Seven weeks of single parenting with a newborn
Single parenting is hard. It’s a fact. There is no one to share the load with – physically or mentally. It’s down to you 24/7. There are no lie-ins. No teammate to take over bathtime or bedtime. No one to lend a hand when you’re feeling ill. Add in a newborn and it’s a whole different ballgame.
Having been a single parent for the past three years, I am used to doing it all on my own, to be fair I did most of it on my own long before I became a single parent. We had a good routine down, everything worked well. I managed to sneak in a little me-time here and there, and while there was no one to help out or take over, it was all good. The one thing I was worried about whilst pregnant was how I’d cope with a newborn on my own. I mentioned it to a couple of friends and got the standard ‘oh you’ll cope’ back – well, obviously I would. But that sort of answer always drives me nuts ha! When you’re full of worry, being told it’ll be ok is not what you need. You need empathy.
Anyway, in the last couple of weeks before Oren’s birth, I was increasingly worried, right until he was in my arms. The nI knew, no matter how hard, it would all work out.
It hasn’t been easy, yet it’s been so much more everything than I ever imagined. I was lucky to have a straight forward birth, with no complications so I was up and on my feet straight away. I’ve honestly never felt so physically well after having a baby as I did this time around. With no other adult in the house, there was no babymoon for me, no weeks spent on the sofa nursing a newborn, whilst someone else took over the running of the house.
Instead, I was up the day after giving birth, running kiddos to various groups, making sure everyone was fed, playing games with Beastie, generally keeping our life ticking overall at the same time as looking after a newborn with all that entails.
I’m blessed to have older kiddos who have been so much help. I honestly can’t imagine doing this if all my kiddos were little. But with a teen and two tweens in the house, it’s a lot easier. There are always hands happy to hold the baby if I am needed elsewhere, always someone to help with little jobs around the house, or grab me a drink or snack if I’m stuck nursing the baby.
Those first few weeks, I let things go. Meals were super simple, the housework was put aside, everything was relaxed while we all adjusted to our new normal.
Seven weeks have passed, and sometimes I forget how little Oren still is. It feels like he’s always been here, and we have done so much. A camping trip, a festival, days at the river, two trips to Liverpool, home ed groups, and so so much more… as well as normal life carrying on, homeschooling, me working….
Of course, there are days that are good, and days that are less so. Days when everything flows smoothly, and days when I cry with the baby. Days when I manage to juggle all of the balls, and days when they are all scattered over the floor.
People keep telling me I’m amazing, that they don’t know how I do it all. I don’t feel amazing, I just feel like a Mum, doing her best, trying to keep family life ticking over and making sure everyone is happy.
I love my life just the way it is – that’s not to say I wouldn’t love someone here to support me, to give me an extra hour in bed, or to make dinner for me. At the same time, life is good. It may not always be easy, but I get to make it how I want, and I am so blessed to call these five kiddos mine that all the hard days and sleepless nights are worth it.