Being a single mom is so hard!! It’s not the physicality if it per se- because one way or the other- life, in general, is rough on the body. It’s the emotional bond and attachment I have built since I became a parent, that takes a toll on me. Forget about school or a job. Those things are always there. It’s when my child is staying with his other parent and my child is sick and I don’t have him home to hold him throughout the night- it is the most difficult thing I face every single night he is not with me. And it isn’t anyone’s fault. I made a decision to not call out a third day from a new job. And while a job is just a job- it is also my responsibility to provide financially for him and that puts me in a position where sometimes I have to hand over his care to his father. I just miss his tiny body already. Even if it’s just to reach out and caress his little hand while he sleeps. That comfort of knowing he’s near me is what gets me through the night.
Even in this… my I miss him terribly song… there are times when I plead for a break because I haven’t gotten enough sleep throughout weeks of sleep training or what have you. One would think I’d be glad to get uninterrupted sleep… Yet the second he’s away… I am wide awake… at 3 in the morning. Waiting until he is back in my arms! The “mom guilt” is real and alive. And there’s not much that can be done about it. Other than repeating to myself that there’s nothing wrong with asking for the help, especially from my son’s father. I’m blessed that his dad does help out with his care, or that calling out 3 days in a row could put me in jeopardy of losing a job I worked so hard to get, was a wise move, it doesn’t mean I’m not putting my son’s best interest first. All of my decisions and actions are exactly for our best interest. What serves me well will serve him even better. That’s the mentality I try to keep. I have to be great for him to reap the best. Though it’s not always easy to function like that. I try. I really do. But nothing elevates this pull at the strength of our bond when he’s sick. As a working parent, that is one of the struggles I think we as mothers and most of the time, the primary caregiver, go through. Yet somehow we get through it right? Our kids are not eternally traumatized by it, right? At least not in extreme cases. What works for me is praying and sometimes crying, and sometimes checking in more than once or twice a day. Thankfully with the understanding that I am just concerned and on a need-to-know-every-detail-about-my-child-while-he’s-away basis.
Having an ill child is the least fun thing about parenting, but I am grateful for the internal button that turns on and gives me the direction to know what to do and to take care of him to the best of my ability. The one advice I would give, for the student/working parent, is to keep open communication with bosses and professors, they appreciate knowing what’s going on with their students and employees. Doing so will also elevate your own stress about what’s going on in class and at work. I leave you with this one last thought, when your child is ill, don’t be afraid to spoil him a little extra than you would normally. That extra loving care sometimes will be the only thing that brings a smile to their tiny faces. Hold them, hug them, and rock them while singing every lullaby you can think of. They don’t stay that size for long, or in that much need of your warmth. Least of all, don’t forget that the rhythm of your heart, is still soothing to them as it is for Mommy. 💜💙
❖ While I started this article on Tuesday night-very late night- my son has since been cared for and attended to by both his father and I and he is now back home with Momma, resting and recovering well. ❖