“Being a single mom must be really hard.”
Furrowed brow, check. General expression of concern, check. Optional touch to the arm, check.
My answer to that? I imagine being married is a whole hell of a lot harder.
As anyone who’s ever been though it knows, there’s no doubt that, at times, being a single parent can be a … challenge. But as with anything, I’ve found, it is what I make it. Here are a few of the things I LOVE about being a single parent:
1. I don’t have to consult with ANYONE.
With two states between us, my daughter’s father passed away suddenly when she was 2 1/2. Though never married, we had been together nearly 10 years before splitting during the first trimester. (That’s a whole separate drama-infused post I’ll save for later.) MP does not remember him. It’s been just the two of us from the beginning. (And by that, I mean, the day I peed on a stick and saw two lines…)
2. I like our party of two.
Selfish? Probably. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this feeling doesn’t bother me to some extent. I’m just workin’ with what I got.
With the absence of a second parent, it’s been a bit of the “two of us against the world” theme around here, which, truth be told, has been very empowering. We’ve bonded so tightly and have formed such a strong, healthy, loving relationship (without the whole insecurity/codependency thing) that I’m actually a bit afraid to add another person to the mix. Afraid that it might somehow dull the magic. (Ever see The Holiday? I’m Jude Law.) This is not to say that someday, I don’t hope MP has a father. I do so want that for her. But right now, she has two grandfathers who love her to bits, and serve as wonderful role models helping to fill that void.
3. LDQ (Lower Drama Quotient)
Toddler drama is WAY different than grown-up drama. Toddler temper tantrums, I can handle. I don’t do so well when it comes from a grown man. (Think, jealousy, for starters – the most useless and destructive emotion around.) For better or worse, MP never sees me fighting with a spouse.
4. The dishes will wait.
If I’m too exhausted at day’s end to empty the dishwasher, who’s going to complain? If the laundry doesn’t get folded for a few days and sits in a pile on the sofa, who’ll have a problem with it? This is NICE. My only fear in this arena is that I’ll become too set in my ways (I’m afraid it’s already begun), and enjoy living partnerless (see how I didn’t say alone there?) so much I’ll never be able to do any other way.
Speaking of dishes, it’s closing in on midnight and I just realized, not only do I still have to pack MP’s lunch for tomorrow, I have to get up way before the sun for an early meeting. I have so many other pluses to add to the list, but they’ll have to wait for another day – it’s time for this mama to get some sleep.