Nobody to lean on. Nobody to help cheer on my child. Just me.
By Melody Alderman
Let me be honest. I did not sign up to be a “single” mom. No. Let me be completely honest. I did not sign up to be a mom.
I did not grow up playing with dolls while pretending to be a mommy or dreaming of my wedding day. Quite the opposite. I grew up dreaming of being a successful writer or actress. I grew up imagining the places I would travel to and all of the things I would accomplish. Motherhood was not one of them.
My son was a surprise. A beautiful, magical, incredible surprise. I am so thankful my life did not go according to my personal plan. I am so thankful the universe knew I needed my son in my life. I am a better person for knowing him and I stand in constant amazement that I've been entrusted with his whimsical soul.
Still, I did not envision this role for myself, and most days, I have zero idea what I am doing.
Being a single mom can be brutal. Not because of the obvious reasons, such as disciplining on your own or taking care of everything on your own. For me, I struggle being around non-single moms.
Whether it's something like swimming lessons or walking into a school function by myself, I constantly have to face the non-singles. The husband and wife hand-in-hand, proudly supporting their child. Together.
I don't know "together." It has always been me. Alone. Nobody to lean on. Nobody to help cheer on my child. Just me.
I look at women who have someone standing beside them, just as excited about their child as they are. It floors me. I might as well be watching aliens mate. That is how normal it feels.
Then, I remind myself. My idea of what those relationships are like is probably about as realistic as a pro wrestling match. In my mind, they're best friends who have amazing sex. In reality, they're barely acquaintances, who have amazing sex with other people.
Regardless, having someone to share in my son's joys and triumphs would be a welcome relief. This is not to say that he is lacking profound love and support in his life. We are very blessed with an amazing community of family and friends.
However, it isn't the same as being able to lay your head next to someone at night and discuss the day. Someone to lean on and share with and smile with and experience all of it with. I have never known that.
Recently, my son heard someone say to me, "I don't know how you do it on your own." It must have stayed on his mind because later that night he asked, "Mommy girl, aren't you glad you're a single mom?"
I asked him what he meant by that.
"Well, if you were just like other moms who had husbands, and if I were like other kids who had dads living with them, we wouldn't get to spend all of this time together. I would have to worry about him feeling left out because I'm pretty sure he would. I just like my time with you."
He's right. There are so many benefits to being a single mom that nobody tells you. You get to make the decisions about what you do and where you go. You get to fully experience every moment with your child. They run into your arms when they get hurt. They ask you to read them a bedtime story. They tell you all about their day.
It might sound selfish, but there is such beauty to be found in the dynamic being a pair. A team. A duo. I get to be my child's number one and he gets to be mine.
In the wise words of a meme I recently saw floating around, "Any woman can be a mother, but it takes a badass woman to be a father, too."
To read more from Melody, visit her Facebook.
This article was originally published at Facebook. Reprinted with permission from the author.