People are really pressuring me to talk about how hard motherhood is. “Your readers want to hear more about the hard stuff so they can relate to you.”
“I’m married and have a baby and it’s so hard,” one reader wrote. “You are single, don’t tell me it’s not hard!”
So, I’m trying to think of stuff to say…. About HARDNESS, momsolo style:
It’s hard carying stuff into the house from my car with the baby in my arms. There’s really never anyone to help me.
If I leave something in my car, or wish I could run out and buy something when he’s sleeping, I can’t.
When sleep training, I have no one to “tag team” with.
No one to help me cook or clean or to make money for me.
Is that what you guys want to read?
I don’t know, to me, that’s not so interesting. Those hard things are boring, right?
Before I had a baby, my whole life was actually HARD. Emotionally.
It was hard to miss my mother everyday. She died in 1994.
It was really hard to be pursuing a career and feeling like I wasn’t making progress. I felt like I was wasting away.
It was really hard to have terrible dates and wonder, “Can I ever really truly meet someone I can fall in love with forever, like everyone else seems to do?” I wanted to love. I wanted to feel connected. But I always preferred being single over being in a relationship that wasn’t right.
And it was super hard to not know if I’d ever be a mom. There was a time when the idea of becoming Mom Solo was too scary to think about; I mean it sounded like a good option in theory, but the thought of really doing it was too much.
It was really hard not knowing if I’d ever feel happy.
It was really hard to feel like I had no purpose in life and no place in the world. It wasn’t just hard… it was depressing. I was depressed for a long time.
I kept trying to make changes; made my own movies and projects to try to further my career. Went on tons of internet dates and went to classes and new bars and parties to try to meet more men.
I can write novels about how HARD life was before I was a mother.
Two things kept me going: humor and therapy.
Humor helped me to look at life in more than just a poor me way. Mostly, humor helped me turn my bad dates into funny stories. But humor only works up to a point so, thank God I had…
Therapy! Therapy with a good therapist is a wonderful thing. You talk about yourself, your life, your issues, your past, your present and future and your therapist listens and is ALWAYS on your side. I’d been with my therapist for a long time. She knew me very well – well enough to bring up the baby topic many times while I was depressed in my late 30’s.
“I’m not ready to talk about it,” I’d tell her, hoping that I still had time to meet someone and go the conventional route.
When I was 4o, I found myself single again; more depressed than ever. It felt like nothing was ever going to work out the way I wanted it to. “It’s time to talk about having a baby,” my therapist told me.
“I know,” I agreed finally, starting to sob. Why wasn’t my life easy like everyone elses? Why wasn’t my career taking off like everyone elses? Why did I have to make this scary choice?
My therapist helped me to take the focus off everyone else’s seemingly perfect life (we play these tricks on ourselves when we are depressed.) And though it was overwhelmingly emotional, there was no question in my mind that I wanted to be a mom. And when I pushed through the initial fear, I knew that being a mom solo was not just a plan B, but a beautiful choice for me.
My biggest fear was that, yet again, things wouldn’t work out, which is why I kept the whole trying thing secret.
I’ll probably write more about my therapist soon; about how my therapist supported me, cheered for me and really had been prepping me for being mom solo for years, without even really talking about it.
It wasn’t until I got pregnant that I actually felt excitement and pure happiness. Maybe this is why it’s hard for me to talk about these mundane things being hard.
I’m really happy for the first time in my adult life. I’m happy to be super busy. I’m happy to be doing it all myself. I have a purpose and I have love. I had plenty of down time my whole life until now. I was ready for this times 100.
But, I thought of a few emotionally hard mom solo things…. to be continued.