Single parenting and dealing with "that bit of anatomy" wasn't the toughest thing this mom's had to face - that was the "D bomb"
You learn many things during the nine months that you nurture that little life growing inside of you. Things like tiny feet are the perfect size to lodge themselves in between your ribs, a bladder makes a great bouncy toy for a foetus and a bath full of water will not cover a 32-week sized belly no matter how you position yourself. All the little things that they do not tell you in the countless books about being an expectant mother. The day I find an honest book about the butt cramps, mystical wobbly bits that appear overnight and cravings that are not just psychological, I will be gobsmacked.
Doing it alone
Something else that they should give more warning of is the plight of the single mom, and I’m talking serious single mom with deadbeat “dad” gone with the wind, and the challenges that will be faced by said solo flyer over the next 18 or so years.
I am only into five of those 18, but I can tell you that it has been an interesting ride so far. I think that having a son without a father around may be a bit tougher especially when dealing with a bit of anatomy that you aren’t all that familiar with. During my pregnancy and to this day, I have devoured any piece of information I could find giving any insight to what to do when my little man made his appearance.
Dealing with the odd bits
One thing you’d need to consider is circumcision and while doing my reading on this subject I discovered that it is about as appealing as having root canal done with a rusty prison shank.
They do emphasise though that it is best to follow what the baby’s father has had done to avoid confusion. Which was my next problem: there would be no confusion as the chances of my son seeing another penis would be slim, so what is a mom to do? Well, I decided that when it came with that extra bit, I am guessing it should stay. Let’s not mention the mortification when you have to wash that extra bit for the first time!
Single parent guilt
Apart from the usual emotions that you experience being a mother, one that is ever-present in single moms is guilt. It doesn’t matter how many times you recite Barney’s theme song or roll “wormies” out of playdough, you are bound to get that pang of guilt whenever you see your little person interacting with children with both parents present. It’s an instant emotional meltdown trigger when you see the look on the face of your little person when he realises that there is something missing after hanging out with whole families for the day.
Answering tough questions
The only situation potentially worse than that would be the day (and I warn you, it is coming) when your little tyke looks up at you and asks the question you’ve been avoiding: “Mommy, where is my daddy?”
You will plan for this event, lie awake and mull over possible answers, scenarios and exit strategies, but once the “D bomb” is dropped, you closely resemble a guppie out of water gasping for an answer. What if you really don’t know where the father is? And before you get any wrong impressions, I do in fact know who the father is, just no clue where the guy is. After telling him the news of our pending bambino, he sped out of the picture faster than Usain Bolt runs the 100m, with no consideration for the fact that one day this little person would want to know who and where he was.
I thought I’d use the old “your father died serving his country” line But this isn’t the 1940s and that could be a problem years down the line when a Star Wars reenactment takes place and the “Riley, I am your father,” line surfaces.
Now you know that you cannot tell your precious child that his father didn’t want anything to do with him so you come up with a creative way around the truth. This line has taken four years to come up with: "Your daddy did not like me anymore so he went away, but he left me you so that I'd have someone to love."
Facing the drama
Being a parent is largely trial and error and there are no exceptions. There will be tantrums, there will be sleepless nights, and there will be drama. There will also be an amazing little person in your life who completes you, who reminds you that laugh lines are part of watching them grow and who doesn’t mind the wobbly bits because they cuddle all that much better.