Mom's Life, Step Mother

Life of a single mom is not harder than the life of a traditional mom.

I am having a tough period at work, lots of responsibilities, lots of extra tasks and not enough time to finish them. Am I the only one? Hell no! I am aware of that.

With time, I learnt how to become more efficient and organize my time, and thanks to this I still do manage to stick with my self-inflicted rule most of the times: be home between 6-8 pm. These are the only hours I can spend time with my son, because before that he is in daycare and after, well I am lucky enough that he sleeps. But after I put him to bed, well I go back to the kitchen, pull up my laptop and start again to work.

When I go to bed, I am destroyed, with a mental charge like many other people – once more: I am aware of that! I am not the only one – and the morning after… well I wake up already tired with the to do list in mind. Let out the times in which the night does not go as smooth as you would believe. Does it feel familiar?

I still get up in the morning, prepare my son to bring him to day care, and then go to work. Do I get a medal for that? Of course not, that is my job. Do you believe people at work think I am having a tough life? No. They do not care. Here is what they see: you are happily married (well first you are still married, second the desk picture shows you are all smiley, so…), you have a nice house, you have a beautiful kid who lives on your desktop background who sleeps at night (of course otherwise you would complain during the day), so: your life is easy. Do I believe is hard? Again, no! I believe there are tougher times we need to cope with, but overall I am lucky. I am fully aware of that. So, I do not complain. It is not in my nature, and if I find myself unhappy with something I do everything in my power to find a solution and change it.

Anyway, at 9 I enter the first meeting of the day and the person in front of me tells me her story about how yesterday it was her day to take care of her daughter, so… she did not manage to finish on time… and I hear “I am a single mom”.

Oh. My. God. You got to be kidding me. I would have understood many reasons, but not phrased that way. I held my patience and went through the day.

Today I need to work late, so my husband is supposed to go pick up our son to day care.
But eventually he calls me and all of a sudden, I need to reschedule all my plans and at 5:30 sharp I run out – not to be late at daycare – and stuck in traffic I try to have few calls in the car.

Then I arrive and that is the moment when time stops. This is the best part of the day where the rhythm changes totally. It is no more about being efficient and bam bam bam do things one after the other. It is about me and my son. His time. I make room for him only, despite I try to concentrate everything in those 2 hours: playing time, cuddles, dinner, bath… I push out of the door all the stress of the day, and I dedicate myself totally to the mommy role. And I manage because that is very precious to me.

But that evening… miss ex has a problem and cannot go pick up his son at school, my husband is already busy… so – as I am already out – I go. I do not want him to be outside of the school like that time she forgot to go pick him up (yeah, WTF).

I drive 40 more minutes to go pick him up. Then I run home and cook dinner for all. My husband arrives and he tells me he needs to take a plane the day after for his urgent meeting. But that he does not have any shirt (our cleaning lady kind of disappeared) and if I could iron one for him.

That is where I snapped: What makes you believe I own the monopoly of the ironing board in this house? So we negotiated the tasks to be done: you clean the kitchen I iron your shirts.

And there, while I was alone ironing, I thought “is life of a single mom really harder?”. As a single mom, you are as alone as I am most of the week, but you get few days off and surely one weekend out of two for yourself. I do not. So how can your life be harder than mine?

This is specific to my case, because all the people involved here have equal opportunities. Of course, I understand there are other types of single moms, where they do not get any support from the father of their children, neither financially neither in time. But. That is not the rule. And I hate we make a rule just about single moms. Because my husband – who was also a single dad – did not have as much compassion from anyone around him. And my life is not easier than theirs either. And there are WAY WORSE SITUATIONS than any of these – that nobody pays attention to. And I have no patience for this any longer.

There. I said it.

Mom's Life, Pregnancy, Survival Tips

When I became a mom, the fact of being the second wife bothered me even more.

When I met my husband, he was married with one child – seemingly happy. And I was in a long term relationship.
I met him at work and we were simple colleagues.
On top of being in love already (and I believe you can only love one person at a time), I had a mind conditioning rule – very powerful for me – that is: men who are already in a relationship are asexual. This rule prevented me from having feelings for them.
And same for who is now my husband. To me he was an asexual man when I met him! Funny one to be around. And he was a very thrustworthy man. But I did not even consider him an option for a relationship.

A series of events happened since that moment. Long story short: his wife left him, my long term relationship ended… and we got closer. We had developed a friendly relationship where we could talk about our feelings and how to cope with them, but we were just friends. My rule was very powerful!
To be fair, in that period I thought about the possibility of us being a couple, but: come on! He was married, and has a child! I wanted a husband of my own, not a second hand one. And a child? No no no. Forget it. This kept me going for a while.

Until the day… I could not push back this idea anymore. I was really happy around him, I trusted him fully, and he was exactly the man I would have like to marry. But I was scared of being with him for 2 main reasons: he became my best friend, in a city where I knew not so many people, and I did not want to ruin this. He was the only best friend I had in this new place. Second: come on, I get out of a difficult relationship, and I get into one which is more complicated – with a kid and so on?? No way.

But eventually I did. And eventually we got married. And had a child. And that is where it hit me hard. It hit me for the wedding, as I knew he walked down the aile once already, but… having a kid. He had done it already, and that feeling of going through motherhood for the first time while he had done it already, with someone else, hurted me badly.

I was the second wife, the second choice wife, the second mother of his kid. I felt there was nothing special in it as he had done it already, and the minimum I can say is that it made me feel insecure. And I can add inadequate, wrong, and I questioned my choices, and for a period all his acts. I needed reassurance in all he did, without knowing how to explain why. Until I realised I was in a competition with the past, a competition that did not exist but that I had created myself. And this was always in my mind.

I thought he could not be as excited as I was, as he had done it already. I thought he knew everything already, while I was learning all the things a new mom learns in the first months – or year – of her journey. I spent hours reading about the right pushchair, the right bed… he – I assumed – had done that already. I gave birth and had to learn how to feed my son, hold my son, help him sleep. He knew that right?

And I remember clearly that moment, when the baby cryed for the first time, those tears in his eyes. I will always thank him for those tears. It was so reassuring to see that emotion running on his cheeks while he holded my hand.

But as the days went by, it was hard not to think that I was missing out on something, that I was the only inadequate parent, and alone as he had done it already. But then I realised he also did not know how to feed him, how to interpret his noises, how to dress him, how to hold him… he probably forgot, but there we started to learn together how to be parents to the fruit of our love.

I learnt that it is hard to be in a blended family. And it gets harder when the situation is not balanced (one was married with kids and the other one did not). But that it is important to be responsible of your own feelings, and take the time to understand what would be help and work it out together. And communicate.

Sometimes I am still hunted by those thoughts, they will probably will never go away. But in the end what counts is that we are happy, and that we keep doing what is needed to love each other!