When you dreamed of your perfect family it involved a mom and dad and you would share all the responsibilities and there would be equality of duties – well I did.
How I imagined my life would be after Skylar was born was completely different to how it turned out. A month into Skylar being in this world her dad left to work in Rwanda, he would be gone weeks at a time. At no point when I thought about becoming a mom did I think it would involve stages of being alone.
Skylar was really young and did not really know the difference between her dad being gone or not (that is what I tell myself). Her whole life revolved around me, breastfeed, I carried her everywhere (big into baby wearing) and she slept next to me. For me it was hard in the evenings when I was exhausted and needed her to go to sleep so I could feed the dogs, wash dishes and bottles and maybe eat myself. It took a long time for her to get into a routine and sleep at a set time, she would also wake up every 3/4 hours to feed. While I was on maternity leave it was easier to catch up on sleep.
This post is really a BIG shout out to all the moms out there looking after their children on their own or part time, as dads work away or long hours or over weekends. As the saying goes – it takes a village to raise a child, so how do we expect moms to do it all on their own? Well we do, and when we do, we realize we are stronger than we thought we could be. I have chatted to a few moms recently (you know who you are). Their husbands work away at a time too, leaving them temporary single moms, having to deal with keeping life running as normal.
When dad does return home, we need to adjust to having him home, and doing things differently to us. There have been so many times I have had to bite my tongue from saying “I don’t do it like that”. It was also hard for my husband – he would come back and Skylar had changed, learnt something new or sitting, then standing and so on, each time his little girl had grown so much. He had to learn again to be a dad.
I have so much respect for woman out there who are completely alone – parenthood is not easy, and we learn each day how to cope at our children’s different stages.
How did I cope:
• Sleep when baby sleeps
• Woolworths is awesome – get those meals
• Ask for help from friends and family – a great support structure is needed.
• Send dad lots of photos and videos of baby
• Let him know you appreciate the work he is doing for the family – believe me he would rather be home with you and he is missing out on a lot.
• Know it is okay to feel lonely and sad.
• Get out the house, plan to go and visit people or go on an outing with just you and your baby.
• Find a really great series or books to keep you company at night when all are sleeping.
• Or get yourself on Instagram and join the mama community for great support.
• Plan ahead for when he is home to make special moments – go away on holiday.
If you are a single or part time single mom – let me know – leave a comment and let me know what you think.