Oh yes...they're like assholes. Everybody has one. And some people can't keep them to themselves...therefore causing a sensitive soul like myself to take said opinions to the depths of my heart and then dwell on them for days.
If there's anything I've learned since my membership into the Motherhood Club, it's that everyone has their own methods. And you know what, as long as your kid is healthy, happy, growing and thriving...you do whatever works. Co-sleeping? Go for it. Extended breastfeeding? No judging here. Letting your kid eat dirt? Builds the immune system.
Recently, my methods as a mother have been called into question. Mainly that I need to have more patience with my crazy toddler (don't we all) and that me going out on a date once a week and leaving Rowan with his grandparents (who love him and he loves them) is clearly me putting him on the back-burner and not giving him the attention he deserves.
Breaking this down. Patience. I need more of it. Yes, I get frustrated when he dumps a sippy cup of milk on the carpet, throws the dinner I just prepared for him across the room, refuses to wear pants, takes the toilet paper roll and unravels it through the apartment, gets up 75 times a night so I only get one hour of sleep. I get it. I'm working on it. Yelling isn't the best solution and I need to figure out a better one.
And here's the deal about this single mother business. I'm the sole caretaker of my crazy toddler monkey. Well, not quite. He does go to daycare full time. Would I love to be home with him part of the day? Yes. Is that possible? No.
Apart from his days at daycare and every other weekend with his father (which is more like a day and a half), I'm it. It's just the two of us. I work full time. I take care of the apartment. Take care of Rowan's needs. Take care of the dog. Pay the bills. Do the grocery shopping. Do daycare drop off and pick up. Cook the meals. Pack the lunches. Kiss the boo-boos. Give baths. Read bedtime stories. Clean up spills. Give snuggles. Worry about paying for college, saving for retirement, whether or not Rowan will need therapy because he has divorced parents.
The weight of it all wears on me sometimes. It's suffocating. So, yes, I enlist the help of my parents, who are more than happy to spend time with their grandson. That is one of the main reasons I moved back to my hometown...for their help. And yes, I do see the man I'm dating once a week and Heaven forbid, sometimes twice. You know why? Obviously because I like him. But secondly because I'm looking towards the future. Not just for myself, but for Rowan. I want to give Rowan a sibling. I want to get married again and show him what a real, loving family looks like. I want a partner in my life to share the burdens and the joy. Am I going to marry this guy? I have no idea. But I won't know unless we establish a relationship where I see him more than twice a month.
Do I have guilt when I leave him in the care of someone else? Always. Every day when I drop him off at daycare. But I've come to accept that I need help...I need a break...it makes me a better mother.
So judge away. Rowan's happy, he's healthy, he's smart and thriving. And most of all, he's the number one man in my life and always will be. I'm just trying to keep my head above water, keep myself happy too and stay sane. I'll do me. You do you.