How it feels to raise your kid alone
“’Aren’t you pregnant?” asked my friend when I told her I wasn’t feeling good. ‘Impossible!’ was my answer.
I had given up long ago and loosen hope of one day having a family. I went into shock with the positive result of the pregnancy test and started to cry! That was definitely not the right moment to have a kid. There were too many changes going on: I had just moved to this city, I was looking for a flat, re-entering my career as an independent lawyer and, on the top of that, this was not a formal relationship. Where I come from, first you get married in the church and then you have kids. Although I was 38 years old, I knew that this pregnancy would shock my family, and that worried me.
‘I did all the exams alone’
No one knew about it until the 5th month. I needed that time to process that pregnancy and to make it mine. Despite the typical pregnancy insomnia, I went to work every day and the truth is, I was full of energy. Without his father, who works and lives far away, I did all the exams alone. It wasn’t easy but my baby made me feel stronger. When I needed to get this off my chest, I would caress my belly and talk to him. Who else could I talk to? In the end, I was happy and thrilled to give birth to my son.
When I left the hospital, I spent the first months at my parents’ house. Once recovered though, I was under pressure to resume my life. As a freelancer professional, I couldn’t afford not to work. So I left the village to go back to the city, where it would be just the two of us – me and my kid. My mother thought I would come back after two days. However, I was aware that it was time for me to take care of my kid alone and I was ready for that.
‘It was important that he learned to be alone’
Back at home, I devoted my days taking care of him to make sure he didn’t miss his mother. Then, I would wait for him to sleep to be able to work. At that time I could barely sleep. When he was really small, I covered the floor with duvets so he could play at ease, without the risk of falling down. People were shocked with that. Then, as I couldn’t hold him all day long, I made sure he got used to staying in the playpen, including when my parents were around. It was important that he learned to be alone, when I am busy doing chores. And when there was no other option left for me to work, we would go together to the office.
One night he fell from the couch and started to cry. I went crazy not knowing who to call. Who could help me at 1 am? Putting him in the car wasn’t an option, as he cried madly. My family and his father would take ages to get here and I had no else one else close to us to assist me. In that moment, I understood what it means to live alone with your son. I have a lot of support but in the end we are alone.
‘In that moment, I understood what it means to live alone with your son’
We only meet his father on the weekends. So I got used to going out alone with my son. During the summer, when he was really small, we would go to the beach alone. We even went on vacation to visit a friend alone. Most people get surprised and think I am really brave for doing all of this by myself. Yet, going out all the time alone bores me and in the end, most of the times, we stay at home. It became really difficult to meet people to hang out.
On one hand, I feel like other mothers don’t go out if they haven’t planned everything in advanced. It is as if it is difficult for them to improvise or go out without their husbands. During the pregnancy period, other pregnant friends and I dreamed about going out with our kids for a stroll together. The time came and we never did it. It makes me sad.
‘It became really difficult to meet people to hang out.’
On other hand, throughout this year I realize that some of my friends lost touch after I became a mother. Although they know that we are alone, it surprises me that they don’t call me to go out or come to meet my kid. I invite them to hang out but they only give me excuses. I am the one who has to travel to meet them. I wish we could hang out more often but it seems they never find the time to do so. For me it is easy: if you call me to hang out, even if I am alone with my kid, I grab the stroller and leave without blinking.”
Read the Spanish version at Mom Reinvented – Life Coach