I see the stories all the time: "The 9 Best Things About Being a Single Mom," "Why Being a Single Mom Is Better Than a Married Mom," "What I Love Most About Being a Single Mom."
But some days, it's not so clear cut.
Today is one of those days I'm regretting every choice I've ever made. I regret that I didn't encourage my son's father to stay married to me. I regret that I didn't welcome him back when he tried to reconcile. I regret that I quit my full-time job to stay home and care for my son. I regret that when I woke up this morning I didn't have a great plan on how to manage this day. And mostly I regret that I'm so damn resentful about being a single mom and how much work it is to single-handedly orchestrate two big, full lives.
Single motherhood was something I never wanted. I watched my grandmother suffer beneath the pressure of caring for six children as a single mom. She was depressed and unable to enjoy her life. Before my son's father and I married, I made him assure me that he wanted to be a parent and would be present in the lives of any children we had regardless of our relationship. He agreed and has always kept his word. But even with all his help and devotion to our son, I still feel overwhelmed. On the days when the dishes need to be washed, I'm out of toilet paper, the food supply is low, and rent needs to be paid, I just feel like I'm not enough. I need an adult to pick up the slack and help me manage all the moving parts of parenting.
I don't want to do everything any longer.
Lately I've noticed that I'm just bitter about being a single mom. I'm pissed and looking at my friends who have partners and wishing a big boulder would fall on them. Don't get me wrong, I know marriage is no cakewalk. I listen to many of them complain about their partners and marriages, but all the while I'm thinking, "At least you have help. You have access to your partner's money, arms, hands and feet, ideas and affection."
The friends I resent the most are those with happy marriages. These are the women I want to be. They have relationships that offer them the full support of an equal partnership. I'm talking about mothers whose husbands prepare the meals for the family. I have one friend who doesn't know her way around her own kitchen. What I'd give to be her. I have another friend who admitted while her husband was traveling, she'd never made lunch for her children. These women get to thrive in their careers and be happy mothers, while their husbands joyfully do the heavy lifting.
I'm tired. I can't do everything, and it's just as simple as that. I also don't want to do everything any longer. I've proven how strong I am. I've seen how resilient I am. And today I'm over all of it. Doing everything for myself and my son (at least when he's with me), is just more than I can take today.
So there, I've said it. Even with a son who hears me when I say, "Mommy just can't handle one more request right now," and an ex who does everything in his power to help, today, I hate being a single mom and I resent nearly everything about it. I've just reached my limit and I'm not going to apologize for having one.