1. The work/life balance. It has taken over two years of trial and error but I think I’m zeroing in on a good work/life balance for our family. I started with completely working from home with minimal childcare – good with a snoozing infant but not so good as he dropped the multiple naps. I started another job in an office and had a combination of preschool, babysitter and childcare swapping to cover childcare needs – that was hit and miss because one mild cold virus could throw the whole thing off. Leaving work so often to pick up a sick toddler didn’t make me so hot at work. Wish I could tag team the leaving work early with a partner…but alas that is not our life right now. So now, recently I’ve tried my hand at self-employment. I dabbled before with a few part-time clients on the side but now I’ve jumped in feet first and…so far so good. It feels good to call the shots and to have a schedule flexible enough for my family. I work 3 to 4 days per week, 4 to 6 hours per day. I finally have time for real and regular self-care (running, yoga, abhyanga, showers longer than 30 seconds, eating lunch, peeing the moment I need to and not 45 minutes later. HALLELUJAH.) I’m not rolling around in mountains of cashmoney (yet) but we are doing fine. And having a less stressed mama is a much happier life for a kid.
2. The forgiveness. For myself people. For myself. Good gawd have I let the single mom haters get me down at times. If you are like me, it can be a little too easy to internalize some of that hate. I forgive myself for falling in love with the man I did. In fact I like myself for having loved him. I forgive myself for not having a camera ready home and yard. It has been a blessing in disguise – now I see the whole metropolitan area as my million dollar backyard, and having a tiny home has been a refreshing exercise in minimalism. I forgive myself for fucking up as a parent sometimes. My son and I are learning together and we have a pretty special bond because of that. We are a happy, intact, loving, resilient, interesting, fun family. Anyone who doesn’t think so can kiss our beautiful single parent family booties!
3. The love-fests. I had a cuddly, snuggly, chubby baby from 0 to 6 months old. As soon as he could squirm/crawl across the floor? Forghedaboudit. Lately though he’s been all about asking me to snuggle (“I snuggle you mama?” or “Mama! Snuggle me!”), smooshing my face with his, telling me he loves me he likes me he cares for me. The love-fests are the best.
4. The goodbyes. We are passing on his old baby stuff like crazy lately. It feels so good to see others make use of his well loved toys and clothes. And it makes me feel good that I don’t need to cling to things to hold onto my baby. He is right here and everyday that is true I will be grateful.
5. The gardening, baseball, ballet and trains. Wowie is he into those four things! And it has made for a really fun summer so far!