My partner is at work more than he is at home, working hard to support us. I don’t have a large amount of support from family and friends, I’ve only really got my mum and my nan who I can ask for help and a small group of friends who I don’t want to burden with my problems. Most of the time when my partner is at work, it is just me and Kory and I feel very lonely when he’s not home.
Every day I do the same thing and I do it by myself. I get up, I make Kory breakfast, I tidy the house, I play with Kory, I make him his dinner, I tidy up again, we play some more, I make tea and then I go through the bath and bedtime routine. Every night before bed I read Kory a story, I tuck him in, kiss him goodnight and tell him I love him. After that I usually end up getting in bed myself because I’m just so exhausted, no time or energy for anything else. Then when I drift off to sleep, more often than not I’m usually woke by Kory in the middle of the night who’s woke for a drink or a cuddle, so I settle him, drift back off to sleep and before I know it it’s morning and it’s the same thing all over again.
Today is Saturday but it might as well be Monday because every day feels the same for me right now.
Sometimes part of me feels like breaking down but I can’t, that’s not an option, my son needs me. Who else is going to take care of him? So instead I choose to try and embrace the way things are. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and thinking ‘i’m parenting on my own again.’ I try to look at it as one on one time for me and Kory, I remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to stay home with Kory and how lucky I am to have a partner who works as hard as mine does because staying home and raising Kory wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I try to remember that as much as I miss my partner whilst he’s at work, Kory misses him as well and it must be hard on him too. When Kory is testing my patience and I think to myself ‘I’m stuck at home all day with Kory again.’ I remind myself that my partner isn’t having a break away from this stress, he’s at work, working hard and he probably wishes he was at home.
Someone once said to me: ‘how do you do it? Oh no I wouldn’t be able to.’ And I thought to myself ‘it can be hard but honestly what choice have I got other than to just crack on. Either way my son needs me. It has to be done.’ It would be so easy to just fall apart, easy to get mad at my partner or to take it out on Kory, it would be easy to just drag myself through each day, just sit Kory in front of the tv to pass the hours by and not really enjoy my time with him but I don’t want that. Yes I spend 90% of the time solo parenting and yes it’s hard but I still want to do a good job!
This solo parenting thing is hard. Heck, parenting is hard full stop. But I’ve learnt to accept that my situation, is what it is. Yes I’m allowed to be tired and feel lonely but what good does dwelling on things do? I might as well try to pick myself up and make the most of the way things are. Most days i’m unrecognisable to myself when I look in the mirror, I’m not the same person I was before I became a mother. I look like a zombie most of the time (as you can see from my picture!) I wander round the house looking lost wearing my pyjamas, I can’t function without 1,2,3 cups of coffee, I have tired eyes, messy hair and I’m so forgetful. Kory runs me ragged all day every day but my heart is full. Oh so full.
Please note: I don’t want to offend anybody by using the term ‘solo parenting’ I’m not trying to compare solo parenting to single parenting in any way or even trying to say that they are the same thing. If you are a single parent, I praise all the hard work that you do, my mum was a single parent for some years when she was raising me so I’ve seen first hand just how hard it can be and I know that what I’m going through is not the same as what a single parent may go through. I support all mums, dads, all their different circumstances and how they choose to parent.