Monday, December 14, 2009

How it goes.

To say that parenting is hard is an understatement of epic proportions. Being a single parent puts it over the top. The last few weeks I have been struggling to juggle my return to work with being a mother and my time, our time, is now beyond limited. I rush everywhere. Race to work, race home from work. Weekends are more of the same -and all that I can no longer do during the week now fills the list of things that ideally would be accomplished during what once were "days of rest". But the weekend rolls around and the work week continues - 6:15 wake up, 7am Lily breakfast, dress, play, 9am Lily nap #1. I crash on couch for as many winks possible while Lily sleeps. 10:15/10:30, Lily's up, snack, play, lunch at noon, play, nap #2 at 1pm. Again I try to nap or scramble to do things in the apartment while she recharges. 2:30/3pm Lily's up, play, play, fresh air until dark, 4pm snack, play until 5:30, prepare dinner, 5:45/6pm dinner. 6:45 bath, 7pm read, boob, bed by 7:30.
And then "my time" begins.
Or doesn't.
I'm exhausted, and despite the fact that Lily brings me immeasurable happiness and love, I am lonely, depressed and dead tired. I have limited energy for phone calls, bills, it's a miracle if I cook myself something. I know my story mirrors that of other single parents but knowing that has no effect on me. Because all I really want is Alan back. I want him here to see how Lily crawls with such enthusiasm that when she kicks up her back legs they sometimes throw her balance and she tumbles over her arms. I want him to hear her early morning excitement in the dark as she sidesteps along the crib rail to get as close as she can to the bed to wake me. I want him to witness how she shoves broccoli into her mouth catching it as it goes down her wrist with a similar style as the way he ate popcorn. I want him to see how she now gets her own instruments from the bin in music class and holds onto them with vigor should anyone attempt a grab. I want him to see how she stands front and center of class and rolls onto her tiptoes as she listens to the guitar. I want him to hear the clappity clap of her walker as she pushes it more and more quickly down the halls. How I wish her first steps had been into his arms.
I'd love him here to help raise her.
I do have help, and am grateful for it. I do use it so that I can attempt to accomplish the things that must get done. And thankfully they are people who love her with all their heart and she loves her time with them. But when I leave Lily, the guilt and longing remain. And I know it'd be easier if I was doing errands knowing that her other parent was with her. Alan and I were extensions of each other and how I wish that if I cannot be with Lily, that she could be passing the hours of food and naps and play with her dad. It makes my separation from her much more difficult.
And what makes it all most daunting is that the love I feel for her is almost unbearable. Now I understand why my mother always offers me her food if my dish isn't good, why she'd give me her last bite and say she isn't hungry, little sacrifices that run much deeper. Because now nothing else matters more than my daughter. It is an awesome, and frighteningly overwhelming, feeling and how I wish I had Alan with whom to share the love and fear.
Lily in all her zeal seems to miss nothing and for now, that's all that matters.

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