Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Single Motherhood

As a young girl who was obsessed with Barbies and playing house, I knew how much I wanted to be a Mother one day.  As a teenager moving into young adulthood as a total girlie girl, I not only wanted to be a Mother but I wanted to have a little girl.  I graduated from nursing school and lived the single life...wahoo, was that a great experience!  By the time I reached my late 20s and having just returned from my 10-year high school reunion, I realized it was time to settle down.  I took one last travel nurse assignment to Austin where I met the father of my one and only child.

I was blessed to give birth to my sweet precious girl Maci at the age of 28. By the time she was 8 months old, I found myself in a situation that required me to take my daughter and move on with my life.  Things don’t always go the way you plan when you’re young.  Life will throw curve balls at you when you least expect them.  By the time Maci was 2, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which means I live with chronic pain.  When I became a single Mother and later added chronic pain to the agenda...I had my pity party. Then I remembered a saying: “you can visit pity city, but you cannot stay.” I decided that moving forward I don’t have time for drama and I need to pull myself together for my child. I wanted my daughter to see her mother as a positive role model.  This thought process is how I survive as a single Mother and what keeps me going!

Twelve plus years have passed; I am still a single Mother.  I have enjoyed all of the same things married Mother’s experience as far as seeing the growth and development of their child. I don’t have the luxury of having a husband as a second opinion with decisions regarding parenting styles, discipline, and advise.  I do however have a strong support system of friends and family who are also mothers and we always seek each other out.  I never thought I would say this as a kid, but I call my own Mother and ask her for mothering advise.  Moms do know best!

Being a single Mother has its difficulties ranging from finances running tight from time to time, not enough help to get your child here and there, and mostly not having a whole lot of time for yourself.  I really struggle with putting myself first.  I know most Mothers feel this way.  I work 36-40 hours a week, I am back in school pursuing my BSN, Maci has dyslexia/ADHD and requires assistance with homework and staying organized AND she plays soccer. I try and sneak in community service too. How in the world can I take a little time for me? I have found the more organized I am with my time, it is possible.

My greatest joy about being a Mother is seeing how the values I learned as a child are influencing my daughter.  I think every Mother wants her child to be kind, loving and respectful.  I have enjoyed knowing that I have created a child who is going to make a positive difference in the world we live in.  Yes, I have moments with my child where I want to get on a cruise ship and come back when she is a Mother herself.  But all in all, being a Mother is so rewarding and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Michelle Kelly, RNC-NIC, is a nursing supervisor in the neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano and single Mom to one daughter.

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