Community Advocacy and Support by and for Young Mothers

Being Me by Lacey

Being Me
by Lacey

Being a young, single mommy like me is.... ...seeing everyone stare at you in public, because cause your clothes are dirty, your kids are dirty, your mouth is dirty, and wondering why they don't understand that those aren't the important things.

...watching your kid pee all over you and instead of being mortified, laughing about it.

...hearing noises from outside at night: police sirens, footsteps, unidentifiable sounds, and being afraid that you are the only thing standing between what's out there and your children.

...getting used to the fact that you can never find your toothbrush, forget to put on two matching shoes, forget to turn off the lights, leave the bread in the oven, because you've been living on half a nights sleep for two years.

...trying to make people understand that staying at home to be a mother is a job in itself. A much more stressful, tiring and demanding and much more beautiful, rewarding and progressive job than any nine to fiver.

...getting pissed off when people say, "well, you have it easy. You don't WORK. You're JUST a Mom. "

...missing work cause your baby-sitter's sick and you can't find a replacement, hearing the same lecture from your boss again, starring at the bills that can't be paid, and having to put on a happy face no matter what you're feeling, for your child sake.

...hearing the delighted sounds of your baby's laughter, and upon investigation find she is playing with the cockroaches infesting the kitchen.

...having the flu and no one to turn to, nowhere to hide, making macaroni and cheese for your kids and vomiting in the sink from the smell.

...feeling guilty because you're children's father is living in his car and begging for help. Saying no because you can't let him into your life anymore. Feeling guilty because cause where is your humanity? Feeling angry, because where was he when you were living in your car?

...losing a man you really liked because you're children's father is too jealous to stay out of it.

...choosing between paying the car insurance or buying Christmas presents.

...teaching your kids to say "no se habla English" when bill collectors call.

...not realizing how often you use the word "fuck" until you're children start using it too often.

...laughing at and loving your new vocabulary of words like: ouchi-wouchie, buh-baa, night-night, poopies, yucky stinkies, luvey wuvey you-ou's .

...seeing the look in their eyes change when an interesting man is interested in you and you tell him you have a child. Watching yourself turn, in his eyes, from sex object to desperate mother out to trap a surrogate father and husband made of money.

...getting sick of men who say, "I love children!"

...wondering if and when you should introduce the man you've been dating to your children.

...understanding why you love your friends. For it is they who soothe your maternal worries, listen to you bitch about your child's father, come over at night when you are breaking down, take you out when you need to be free, justify your parenting choices and assure you that you are lovable, wonderful and intelligent.

...wondering if it's okay to have a purely physical relationship with a man. Does this make you an unfit parent? A whore? A poor role model? A regular woman?

...going from being sad to euphoric in less than a second because your daughter wrapped her pudgy arms around you and said for the first time, "love you, mommy."

...chasing your child through the grocery store, Planned Parenthood, or welfare offices, wondering if she has super natural powers of speed or are you just finally old and out of shape.

...learning how to carry on a natural conversation without a second glance to your child who is throwing the mother of all tantrums. They'll grow out of it.

...wondering why all the easy chores are "men's work", like taking out the garbage, fixing a leaky faucet, and mowing the lawn. Being glad you don't have a man around so you were able to find out the truth about this. it up with other single mothers, for it is only they who truly "get" you.

...hanging out with your friends that aren't parents, and remembering how delicious it was to be so free, but knowing you have a blessing they haven't yet had the joy of experiencing.

... remembering that you are not just a Mom, but also a womyn. While the two go hand in hand, you also need to nourish the parts of you that make you YOU.

...realizing that when you think you have no one to turn to, no one to lean on, you actually do. You have yourself

...being a single mommy is being really fucking strong and lucky and blessed and powerful.