Looking back and reflecting over what has happened this past year is absolutely insane. (It has been a while since I wrote anything about my life, so if the writing sounds like crap – lie to me). Lots of great things have happened, which I will get into how they all unfolded, but I also want to give you the picture of the real mess that was, and sometimes still is my life, because I find it encouraging to know that hard things can still happen when you are absolutely crushing life, and great things can happen to the most broken and undeserving of people (both ring true for me).
Last January was rough. I was coming up on a year of single motherhood, sharing a room with Zara, although staying in a house with some great friends. Zara was still not sleeping, I had my last semester of grad school left, I was set to move out in May and I had no signs of being employed anytime soon (aka diaper monies). Most of all, I was lonely. Not because I didn’t have friends or couldn’t handle all of the tasks of raising a kid as one person instead of the traditional two – that was hard and I had my days where I was like “I’m getting a box and I am shipping this kid back to Piedmont Hospital,” but it was doable.
The best way to describe it was when I visited my best friend Amber in Chicago – I had a conference I was presenting on (ethics in STEM, result: there are none! Kidding.. Kind of) and Amber had to watch Zara for me during that half of the day. She took her to Millennium Park and did a Chicago touristy tour for Zara while I was out. We talked after and she was telling me about how Zara was doing all of these funny and cute things and that she really wanted to share it with someone in the moment, like have someone there who could also be laughing with Zara and talk about the cutest things that Zara does, in agreeance that our kid was an incredible tiny human. That’s what it felt like most of the time in the first year. I had my mom to call, for sure, but it’s not the same as having a partner be absolutely stoked to tell you what dumb/hilarious thing Zara did while you were out. Or to tell you that they are here to help in the middle of the night when you’ve been up for a few hours rocking a crying baby. Or to make you a plate of food when you just got home and are hangry, but so is your kid. Or to give your kid a bath – I don’t know about y’all but this is my least favorite task as a mother and anytime anyone offers to give Zara a bath I did not hesitate to say “GO FOR IT!”
This is not to say single motherhood is the worst and there are no signs of light. I could make any decision I wanted without consulting anyone. I was usually her favorite and never had to worry about her not wanting me to help her, but someone else. We were ride-or-dies to the utmost extent of the word.