Some Realness

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Here’s some realness about single motherhood for you: I have the flu.

Anyone who is not a single parent will not understand the gravity of this statement in the context of having a small crawling baby to look after. Only reason I’m even able to write this is because I forced myself to take the wee babe to nursery via taxi (which was a bumpy ride and quite expensive if you also factor in me forgetting my keys at the nursery and having to go back to get them). I tried sleeping but can’t because my body is so accustomed to being alert and awake at this time of day; instead I’m in the kitchen making garlic and turmeric broth, waiting for it to boil, barely able to stand.

My head feels like it weighs tons. My sinuses are like waterfalls. My body hurts really bad.

So what?

Here’s what. I live in a foreign country (doing a full time graduate degree), away from all of my family, all of my friends – basically everyone who cares about me. I have very limited financial resources, no car, and basically no help here. I have one or two friends/co-workers who occasionally really show up for me when things are really, really, tough. But they don’t really understand what it’s like on the daily. They don’t understand at all, in fact.

Sometimes I hear people who have partners bitching about how hard it is for them to do this or that because of kids and I think… wow. If they only knew how good, how much easier they have it. With a partner, you can have them watch the baby while you recover from illness. With a partner, they can do the food shopping and make you soup while you rest. With a partner, you can have a break. With a partner, you can sleep occasionally. Or clean when you’re feeling well. Or a host of numerous other productive and righteous things.

My house is a mess. I read a lot of mommy blogs and parenting articles that say that a messy house with small kids is to be expected. I know this, I try to accept it, but sometimes all I want is just a few minutes to clean but I don’t have the time because there is always the Choice – the choice between working on my degree and inching ever closer to a bigger and better future, or cleaning. But you know what, who the hell are these mommy blogs/articles written by and for? You ever ask yourself that? Are the writers making an automatic assumption that their audience has able-bodied partners to help them clean a little from time to time? Part of me thinks that this is the case. And I think intuitively, I’m probably right.

So I have the flu. My house is a mess. Don’t have much help here. Am not getting much work done. A lot of people don’t understand. But you know what? Fuck it. Writing this helps.

Also, JK Rowling supposedly had it pretty rough too and said she’d never have been able to write her book and raise her baby at the same time if it weren’t for the fact that she lived in squalor. So. There’s that.

It can be done. It will be done.

MD

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