Society can be a mean place. Others try to convince you that something is wrong with you if you don't follow the norm on major life events. According to the norm, everyone should graduate from high school, complete college, find a crappy job, get married, get a better job, have kids, struggle to keep your job, retire then die. When you step outside of this timeline or heaven forbid, skip one of these life events all together, something must be wrong with you.
You see I skipped the marriage part. It's not that I don't believe in it, but I didn't give it a level of importance that others around me did. I focused mainly on my education and then career during my 20s and 30s while knowing in the back of my mind that I would be a mother some day.
It takes an act of bravery to step outside the norm and say, I want to be a mother right now in my 40s even without a partner. When I hear my parenting friends complain that their partner is out of town for a few days and that they feel like a single parent, they finally get a glimspe into my world. I am always on deck, on call and ready to cancel everything to be there for my son. It's the best yet scariest job I have ever had.
Now I am working on another act of bravery, writing about my story to support other single people as they head down this path. It's not for everyone and people should know what they are getting into before they start. That's why I want to write down this story and hand it out. I don't want to scare others way, but there are challenges involved that you never expected.
The book, Mommy Shark, is mostly written ready to hand to an editor, but I am now raising funds in Kickstarter. This is the phase that I HATE. Asking others to believe in you and your project enough to back it with money is tricky.
Please consider backing me. Thank you.
Today is my birthday. Last weekend was Mother's Day. For the past 10 days, I have been spoiled with lots of attention, gifts and love. My God, I love May. As I walked out the door this morning with my son crying in the arms of the babysitter, I was shocked to realize that I did not feel guilty for taking five hours today to be with my girlfriends without my son hanging around my legs for attention. I knew that he did not understand and that before I could sit in the car to leave, he would stop crying.
As a single parent, I rarely have time to myself outside of work. I love my son, but my lack of alone time or simply being with my friends wears me down at times. It's necessary and it makes me a better mother, I believe. It gives me a chance to hit the emotional reset button, laugh, move freely and think thoughts that don't center around drool or snot.
Today, four close girlfriends and I went clothesshopping. My son is 16 months old and I haven't bought one new piece of clothing for myself since he was born (minus one dress for a wedding). I craved fun, comfortable clothes that didn't scream spit stains or little hands pulling them past their seams. My friends picked out clothes that they wanted me to try on and I ventured into new clothes avenues. We laughed. We cheered on good purchases. We told the truth when something we thought fit did nothing for us. No meltdowns. No diapers to change in public. It was just five gals laughing and enjoying fashion.
Upon arriving home, I felt rejuvenated.....and tired (always tired), but I still cannot wipe the smile from my face. I have new clothes for my closet and plenty of girl time under my belt to last me for a while. Mommy time is important time.
I am at that weird intersection where I know my son is miserable with congestion but I don't know why. I guess a super mom can diagnose things like this instantly, but his symptoms allude me. He is sneezing his head off and there is HEAPS of snot. Last night, he was up and down all night trying to find the right position.
So now my son is at daycare with lots of steroids in his system so that this stuff does not seep down into his lungs. I am on heaps of caffeine to allow me to carry on like an awake person. By 3pm this afternoon, he will be bouncing off the walls and I will be barely able to keep my head off my desk.
Just another exciting adventure as a single mother - boy gets sick, mom stays up with boy to help him sleep, mom is zombie the day.
This is my first post to version 2 of my blog, Mommy Shark! Mommy Shark was initiated in 2011 while I was going through the adoption process. Thank you to all the folks who read, commented and shared my blog with others. For my first post, there are two things to announce.
Mommy Shark, the book!
This week, I plan to launch a kickstarter to raise funding to pay for the services of my book editor and graphic designer as I finally release Mommy Shark in book form out to the world. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I have never asked others to fund one of my projects before and I just hope that I can get enough people behind me to make this happen.
I have been working on this book since before my son entered my life. First, it was a journal that I kept to share with my child as I journeyed into fertility. Then, it changed focus as I moved into adoption. People were asking too many questions on bad days so I created a blog as a way to let everyone know how I was doing and what was happening. That blog saved my sanity in many ways. Now, it's soon to be a book walking others through fertility, adoption and parenthood as a single person. My goal now is to reach back and support as many potential single parents as possible. It's a lonely road, but it does not have to be.
Happy Birth Mother's Day
It's fitting that my first post on the newest edition of Mommy Shark, the blog, start on Birth Mother's day. The Sunday before Mother's Day is Birth Mother's day. Typically this celebration consists of a card and photos with a loving note. My son's birth mother has broken contact with us after he reached one month in age. I know from adoption training that it is typical, but I hate that. I entered into open adoption because it meant that there were no mysteries for my son to solve about his existence. He would have a direct contact with the person who gave him life to ask questions. My fingers are crossed that she reads our card and gets inspired by his photos to reach out to us. I will never, ever give up on re-connecting with her.