"Don't you get lonely?"


This is a question that I am asked far too often.

I constantly get the "I just don't know how you do it" comments (always meant in the nicest possible way of course) and every time, I answer with the same line:

"It's fine, you can't really miss what you never knew, can you?"

I mean, it's totally not fine but in many ways, this is the truth, I don't know what I'm missing. 

I don't know what it's like to have a partner take care of my heavily pregnant self.
I never saw my baby's father holding him the moment he was born.
We never got that first family holiday or our first Christmas "just the three of us
." 

So in some respects, no I don't miss what I've never known or experienced. I guess I don't really know how to miss it. 

Taking care of a two year old, alone, constantly, can be exhausting to say the least. Which is why, more often than not, I can't seem to find the time to feel lonely. By the time Etienne is in bed, I am too tired to care that I am by myself in a silent flat. Most of the time I don't even bother to switch the TV on. I am not afraid to be alone, I am not afraid of my own company. In fact, I quite like it these days.

<Luggging the sleepy head up the stairs>
I spend a good 12 hours a day being a mum, rushing around and meeting someone else's needs, that by the time evening comes around, it is nice to relax and unwind in total peace. It gives that same feeling you get when you finally sit down for your lunch break after a busy morning at work. I totally shut off.

For myself and Etienne, this is our version of 'normal' and neither of us have any idea what it would be like to be part of a larger family, we are happy and healthy but I still wouldn't wish this situation on anybody.

 No child nor parent.

 It is hard work. Emotionally, physically, financially. It's bloody hard. 


Nobody should have to feel abandoned.

 No pregnant woman should have to face nine months of hyperemesis gravidarum (severe, persistant morning sickness incase you weren't sure) alone, without the support of a partner. 

No child should have to wonder where their other parent is or why their friends all have daddies but they don't.

So yes, there are times when I wish we were 3 instead of 2, because I would rather my son had his father in his life. There are times when I would really appreciate some help and support, times when I would love to be a part of a cute little family planning holidays and sharing the joys of parenthood together. 

There are definitely moments when I fight the lump in my throat upon watching fathers with their children at the park or seeing men kicking a ball about with their sons, though normally, these are brief moments of sadness and the "what if's" shortly followed by reality and normality. 

I can't imagine there's any mother out there in my situation who doesn't sometimes wish things could've been different, but I don't necessarily wish for a partner to be a part in my life, I just wish that my son had two parents who cared about him and loved him as much as I do. 

Some days are harder than others.

Weekends particularly SUCK, because this is the time when I am reminded that we are the odd ones out. 

Throughout the week we have a great social life, Etienne has plenty of play dates and I have enough coffee dates with my friends to have lead me to, what has now become, an actual caffeine addiction. (Oops. But it could definitely be worse!)

 However, at weekends, these friends tend to disappear. They disappear because it is family time. Their partners are off work so they're enjoying Sunday roasts and seafront walks together. It's really sweet, but for me it can be somewhat bittersweet. 

Sometimes, I appreciate our situation. Sometimes I am even thankful for the fact that we have a peaceful life together, minimal conflict and plenty of freedom. We have so much quality time with one another. We are together near enough 24/7, with the exclusion of two mornings at nursery per week. We are crazily close and a lot of the time I think we resemble best buddies more than mother and son. 

It's definitely not all of the time that I picture an alternative to the beautiful little family setup we already have.

Without a doubt, Etienne is my family and he is the BEST kind of family. And if changing our situation meant any less of a bond between he and I, then I most definitely wouldn't be switching any time soon. 

As long as I have the company of my little love, I don't really need much else. 

Besides, when there's nobody around, nobody can hurt you, right?