People use to commend me for being strong enough to handle single motherhood. The truth is I don’t know any other way. I’m a single mother, raised by a single mother, raised by a single mother. The only things I know about a two-parent household are from watching movies and TV.
I’m not sure what people commended me for. I don’t know what they imagine single-motherhood is like. But yes, it does require a certain amount of physical/emotional strength. The thing I’m not sure people realize is that it also requires holding yourself together no matter the circumstance.
I do everything you would expect. I maintain my household. I pay the bills. I clean it. I kill the insects and take out the trash. I fixed the toilet. I make sure there’s food. I take care of my daughter and make sure she’s healthy and happy. I go to school functions and help with her homework. I make sure my car gets an oil change. I make sure the turtle is fed. I work full-time and pick her up after school having dropped her off in the morning. I make her lunch for school. I decorate the house for holidays. I,I,I…
I don’t have to be perfect. I make mistakes. But I have to be strong. I can’t let her see me break because she’ll be worried. She has every right to be, her existence is dependent largely on me.
I want her to feel safe, so I always have to be calm. I want her to know that she can depend on me, so I can never seem frazzled. I can’t ever let her down. I want to say “I won’t let you fall apart.” And I have to be strong enough to mean it. To hold her together through anything in life. And when it all seems too much, or I feel overwhelmed I have to bite my tongue. I kind of just duct tape myself back together and keep going.
I cannot fall apart.