As I get ready to join the workforce again, I am trying to mentally prepare myself for the work involved in being a working single mother. One day a few years back, I wrote a detailed description of what it really takes just to make it out the door some mornings.
This is an account of one of my mornings with a baby. Now that Kiddo is a toddler it includes a lot of negotiation and bargaining. BUT… you cannot negotiate or bargain rationally with a toddler. I will save that story for another time.
I wrote this October 2, 2012. Kiddo was not quite one yet and Pap had moved out the month prior.
A Day in the Life of a Single Mommy
I have hit a wall. I cannot do it all.
This morning as always the kid woke up before the alarm, which is set for 6 am. I begged the baby Jesus that he would go back to sleep with the boob stuck in mouth routine. Nope. Okay wet diapered little one, let’s get up. This kid must be in another teething bout because I had to be either carrying him or within one foot of him all morning. Every try to get dressed and ready for work with a 10-½-month-old attached to you? Not fun. Yep, I am showerless today. If you have to see me today, you should pray to the baby Jesus that my deodorant does not fail and I do not use Secret, but the all-natural brand.
Managed to change the diaper, get him dressed, stuff diapers (forgot to do last night) and get his diaper bag ready to go. Now let’s see if Mommy can get dressed.
Brushing teeth – he is in the bathroom with me. The normal toy to keep him preoccupied is not working. He sees me brushing teeth and he wants to brush his teeth but in my arms. Pick him up and we brush our teeth. He has his own little toothbrush. It is rather cute; he tries to copy what I do.
Getting dressed – thankfully it is what we call contractor day at work and I will wear jeans. I look for a clean pair in the pile on the closet floor. Yes!! They are clean. Pants – check. The kid has started to whine. Ugh…Cry, don’t cry, but don’t whine. I have a set of colorful rollers on the shelf. New toys!! Hand them to him and hunt for a shirt. Grab a black shirt….baby puke on it…throw in the hamper. Leave closet to go into the bedroom to look for a shirt. Grab another black shirt – please let it fit and be clean. Score!! The kid is whining. Crawls into the bedroom after me. Pick him up and ask, “Wanna eat little one?” Off to kitchen, we go.
Eating – not even going to try the high chair, the kid not feeling it today. Give him his vitamin D dose. Now time to feed him; grab the leftover squeezable food. Nope, does not want. Try again. Okay, he eats a little. Got enough to leave his mark on my right shoulder of the black shirt. Try again, YES!! He eats a little more. This time he rubs the left shoulder leaving his mark. Try again and hope he is done….fine. Back to the bathroom.
Hair – back in the bathroom, still holding the kid. Run water to clean my shoulders of baby food. No way I have time to find another shirt to wear. The shirt is now clean, enough. Hair. Must put the kid down. Back to colorful rollers and now add flashing shamrock (old St. Patty’s day attire) earring. Whine. Ignore. Need. To. Do. Hair. Spritz water on hair. Brush back and put in a ponytail. Use gel to tame and hope that it does not interact with whatever I put on yesterday and then leave the nasty white clumps in my hair. Score!! No visible white clumps. Pick up whining kid. Crap forgot to get bottles and food ready last night also.
Kitchen – Grab lunch bag, grab bottles, and consolidate breast milk into one bottle. Still, some left over, grab another bottle. Grab homemade food. Grab store-bought food and grab a snack. Stuff into a lunch bag and then stuff into the diaper bag. Crap…no make up.
Bathroom – put the kid on the floor. Cannot find lotion. Use a little sample of whatever lotion I can find. Literally, throw on makeup. The kid is whining again. 20 seconds, please. Powder, eyeliner, mascara, gloss. Pick up, kid.
Shoes and socks – put down kid, grab matching pair (amazing that they match), try on one pair of shoes, walk to the mirror. Hell no, take those off. Pick up, kid. Leave closet, leave the bathroom, leave the bedroom, and turning off lights as I go.
Kitchen – grab my purse (the size of a baby linebacker), throw in an apple, water bottle, phone, and schoolbook and notebook. Damn, it is heavy, put down. Readjust kid, pick up purse again. Yep, still heavy. Grab diaper bag….Shit…pump. Put diaper bag down, put purse down. Grab the pump bag. Empty out food containers from yesterday. Put old bottles in the sink. Grab new bottles for pumping, hunt for tops, and put all back in pump bag. Pick up purse, pick up diaper bag, pick up pump bag. Walk to the front door. Oh, hell where are my keys? The kid has yet to be put down and is whining off and on the entire time. Put down all bags. Look in purse for keys. Score!! Pick up all three bags again.
Front door – slide on shoes. Crap, the light is on in the kid’s room. Walk in and turn off light. Walk back. Grab the car key. Somehow manage to lock the door. The diaper bag is slipping. Purse is cutting off circulation at my shoulder. Close door. Head to elevator. Amazingly have enough strength to push button, move diaper back onto my shoulder and readjust kid in my arms.
Car – Throw pump bag on the floor, fling diaper bag on the seat and drop purse on the ground. The kid is fine. Get the kid in the car seat. Whine. Whine. Whine. I feel the tears welling up. Get kid buckled into the car seat. Hand him two books I picked up some time along the way and give him his blanket. Grab pump bag, pick up purse, and close back door. Open driver’s side door. Throw pump and purse into passenger side seat and finally ready to go. It is 7:17 am. Baby Mozart is in the CD player, the kid is finally silent. Mommy quietly cries as she drives to daycare.
That was my morning and I did not even discuss traffic where I spaced out for a quick second and almost ran into the back of the car in front of me (already dropped the kid off when this happened). Just made me cry more, but with a faster heartbeat.
I really need a break. Oh, wait…that is what work is right?
Three days later, an ex-friend posted a picture of her, Pap, and Skank at the bar together on Facebook. Just a few days prior, we attended marriage counseling and he had said he would stop seeing her and would work on marriage. I was beyond pissed. That was our last marriage counseling session.
The Ex-Wifey – still working on that new name