I am a solo parent the vast majority of the time. Not a single parent, but a solo parent. My husband is a merchant mariner, working on a ship for a month at a time. His time at home is often less than two weeks. And then the cycle repeats itself. While he is gone there is no nanny, we’ve never hired a babysitter, and we don’t have a housecleaner. It’s just me. When my husband is away there is no one to hand the baby off to when I need a shower, to eat, or just a moment. I do every diaper change, every load of laundry, every 3am soothing session. And as you could have guessed, it can be very challenging. But it is worth it; it’s beyond worth it.
I am here to tell you that I am really proud of myself. And I don’t think moms say that enough. Because, while it may not be my situation exactly, I know so many moms that do so much, with never enough help. I know moms who work full time and bring their kids to work, work from home with a baby, are single mothers with two jobs, are mothers of two with a husband in med school, are a twin mom! I could keep going but you get the idea.
How do I function as a solo parent? I just do. Very early on it became second nature for me. There was no other alternative. Yet, It has made me love motherhood that much more, because it has given me great confidence in this new role. Confidence that I can do it on my own. I’ll never forget that first time my husband went back out to sea; Julian was just two weeks old. I cried thinking “how am I possibly going to do this alone? How will I even get to the grocery store?!” Indeed, necessity is the mother of all invention. I’m happy to say that I am able to function and yes, even grocery shop. Moms, I hope you all take pride in your work and yourselves. I am proud to be part of such an extraordinary tribe of mothers.