The two of us
September 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last week, I was lamenting to my cousin that there wasn’t a large online community for single parents, so she suggested that I write something for her blog, which I’m re-posting here:
If someone asked me this time last year, what my life would be like just one year later, I would never have answered ‘I’m going to be a single mother’. Like many professional women in their thirties, I’ve let other experiences come first: career, travelling, having fun while I had no commitments. Having children was something I wanted to do eventually, but with the end of a toxic relationship at 32 and disillusioned with dating in general, that prospect seemed far away.
One fine day, I met someone. He was only in town for a few days, but we became infatuated with each other immediately. As a result, we were careless, and a few weeks after he left, I discovered what I thought would never happen for me: I was pregnant. I knew I wanted to keep the baby.
He was in the US military, lived a life of transience, and thought there would be no future for us. Heartbroken, I told him I would expect nothing from him, and went through 9 months of pregnancy alone. Despite bouts of loneliness and doubt, I enjoyed my pregnancy, even though I was often the only one by myself at every ultrasound and doctor’s appointment. As every pregnant woman knows, there are days filled with worry, and there are days filled with excitement. Even though physically I had no one to share those days with, I continued e-mailing him updates and pictures whether he wanted them or not. Sometimes he was interested, sometimes he was indifferent.
Motherhood has been a profound experience, but being a single mother with a newborn baby has also been demanding physically and mentally. The hardest part is doing everything on my own, with no partner or family to offer support or share responsibility with. Unlike many new mothers who get time off to enjoy their baby, I have to take care of income, household chores, and her, shortly after giving birth. The best part about all that stress though, is that I lost all my baby weight in weeks. I can say that I’m in excellent shape!
I don’t know yet if I’ll be a good parent, or a lousy one. Most of the time I really have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m managing, so far. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life, and also the most rewarding.
Still, I think often about her relationship with her father, who, currently deployed somewhere, she has yet to meet. She is now 4 months old, and I don’t know how old she will be by the time they do eventually meet. My vision of that day, when it does arrive, is that he will fall in love with her as I have, the days will get better, and everything will fall into place. That’s all I can hope for myself, and my daughter. Till then, the future will always remain uncertain.
At least my life isn’t boring.