While being a single mother wasn't the original plan, when time came for me to choose that option I did without hesitation. For the most part being a single parent really hasn't been much of a problem. I've juggle, sacrificed and performed miracles when I needed to. I've accepted that I'm the sole financial provider, emotional supporter and asst play time buddy. For the most part I don't complain. But that doesn't mean I don't feel the stress of it. It's not easy having no other shoulder to lean on.
Not having a shoulder to lean on means there's really only me. No backup. No stand ins. Full Stop.
This year I've been feeling the pressure of being the only go to person for my son. When my son is sick, I get the call. When snow storms forced daycare to close early, I get the call. When my son needs anything, I get the call. I always get that call because I am the only parent. It's doesn't matter because I will always take those calls. I am his mother. It's what I do. But being the only person is starting to spread me thin.
I can not do what other mothers can. Other mothers have shoulders to lean on. They're free to make plans and enjoy a certain freedom of lifestyle. I am not. Usually it's not a major problem but again this year it's starting to be.
A while ago another mom asked me to join in on a proposal to speak at the Mom 2.0 summit. At the time I was working part time and felt with enough time to plan I could make it happen. Well, the proposal was accepted and an invite to speak was sent. Nice right?
Yes it was very nice, except that the info explaining what was covered as a speaker was only sent recently. While admission to the conference was covered, nothing else was. Which left me with 1 month to plan a flight, book a hotel, get time off from work and find childcare for my son. While I could probably, somehow, by the skin of my teeth find a way to handle the first 3 issues, it's the 4th and last one that's a major problem.
Who's going to watch my son for so many days? As I asked myself this question I already knew the answer. There is one else.
The other mom's on this panel have partners, family and I'm sure a large network of some sort to fill the gap while they're gone. Well, I sure don't. You see I learned from my past 2 trips, where I begged my family to watch him a few days, that being away from my son is stressful for me, for him and for my family. I wont get into it here but that option has been close, cut off, nullified and it's for the best.
I spent most of last night thinking over this issue and this morning I sent the email to withdraw as a speaker on the panel during Mom 2.0. Did it hurt? Oh yes. Will I lose this mom's friendship? Probably, but I hope that mom understands why I had to change my commitment to be there.
As this year progresses, I'm constantly being forced too choose between being a mom to my son and being a social media star, a top mom blogger, a good employee and many other titles. But I am only one person who needs to be two (or more) people for a little boy who depending on me because I am his shoulder to lean on.....