Friday, February 5, 2010

My (Very Short) Life As a Single Mom

I am currently developing a deep and profound respect for single moms. I've always marveled at how hard it must be, and even moreso since Ryan was born. But this weekend Herb is away visiting his daughter in California, so I am experiencing it firsthand. And understanding why God made two parents physiologically necessary for procreation!

For a large part of the day, there isn't a lot of difference in what goes on. Since Ryan's been sleeping through the night consistently, I've been the one getting up with him at 7am, since I can catch a nap later in the day while Herb is headed off for work. But Herb often takes him for at least a few minutes in the morning so I can make myself a piece of toast, or go to the bathroom, or brush my teeth. And I didn't realize how much I look forward to him coming home at the end of the day and taking Ryan out of my arms for a few minutes. Evening tends to be his fussy time when he likes to be held, and by the end of the day my arms are TIRED and looking forward to a break.

And as jealous as I sometimes am of Daddy's evening tubby and bed time with Ryan, I will admit it's nice to get a break and be just an observer for a bit at the end of the day. I adore watching them play together, but it's nice to not be the one making sure Ryan isn't crying, and juggling the bottle while trying to wipe up spit, or manhandling that heavy sack of potatoes into the crib without waking him up. In short, it's just nice to have a little break from the first-hand responsibility for a few minutes - or a few hours.

But above and beyond that, I miss having the moral support of another person in the house who can "cover" for a few minutes. When Herb works from home, even though I do my best to not interrupt him, just knowing that if I desperately need a minute to myself - to shower, to get dressed, to grab a snack, whatever - I can hand Ryan over and go do what I need to do without listening to him cry because he wants to be held. And because I know I can, somehow I rarely need to. But those long days when I'm all by myself make me realize how much I do look forward to another adult in the house, someone I can talk to in full sentences (that don't include the words "Boo boo boo!" or raspberry noises). Someone who'll amuse Ryan while I make dinner. Someone who'll give me a few minutes away from being just a baby-caretaker. I'm always a mom, but sometimes it's nice to be just "on call" instead of "on duty".

So here's to all the single moms who never get a break. My hat is off to you. I'm glad I only have to walk in your shoes every now and then.

Bookmark and Share