living before I became pregnant at 35. In my 20s through my early 30s, I married, divorced, moved countless times, started college (again), quit college (again), found my favorite bar stool at a handful of bars, graduated from two rehab facilities, survived a violent relationship, and disappointed and traumatized every member of my family. It all came to an end the moment I said, “I am pregnant.”
It is amazing how in the depths of your darkness comes a little ray of sunshine that changes your whole world, sometimes even earlier than you thought it would. In 2011, I became a mom. I became a mom of a preemie. I became a single mom in every sense of the word.
I applied for and received welfare. I lived with my parents for six months. Eventually, I started working, moved into a rent house, put Emery in daycare, and off we went. We have been full steam ahead. Easy as pie, right? HA! It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t feel like I have the right to gripe or complain. I put myself here. Now I have added this precious little human to the mix, and I, I must raise this girl?
At no point in your motherhood, should you feel embarrassed. I know the feeling of a line piling up while I have the LOUDEST cashier checking out my WIC. I also know the feeling I had when I canceled those benefits because I finally had a steady job. I have had wonderful parents who are there for us and have helped us in countless ways. Mainly by loving my daughter. (And my nephew, just in case he ever reads this-we all know you two are the favorites.) It took me a long time to get where I am today, and I still have a lot to learn.
Honesty has become our best policy. I don’t sugar coat much. If Emery asks me a question, she gets an answer. Hiding feelings isn’t an option. Get it out, let’s talk about it, and move on. This is our life, and I don’t sit and think about how hard it is. I do have struggles. I do have fears. I have anxiety that I take medicine to control. I am very independent. I can sit in a restaurant and eat alone. I don’t date. I cannot count how many times I get asked about why I am not dating. It is a choice I make, just like the person asking me may choose to date. This is not the single parenting gig married people like to call it when their spouse goes out of town for the week. That use to really grind my gears, but as I have aged, I have made another choice just to let it roll off. Everyone has their own family dynamic, and this is the dynamic I have chosen for my family.
I just want to say to “All The Single Ladies, All The Single Ladies, Put Your Hands,” I see you.
I see your struggles.
I see your worried eyes.
I see you working.
I see the way your kids look at you. I am proud of you. I am with you.