Thursday, October 7, 2010

what do you do without a support system?!

Yesterday was further proof of the obvious: parenting alone would be h-a-r-d. The two days a week that I watch Natalie by myself are incredibly precious to me, and I wouldn't trade that quality just-us-girls time for anything. But, honestly? When Mike walks through the door at the end of those days, I am ready to hand her over and do anything non-baby for a while. Imagining life without such a reprieve is pretty terrifying.

Yesterday, however, brought the single-parenting thing into even harsher perspective. Yesterday, I was sick. Like, really sick. I will spare you the pukey details, but let's just say it was unpleasant. Facing a sick day with Natalie was daunting, to say the least. Lucky for me, my mom swooped in and took over baby-duty (in addition to taking care of me--tea, toast, instructions to sleep, sleep, sleep--even as an adult, nothing feels better than having your mom there when you're sick!). I truly don't know how I would be getting through parenthood without a support system to keep me sane and share in the baby-care duties.

Sickness aside, when I'm the sole person responsible for Natalie there are all kinds of things to consider. Where do I put her when I have to pee (or do anything)? How am I going to get the stroller set up, packed with diaper bag and various other random must-have-at-all-times items, and lug Natalie on one hip? Who will hold the door for me if I need to get into a store with the stroller? The list goes on and on.

And that's just the superficial stuff. How does one person handle the financial and emotional toll of having a baby? Not to mention, how on earth would I be coping without someone to commiserate with through the exhaustion? And who would be high-fiving me and cheering through the milestones and happy moments?

In any moment that I start to think parenting is overwhelmingly hard, I have to remind myself that there are other people out there doing it Alone. I'm so fortunate to have a 50-50 partner in life, and a support system of family and dear friends who pitch in to watch Natalie, listen to me yammer on about all things baby, and remind me that there is life outside of our little family. To any women or men doing it on your own: I am beyond amazed and cannot imagine being able to join your ranks. Sick or not, taking care of a baby is a lotta work.


  1. Hil,

    I am so happy for you! I love reading your blog and learning about the tales of the most enthusiastic mommy ever. Natalie is just the cutest baby on earth, I love all the outfits you put her in. It's really awesome that you make her her own baby food!!!! I hope you feel better soon!!

    Jill (from middle earth!)

  2. Amen sister! I don't know where I would be without my husband, family or girlfriends! Its FANTASTIC and super important to have such a network! I am sure you will offer the same support to Natalie when it comes her time (oh so far away!) I keep telling myself to take notes on how awesome of a mom I have! I hope that I can do the same for my girls!
    It really stinks being sick and having to take care of a little one (or two). I hope you're feeling better!