Monday, April 16

The Never-Ending Story

I was talking to a couple of my friends this weekend about doing things alone.  One of them had gone out to dinner as a third wheel and then went to a bar and had a drink alone while waiting for her friends to join her.  We were discussing how brave it seems to go out and do something on your own - something that's normally not done alone.  Brave?  Really?  Do we actually see it as brave, or do we jump to negative conclusions when we see someone doing something alone?  I, for one, would probably never go out for a drink by myself... for a number of reasons - but mostly because I assume other people would be drawing their own assumptions as to why I'm there alone.

I know people jump to conclusions.  I feel it almost daily.  And for some reason, I thought the "explaining" part of my whole situation would end when my daughter was born. 

I've recently come to realize that the questions will never end.  I was 5 months pregnant when I signed on to my current job.  I didn't even tell my bosses I was pregnant until a week into my employment there.  And for many reasons, I never explained my situation to any of my coworkers (and no one ever asked).  When I showed up to the company Christmas party, 8 months pregnant and completely alone, one of my coworkers asked where my other half was.  I simply told her that I was alone that night.  Over the course of my prenatal care visits, I saw 5 different doctors and countless nurses.  And I had to explain my situation to each one of those doctors and nurses.  The night Sol was born, I had 2 nurses.  I had to tell both of them that I was doing this alone.  Over the first 2 days of Sol's life, I explained my situation to 2 different hospital employees who came to get her birth certificate information.  A couple weeks ago, one of my coworkers asked me about Sol's father, since I never ever mention him.  And for the first time, I gave my side of the story. Even while checking out different daycares, I had to give my story to 3 different daycare providers (and one even asked me specifically about "baby-daddy," which made me feel extra classy).   I just moved into a new place. The landlords knew I had a brand-new baby, and that I was alone and looking for a new place to live. I can imagine the scenarios running through their heads.  And my new neighbors?  They've met my 2-month old daughter, but they've only seen me coming and going - no man.  They asked me the other day if I was living here alone.  When I said I was, they seemed to feel sorry for me.  When I do things with my sister and her husband, and the same people see the two of them out with me and my baby (sans father every time), I know they must wonder what happened there.  I recently got a new car, and I was amazed just how much information the salesman could piece together from my credit application.  He, too, wondered why I was a single mom with a newborn.  I can feel the questions building in people's minds every time I'm out with my daughter.
You see a single mom with a five-year-old, and you don't really think anything of it - that's pretty normal.  You see a single mom with a toddler, and even then it doesn't shock you.  But if you see a single mom with a newborn, your mind starts to wander.  Don't tell me it doesn't. 

The questions will never end.  The reality is, I'm a single mom.  I'm alone in raising a newborn baby.  But I don't want to be a single mom forever.  I want to meet someone eventually.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again: there's a reason it takes 2 people to make a baby.  Humans are not wired to do this alone.  I was thinking just yesterday, how am I ever going to explain my situation to a potential-Mr.-Right?  And even if Mr. Right understands it and loves Sol and me anyway, I still have to explain it to his loved ones - a whole new group of family and friends that will wonder why I'm a single mom.  Nope, the questions will never end.

Sol is beautiful, wonderful, and almost always perfect (haha).  I've had her around for 10 weeks now.  And for every day of those 10 weeks, I've loved it, loathed it, embraced it, thought about escaping it, stuck around for it, loved it, loathed it, and loved it again.  I hate the fact that I have to explain anything about my daughter.  And I hate it for her sake.  She shouldn't have to be explained.  She did nothing wrong.  I can't tell you how many people have told me, "I don't know how you do it."  I don't really know how I do it either.  Prayer, patience, and the art of taking things one day at a time, I guess.  When all else fails, that's all you've got left.

1 comment:

  1. And it's only just begun my dear. At some point though, it feels less like an explanation and more like something you are proud of. Not like it's a classy badge to be worn, but I think you get where I'm coming from. I'm not always thrilled to discuss where my "baby daddy" is (I LOATHE that term). But it becomes more about being a wonderful story about a little girl and her mommy. And don't worry about explaining it to Mr. Right - Mr. Right won't NEED any explanation ;-)