I hated being a single parent. It sucked. There is nothing fun about single-parenthood, and I wouldn't wish that for anyone. I know there are people out there who love it, who embrace their single-parentness, and I know plenty of amazing single moms who rock it out. I like to think that I was a pretty rockin' single mom myself.
But it sucked.
I worked a minimum of 50 hours a week, and that is not including the commute, which probably added another ten hours or so. My son's daycare was a 45 minute drive from our house, so that he could be a two minute drive from my mother's house. I would drop him off around lunchtime and she'd pick him up on her way home from work, barely squeezing in before the daycare closed. If it wasn't a daycare day, I'd drop him off with my ex or his mother, or my mother, or my godparents. At one point when I was working I'd given my ex a key so that he could bring Little Man back to my place after a day with him and then wait there on my couch til I got home around midnight after my shift. Yeah, that wasn't annoying or at all ridiculous. </end sarcasm>
I actually had a pretty good deal worked out with my boss, that I could have two consecutive days off during the week as long as I worked weekends - which no one wanted. So usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays I would spend a few precious hours snuggling on the couch with Little Man before I ran around town doing all the errands I couldn't do during the work week.
I hated that I wasn't getting to enjoy motherhood, or Little Man's baby years. I would come home from work so tired and worn out that I wanted to sit on the couch and eat terrible food and watch bad tv, not parent.
I don't know what possessed me to try looking for love online. I think I knew a couple of friends had tried it and were in great relationships, and I was super jealous. But I was also quite sure that dating a single mom with no free time would not be ideal for any online stranger. I'd tried dating "regularly" though, and it wasn't any better. I was not going to find the love of my life in a bar or at work.
Enter Hubs. I had only been online for a week when he found my profile. He was open, articulate, and interesting. I loved coming home from work and seeing a message alert from him in my inbox. We were on totally opposite schedules, he worked from 8 am til 4:30, I worked from 3:30 til midnight. I never thought it would go anywhere because of that, and the fact that he lived about two hours away. But the weekend of Black Friday we met up for dinner and a movie, and I've never looked back. He was everything I always hoped for in a man. He had his life together, and was ready for a real relationship. And it didn't hurt that he had the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen.
And he never hesitated in stepping up to a father role in my son's life. I would have admired that if Little Man had been typical. But with LM's special needs, it was amazing. On one of my earliest dates with Hubs, LM was having a vomiting episode and I had to ditch the date to take care of him. Hubs didn't flinch. I think that was when I knew this man was perfect for US and not just me. We're coming up two years of being together and LM knows that Hubs is just as much his parent as I am, and loves him as unconditionally as I do.
And now I have a real partner in parenting. I get to stay home with my son and be the mother I always wanted to be. I get to be the advocate he needs... the playmate, the therapist, the teacher. And I have someone who comes home every night and has my back.
And I'm grateful.