Finding My Inner “Single Mom” – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

As Mother’s Day approaches this year, I am truly feeling the essence of being a “Single Mom.” I never actually put myself in that category before, but I feel it’s presence emerging more and more each day.

I think it started several weeks ago when I realized that Mother’s Day fell on my husband’s “weekend” with my son. Conversely, I also found that Father’s Day fell on “my” weekend. We decided to just swap days to make life easier. Then people started to say, “What are you doing for Mother’s Day.” My response was a shrug. I really don’t know what I am going to do for Mother’s Day, unless I plan it myself. Then, it really wouldn’t be a “real” Mother’s Day if I do all of the planning. My son has also been running fevers for a few days now. Mother’s Day may turn out to be a real mother’s day, taking care of my sick child. That’s typically how Mother’s Days turn out for many Moms anyway.

Getting back to the Single Mom thing. I’ll come right out and say it: I hate it. No, I abhor it. I really do. I never wanted, desired or intended to be a Single Mom. I have friends who are single moms by choice, and they get tired, drained and burnt-out, yet they will tell you over and over again that they would do it again in a heart beat.

I would first honestly say that if you told me I would be getting a divorce five years ago, I probably would have laughed so hard, I would have most likely broken a rib. I chose to have a child and raise a child with someone. Someone who could take over if I were very sick or needed my spouse to pick up my son if I were running late at an appointment. That world doesn’t exist anymore. If I am sick on Mother’s Day (very likely with my son being sick currently), I can’t say to my husband, “Can you take our son for the day, I don’t feel well,” because that would interfere with our arrangement to “swap days.” The whole thing is just so terribly distasteful.

Now you are wondering, but how do you feel about your son? I adore every last cell in his body. Would I still have made the choice to have him if I had a crystal ball and could see the future? I would hesitate, but ultimately, I would have to admit that I would. My philosophy is to go through life never having any regrets. I would regret not experiencing being a parent, the good times and the bad, the ups and the downs. I would miss the nuzzles and the cuddles. Not having my son would leave me with an unfulfilled wonder of, “what if?” For that, I am so completely grateful that I have my son. He is my world right now. If that means being a Single Mom, then so be it.

I just found out that my son, who got a flu shot, has the flu. Guess who is going to have the flu on Mother’s Day since I didn’t get the flu shot and have been feeling body aches all day? I made a deal with my husband. Since my son has to be out of school for the rest of the week, I told my husband I would take care of my son, even if I am sick, during the days, if he will feed my son at night. I also asked if I am very sick on Mother’s Day, if would he take my son to spend the day with his Grandmother. My husband agreed to that as well.

So, okay. Maybe being a Single Mom is not that terrible. I still don’t have to like it though.

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