by: Sarah Fowler
Today would have been my 5th wedding anniversary. I’ve now officially been divorced for longer than I was married and I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. I’m proud of the woman I am now but there is always that “what if” game that you play in your mind. Would I be a different woman? A different mother? These last few years have been an amazing journey of self discovery; not just finding out who I am as a single woman but who I am as a single Mommy as well. Admittedly, I struggled in the beginning and spent countless sleepless nights lying awake in bed and wondering if I was woman enough to handle being a mommy and a daddy to my precious little girl. I threw myself into being Super Mom and nearly drove myself to the point of exhaustion baking cupcakes, organizing play dates and making baby food from scratch just trying to be the perfect mommy. And thanks to that, or maybe in spite of, Prinny and I have a relationship that is so…it’s so powerful that I can’t even put it into words except to say that I am so deeply in love with that child that sometimes when looking at her I have to remind myself to breathe because she simply takes my breath away. We have this amazing dynamic and sometimes I feel like a five year old is my best friend. She and I have mastered the ebb and flow of our daily routine and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is the happiest I’ve ever been. Still, there’s just one tiny problem…what she and I have is so good, it’s so stinkin’ prefect, that I have no earthly idea how to add a man into the mix without losing everything we’ve worked so hard for. When it comes to dating a being a single Mom, I have no idea what I’m doing.
I was 19 years old when I found out I was pregnant. In that instant of seeing those two little pink lines, I became a Mommy. A lot of things have changed in the past six years but one thing remains constant: It is my job to do anything humanly possible to protect my little girl physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s what Mommies do. While I knew, I just knew, that I was going to marry Prinny’s father, in the very back of my mind, I also knew that our story wasn’t the things that fairy tales were made out of and began to mentally prepare myself for being a single mom. During my pregnancy, I had a girlfriend who was a single mom to the most adorable little boy you’ve ever seen. She dated frequently and most of her potential love interests met her preschool aged son. One day, after my friend and her latest boyfriend had broken up, her little boy crawled in my lap, looked up at me and asked why his Mommy’s friend had stopped coming over to play with him. With his big brown eyes filling up with tears and a tremor in his voice, he asked me: “Is it because he doesn’t like me anymore?” In that moment I made a promise to myself and the little girl growing inside of me that my daughter would never ask that question; that any man who met her was the real deal and was going to be around for a long time.
I’ve dated casually here and there in the past few years and during all that time I have tried very hard to keep my Mommy life and my dating life completely separate. And I’ve done a pretty good job. Maybe even too well. A few months back I had been seeing someone for a few weeks when he asked to meet Prinny. We had only been out a few times and I was completely unprepared for his question. I told him that while I appreciated him wanting to meet her, I still thought it was too soon. He immediately ended it. And if I think about it, I can almost see where he is coming from. Maybe taking five minutes out of our day to introduce him to Prinny wouldn’t have affected her one bit, one way or another, but still…what if it would have?
Being a parent is a job filled with constant joy, love and worry. You worry that you’re going to make some huge colossal mistake and permanently screw up your child requiring years of therapy for both of you. In an ideal situation, you have a partner to turn to, someone who has the same worries and concerns as you do and who you know loves your child just as much as you do. But being a single parent, you don’t have that support. You’re doing it on your own and constantly playing the “what if” game. What if I had stayed with her father? Would she be happier? What if I finally introduce a man into our lives and he leaves? Will it break her heart? But what if I don’t and we both miss out on finding a man who loves both of us? I honestly don’t know what the answer is. But I do know that at the end of the day, Prinny and I are healthy, happy and have each other. And while it is just the two of us, maybe it’s meant to be that way for a little while longer. Because the love of my life is a brown haired brown eyed little girl and I wouldn’t trade what we have for anything in the world.0