Going Solo: Single Parenthood

gratitude.

I worry.

In fact I worry so much that I have been known to read a whole chapter in a book or watch a whole TV program and have no idea what just happened because I was too busy worrying about something. As you can imagine, having a child has only upped the ante on my worrying.

When I was nine weeks pregnant and Bella’s father looked at me and said “I can’t do this,” I responded by saying “fine I’ll do it by myself.” I’ve been doing things on my own for my entire adult life. I figured raising a child shouldn’t be much different. In fact, there was a part of me that relished in the idea. I got to pick her name, her religion, her education, and a million other things. I don’t have to fight anyone on any of these decisions. The stubborn bullheaded scorpion in me puffed up her chest and basically told him that I don’t need him so he can just walk away. I had complete control over her upbringing and I liked it that way. The single pregnant mom-to-be inside me was terrified and honestly wanted to call him and beg him for help on more than one occasion.

When I started looking at prices of diapers, daycare, baby food, breast pumps, medical expenses, clothes, a stroller, and toys, I freaked out! The amount of money I would need to raise a child was more than I made each week. I had so many doubtful nights when I thought that I might have made the wrong decision and that I was taking something on that was way over my head. Those nights are over…..for the most part.

Someone recently hit my car and drove away. Though I have insurance, the deductible is well above what I can afford. Yesterday a check arrived in the mail for a huge chunk of this expense. It was a gift; A selfless gesture that I did not ask for. It stopped me in my tracks and brought me to tears. Just like the clothes, blankets, crib, strollers, car seat, breast pump, diapers, wipes, carriers, toys, soaps, bottles, diaper bags…..I could go on all day…..it was a gift. The last year of my life has been one gift after the other. Some have been for me and some have been for my daughter. Everything I have needed to care for her has been provided in one way or another.

There is a pile of thank you cards that are blank. They are joined by a list of all of these gifts and the people who gave them. Between feedings and changings and baths and working full time, I have filled one out here and there, but the pile keeps growing. It is my pile of gratitude. It is a constant reminder that I need to sit down and write about 100 thank you’s, but it is also a reminder that everything is going to be ok and I’m not doing this on my own. There is a whole community of people out there who are raising my daughter. So, until your thank you finally arrives in the mail, this post is my expression of gratitude.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your gifts.

Thank you for teaching me not to worry.

Thank you for loving me and loving my daughter and for helping us when we need it, but are too stubborn to ask for help.

 

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen.
Keep in the sunlight.” ~Benjamin Franklin

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