Time truly flies, y’all! Since I wrote last, I started working full-time on top of maintaining my writing career and the struggle has most definitely been real! So as I jump back into the writing game, I figured I’d hit a topic that I’m enduring personally–being a working single mom. First off, hats off to all the moms who are working period, but to those of us who are single parents–MY GOD! It isn’t easy. Either way, single parent or not, I’m sure any mother has had at least three of the following thoughts while trying to balance and maintain a work life and home life. Let’s get into it!
“I need a break.”
Regardless of how much you love your job or your child–the work involved is exhausting. Don’t feel bad for recognizing that you need a break. You deserve a break. You may not be able to take an all-expense-paid vacation to the Cayman Islands, but the very next time you have the ability to remove yourself from the responsibilities for a moment–do so. Let those who want to help you take that break, help you. I was resistant to letting people “help me” take a break at first. I felt like I was being a bad mom. After all, I think my mom is a superhero and here I am only having been a mom for 8 months and I already need a break? It took a lot for me to understand that I was a great mom regardless of how tired I became and when I allowed my loved ones to help me let loose it refueled me and I was back to supermom in no time. If you have people in your life that want to contribute to your single parenthood, let them. Let them watch the baby for a night. Let them watch the baby long enough for you to go to bible study, happy hour, or wherever else you’d like to go to take a breather.
“I miss my baby.”
I cried myself to work the entire first week I started working. Being able to be an at-home mom for the first six months of her life really spoiled me. In the beginning, I could not convince myself that my Flower would be okay without me. I felt like even though I was working to provide the both of us with better circumstances, I was giving up on her. Eventually I learned that I was wrong. She was fine and your baby will be too! If you’re an at-home mom that is thinking about working (even part-time) don’t discourage yourself. You’ll be proud of yourself and so will all involved. I don’t regret working at all.
I haven’t quite learned how to defeat this feeling just yet. My daughter is indeed my best friend, but naturally a desire to hangout still arises in me from time to time. What works for me as of now is to phone a friend or to invite a friend or two over for dinner or to watch something on TV. No, it doesn’t require you to get all dressed up (which is my favorite part), but at the same time it still feeds that desire for sociability. Hanging out at home also allows me to be social without feeling like I’m leaving my daughter out or behind.
“I have no social life.”
Unfortunately this is another one of those thoughts that you don’t try to have, but that you really can’t help but have. A good time looks like a good time no matter what window you’re looking through. In other words, when you’re sitting around and watch a friends Saturday night snapchat, yes, you’re going to miss the times when a late Saturday night was 4:00 am, not 11:30 pm. What I’m learning though, is that eventually it rolls back around to the time you’ll be back on the scene. All the same things are sure to be going on when you get back, trust me. For now, enjoy baby while you’re all that matters to them. I heard it doesn’t last forever.
‘”Am I doing this right?”
I don’t care how much you tell yourself you’re a great mom, the feeling of needing a break, being tired, missing social life–it all makes you wonder whether or not you’re ‘momming’ correctly. It always takes a word from older mothers to remind me that it is perfectly normal to feel these things as a single parent. It’s even more important to know that you really are doing it right because if you weren’t, you wouldn’t ask yourself if you were.
“I definitely have my shit together.”
At the end of the day, no matter how much my job irritated me or how late my daughter went to sleep, I feel amazing about doing what I’m doing for my little girl–for me, too. That is what keeps me going. That is what fuels me. Let it do the same for you. Own being exhausted because you’re exhausted from hard work. Own everything involved in being a great parent. Even the moments that make you want to scream. You got this, mama.