When I got married and decided to become a mom, I knew one thing, I wanted my husband to be involved. When Mia was born he was still working 2nd or 3rd shift. We made our life work around that schedule. He stayed home with her during the day, I stayed home with her at night. It was great and while we didn’t have much time together, it worked. When Roman was born he took a position that allowed him to work days and have weekends off. Our routine changed to conform to that. To be honest I forgot what those shift work days were like until recently. Josh was on call and working 2nd shift. He got home, went to bed, only to be called out at 2am. This didn’t really affect me until the alarm went off and I realized he still wasn’t home. You would have thought my world had ended. How was I going to get myself and 2 kids ready all by myself? I had to be at work, Roman needed dropped off at daycare and Mia had school. I was running around frantically, almost in tears, stressed to the max when it hit me. My mom did this everyday, by herself, after my parents divorced.
2 kids, 2 jobs, college classes, dinner, groceries, play time, cleaning, teaching, and the list goes on. This is just a portion of the things my amazing mom completed all on her own. I was raised by a single mom from childhood and while I appreciated what she did, I never really understood the multitude she provided until I became a mom myself and my routine was shaken. I married a police officer, which sometimes meant shift work, overnights, overtime and crazy schedules. This worked great while we were childless, but add a baby into the mix and life was different. The nights Josh was gone, my routine was completely off. How was I supposed to feed, bathe, and play with the kids while still maintaining a clean house all by myself? I was reminded what I did for days at a time on my own, my mom and other amazing moms completed weekly, monthly and yearly on their own.
I will never claim I am/or was a single mom, but I do know that there are many situations out there that can leave a woman in that position, or feeling that way. Shift work, excessive travels, military wives, widows, divorce, choice and so many other factors can leave mom at home with lots on her plate. I am amazed, astonished and grateful for the women who have taken on this task and do it so well. My mom was unbelievable, playing the role of mom and dad, giving discipline and loving unconditionally in the same breath, working hard to provide at all costs, and always having time for a silly game.
What I have realized is that although I have created my life around a 2 parent household, I am thankful for the reminders that keep me grounded in where I came from, what my mom sacrificed for me and how hard it is to be a parent regardless of your situation. I was also reminded that no matter what the situation we have a common goal as moms. To love, provide, teach and guide our children. The other thing I was reminded of was every mom could use a little support sometimes; a phone call, a premade dinner, a night out with friends or an offer to watch their kids while they get errands accomplished.
This is a thank you to all the single moms who play all roles for their children. This is also a thank you to MY MOM who provided me a childhood I wouldn’t change for the world. A woman who taught me my situations were never an excuse but a reason to be stronger and fight harder. A woman who showed me what it looked like to give 110%, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A woman who showed me how to love selflessly. And a woman who I never really appreciated or understood the multitude of what she did until I became a parent myself.