Don’t let the title fool you, and please don’t be offended real single moms. I’m only getting a taste of your life and here to justify how hard you work.
Andy went away for work this week….again. It didn’t used to happen a lot but lately it’s seems like so much. He goes to Vancouver and Toronto a great bit. He works from home so sometimes this is the only time he gets to meet and see people face to face that he really needs to have conversations with. Great. Good. Go. Love you. Bye.
There are SO many great things about him being gone. I’m not even going to lie. (I mean, my blog is about truth so why would I?)
I usually clean the house the day after he leaves. Like, clean it. Top to bottom. Bathroom to backyard. Garage to laundry room. Dust. Vacuum. Put everything WHERE IT BELONGS. And just get MY house ready for “mommy” time.
I do this because I know it’s actually going to stay this way. No one is going to pop up from the downstairs office, make himself a coffee or lunch and leave my once clean kitchen full of dirty plates and garbage. No one is going to let the dogs in the upstairs door where they bring in dirt through my family room. No one is going to get out 7,567 things to do a one tool job and not put any of them back. So I set it my way.
I like it. It makes me feel somewhat like a superhero. I do it all. My house stays clean. Laundry is at a minimum. I take the girls on adventures. I lecture Ricklan on putting all our stuff away when we get back. I have a system. And it really is a well oiled machine. It works well and I feel like both of my daughters know when mom is in charge.
I had to get Evy to a doctor appointment today. It was at 9:00 this morning. Ricklan usually goes to daycare on Tuesdays and Thursdays because that’s when I was working but now that’s when I take the baby to her appointments. I didn’t know Andy would be gone this week when I made the appointment. So here it is and I’m not rescheduling. We were up late last night due to cousins visiting and I never thought we’d get out of the house at a reasonable time. But when my daughter climbed into bed with me at 7:50 I thought, let’s do this.
So inside of a half an hour I got her breakfast, made sure she peed. Got the baby up. Fed the baby. Kept the baby upright for a good amount of time. Let her play. Got Ricklan dressed. Did her hair. Cleaned her plates. Packed for the doctor. Showered myself. Changed the baby’s diaper. Dressed the baby. Put the baby in the car seat. Lost my phone. Found my phone. Packed Ricklan’s day care bag. Put on her shoes. Loaded the car. Drove 15 min to day care and by the skin of my chin drove the 15 min to the doctor and made it on time. (It was obviously a Batavia appointment instead of the usual Buffalo ones).
I conquered today. I was impressed at the doctor, I cleaned my house, I took 5 young kids SHOE shopping with my mom, I hosted my family, I watched babies play in my yard, I spent time with my sister, I helped my mother, I talked to my father, I FaceTimed my husband, I found 25 minutes to play play dough one on one with my daughter, i sang songs with her, I bathed two babies, gave meds and got them fed, I read stories and left everyone peacefully and happily sleeping. I. Conquered. Today.
I could list the other 6,876 things I did today but that’s not the point here. I saw a post on Facebook that sparked all of what I’m trying to say. It was about self care. About moms (or dad’s) that just need to accept help, ask for help, look for help, or just be “selfish”. I feel like we all get so used to doing it ALL, that we don’t know when to let other people take over.
Yesterday I drove my husband to the airport. Early. Then drove to where my children were another hour away. I got there and played and talked and then went to put my baby down for a nap in my mother’s room. As soon as I laid on the bed with her I knew it was over. My three year old was out there, somewhere, playing with her cousins and I closed my eyes knowing that someone would watch her, feed her, care for her. And even when the baby woke up…my sister came in and took her…said she would feed her…said I was fine right where I was…and shut the door.
I don’t know if there is ever a greater sign of love than someone shutting you in a dark room reassuring you that they have your babies.
My mom came in a little later to make sure I didn’t miss the memories I would have never wanted to miss. I felt like a million dollars. Weeks of late night laundry, prepping my husband for this big business trip, early morning calls from my three year old and a growth spurt from my baby faded away in an hour and a half. I was refreshed. New. Ready. Capable. Happy.
Please read the last word. Happy.
It is so impossibly hard to let go sometimes. Especially when you really are used to doing it all yourself. It’s so hard to trust someone else. Rely on someone else. And there is some sort of weakness in so many of us that tells us we are somehow a failure or less than if we accept the help.
That is so not true.
I understand that I am not a real single mom (or dad) and that I do have the financial help that comes with my husband’s income. But someday I might be able to speak of the true struggles I’ve faced since leaving the NICU and how it’s made me relate to single parents on a level I’m sure you all would accept.
My point is that none of us should be afraid to ask for help. We can’t afford it! Not financially, emotionally or mentally. Everyone needs help sometimes.
Everyone needs help sometimes.
I’ll say it once again for the people in the back.
Everyone needs help sometimes.
Ask for it. Accept it. Trust people. Let go. If the primary care taker is not taken care of…well then, everyone is going to suffer.
Take the time. Sleep the sleep. Eat the food. Let them hold your baby. Let them take your baby. Go do what you need to. I don’t care if it’s a massage, a meal, a Walmart trip, an errand….just go…say thank you and go….your babies will be OK..and you will come back ready, willing and able. Don’t have anyone in your life like this?….get involved. Library. Reading groups. Play groups. Facebook!!! Start meeting people. Make relationships. You will find a person.
Ricklan’s latest favorite jam is “Lean on me”….and I’m just constantly reminded about how we all need people. Some of us are stuck because we don’t know how to put ourselves out there. Do it anyway. Some of us are stuck because we did EVERYTHING for someone else who used to be in this position and we are waiting for them to do the same….let go. Say goodbye. Move on. Some of us are too proud. Stop it. Some of us think we have the ONLY kid with “these” needs. Also, stop. Confide in someone you trust and ask for help.
It takes a village. Your village is there. I have found that most of the time it’s just that you are too proud to let your village in.
Just like that saying “no one gets out of this world alive”…..ha. Well….no one gets through parenting alone. Single parent or not, we’re all in this together. Speak up. Trust. Find your people. And let go.
Ain’t no one happy unless mama is happy.
That is the truth.
**My two girls. Living their best life thanks to my village.**