Okay, wow, I get it. Single parenting is fucking hard.
It’s 3 am, and my toddler wants a bottle. He’s three and still has bottles. I do whatever works.
I hear him call for me, and when I don’t come, he comes to me.
It’s the third night in a row that at least one of my children have come and tapped me and woken me up for something, and kept me awake.
I wait for another person, another adult, to rescue me and take over and tend to my toddler so I can give in to the tiredness. My eyes close, and I get another tap
“Mummy, I want a bottle!”
No one else can rescue me because no one is here. It’s just me. This is single parenting.
I get it now.
I never doubted that it was tough, but fuck me, it is TOUGH.
Being a mother alone is hard enough, but doing it alone? Never having anyone just to offer you reprieve? No one to fall back on? Jesus, that’s tough.
And I’ve only been a single mother for a minute, and I’m already burnt out.
And self-care? What self-care?
My “self-care” is a shower that I have at 10:00 pm for 6 minutes because any longer than that and I’ll wake someone up.
I have sat there working out in my head for a good ten minutes in silence before I can say to a friend, “I think It’s not my weekend? I might be able to come.”
There’s no “bring some milk home please” – If there’s no milk, then it’s dragging three wild goats into a supermarket where they can buck around wildly and where we all leave in tears.
There’s no if I cook you can do the dishes.
It’s the cooking and the dishes (I mean, that probably never changed), but even if you’re sick, there’s no break.
You ever hold back vomiting while pretending to be a fairy? I have.
And it’s lonely. My god, it’s lonely.
Seeing your kid do something funny and looking around to giggle with someone but only catching your reflection. Yep, it’s as sad as it sounds.
God, I get it now…single mothers are tough. They are badass.
And me? I feel strong. I feel powerful.
And sure, some days I fall into a heap, but most days I survive, and I pat myself on the back, and I say, “I did this… it was all me.”
And I gotta say, there’s no better feeling than that.
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