It’s fairly evident I do this on my own. And I might be fairly different than some of the single parents out there. I respect the hustle of every parent out there, not just the single ones. But we do have a bond. We know there is no such thing as a day off and we can’t simply hand the baby off to anyone because we need a minute.
I don’t get those “mom nights out” or those wonderful spa weekends. And it’s not even particularly because I don’t have the support around me to do so, but I’m still lost in my own brain of feeling the need to be there every minute of my kids lives to make up for his absence. I’m working on it.
Truth is, I started off as a single mom. I faced the pregnancy alone, the labour and delivery and the first two years alone. I had the help of my parents so it really wasn’t awful whatsoever but I was the only parent. He re-surfaced when she was turning 2 and quickly became a part of our family. We moved far too fast and I had a ring on my finger and was expecting Baby No. 2 before I even knew his middle name. (not actually, but it was damn fast) With this whirlwind marriage came my first introduction to addiction. But hey- I’m a strong woman, I can totally fix him! Don’t worry about the restraining order or physical abuse- rehab and another baby will absolutely fix him! Baby number 3 was here a year after baby 2 and I had a sober husband… not. More rehab, a separation and an unwanted encounter that lead to not only Baby number 4, but also baby number 5. Yet again, I was faced with another pregnancy alone and I chose to have these babies confidentially. He had done more time in rehab but wasn’t sober and the last thing I wanted was him at the hospital with me. Some frown upon me for that, but my sanity was at stake and my own mental health was my priority. I still think it was the best decision of my life as he has only seen the twins a handful of times in his life. Honestly, it wasn’t long after that he moved hours away and eventually fell down the rabbit hole of addiction. I dealt with the aftermath of codependency issues and the depression that struck upon realizing that I was alone in raising 5 kids. I truly don’t know his whereabouts but it’s been 4 years since he’s seen the kids. I don’t receive any form of support from him and when I say I do this ALONE, I mean it.
We bunked in with my parents for the time being so I have support but they aren’t parents. My job is to navigate how they can maintain their relationship as grandparents while I take on the parenting duties. It’s friggen exhausting and the tears are real. There are days where I feel like I’m killing it and then other days when I just feel like I’m not even close to enough. Parenting is hard… But time is a thief and I know to enjoy every second with them because they’ll be grown in the blink of an eye.