I’m going to share something that every widowed parent knows. Solo parenting sucks. Being the only one twenty-four hours a day seven days a week without an end in sight. And yes, I have amazing friends who would do anything for me but they have their own families. As a solo parent I’m often forced to make difficult choices. I can’t be in two places at once so that often means something has to be pushed to the wayside.
Somedays I feel like a failure as a mom. I try so hard to give Steven the best experiences all while balancing work, sports, and life. And sometimes I fail. I try my best but sometimes things happen that are out of my control and I feel like I failed. And at times like that, I wish I wasn’t doing all this alone. That every parenting decision didn’t fall squarely on my shoulders. But it does. And even though I can ask others for advice, the decision is ultimately mine. And mine alone. Which also means the blame when something goes wrong is also mine. And only mine.
When I feel like I’m failing as a solo parent, I get angry at Jared. Mad that he died and left me all alone to parent our son. I hate that I always have to be the disciplinarian. Resent that sometimes my job has to take priority and takes me away from my son. Feel guilty that sometimes I can’t be at his events and that means he has no parent there to support him. I didn’t sign up to be a solo parent. I wanted a partner, my husband, to be there by my side to navigate the obstacles that come with being a parent. To be able to discuss issues. To bounce ideas off each other. I never wanted to shoulder the responsibility alone. And yet, that is exactly what I am doing.
Tough days make me think “this is not what I signed up for.” I never wanted to be a solo mom. I never said I could do it alone. I planned on having Jared to share in this life. To share the load. But unfortunately, life did not go as planned. Life decided to deal me a different hand. And I have no choice but to play the cards I was dealt. So with a few tears and a lot of prayer, I will forge on. And yes, I will make mistakes. I will feel like a failure. I will worry that I’m doing it all wrong and screwing up my kid. I will second guess my decisions and wonder what would Jared do.
But sometimes, I know I got it right. And it’s those times I have to cling to. Hold onto. Remember on the shitty days. When Steven and I make new memories, I know I’m doing it right. When we share laughs and take great adventures together, I know I did something right. When he tells me I’m the best mom ever and I’ve done a great job these last 5 1/2 years, I know I’m doing it the best way for us. And maybe one day I will feel like I am rocking this solo mom thing. But until then, I will be grateful for every time I feel like I didn’t mess up. For every time I know I did it right. Or at least right for us. And that’s all that matters.
No matter how many times I get it right or how long I do it on my own, I still say solo parenting sucks.