No One

IMG_5173As I sit here tonight going through pictures of Tate, ‘checking’ Facebook, deleting some emails, I am overwhelmed by the quiet of my home. Tate has been in bed since 7, and Vincent is still not pleased with me over his visit to the vet yesterday.  I looked around and just became insidiously aware of my aloneness. Every. Single. Night.  Once Tate is asleep I do have a myriad of things to accomplish before I can rest and just be. I have to clean up the dirty dinner dishes, clean out his lunch bag and backpack and put all those items into the dishwasher or clean them.  There’s always laundry to be done, picking up after Tate (and the cat), dishwasher to be emptied, bills to pay and showers to take.   But it’s all done alone.

Just me.

No one to share the details of my day with.  No one to say ‘Should we watch television or just hang out?”  No one to ask ‘Can I lend you a hand?’ No one to say ‘You’re doing a great job.’  No one to ask how I’m feeling. No one to massage my tired feet.  No one to enjoy my meal with if I didn’t get my act together to eat with Tate.  No one to just sit there and be a witness to my life.  

The phone doesn’t normally ring after 7:30pm as most of my friends have families with children and husbands.  Homework is being done, baths are being taken, swim lessons and soccer practice are running late, so dinner will be late.  And once their kids are in bed, they’re doing much of the same things I’ve been doing only there is someone there to share it with.  Now I’m patently aware that many or some partners don’t do their fair share of sharing, but I’m not referring to ‘chores.’  I’m referring to just sharing a life with someone…the mundane, everyday nuances of living.  I think I miss that.  Tonight the quiet is deafening.  Tonight I’m lonely.  And I know this feeling may be that I just had a houseguest for 10 days, so his presence is definitely missed.  But for whatever reason, tonight I’m lonely.  

This single life is hard sometimes.  I think I thought having another person in this house albeit a child would make the loneliness seem less intrusive, and it definitely does.  Yet though Tate’s laughter, joy and embracement of life fill up every single corner of this house, I’m still lonely sometimes when he’s awake.  I love watching him live his life, and I wish many a time there was someone else who could sit here with me and witness his life.  I know he won’t remember these days, and now I’m charged with remembering it for him.  Me.  Just me.  

Being single is hard.  And tonight it’s been exceptionally tough.  So, I shall go off to bed in the room I share with my precious boy, run my hand down his little back to feel his sweet tummy breathe in and out as I always do, press a kiss to his head and climb into bed.  Alone.  Maybe he’ll wake up tonight and want a cuddle.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  My soft sweet baby all tucked up under me.  That will make being single and alone in the bed completely worth it.

Jennifer C.

3 thoughts on “No One”

  1. Jennifer,

    Being a single mom has it’s challenges, but you will reap the rewards and be a much stronger person in the end. I became a mom soon after college (not through ai, but the father went MIA after finding out, so in all essence he was a sperm donor). I never once thought about giving up my baby–I always knew I wanted to be a mom–I was the little girl who always had her baby dolls in tow:) I knew I was going into parenthood alone and would have to make a lot of difficult transitions. I traded in going out for cocktails with friends for prenatal vitamins and sleep. I was so excited and amazed during the whole pregnancy, so much so that I really didn’t even notice anything else or care what I was missing with my friends. After my daughter was born, I would get invites to go out with friends, but either I was too tired or the when I wasn’t tired I found that I didn’t even want to miss one minute of being with my daughter–I was a very hands on type mom–I carried her most of the time in the evening after work until it was time to go to bed and even then she slept in my bed–the playpen and strollers were places to put her toys most of the time. I think while she was a baby/toddler I was so focused on her that I didn’t have the urge to date–but I did wish that someone was there to share all the “firsts”–the first laugh, the first time she rolled over, etc. When she got a little older, I would date, but often didn’t think that they guys I met were ready to be fathers–and I didn’t want to introduce just anyone to her. I sort of lucked out and did’t have to talk to her about her father early on–she went to a parochial school–where she learned about Mary’s immaculate conception in preschool–she didn’t question anything for quite some time. We were always inseparable–I loved (and still do) spending time with her, watching her learn and grow. Over the years it’s been the two of us, like the Gilmore Girls, we’re best friends most of the time, partners in crime from time to time, and always mother and daughter. I never really realized how much extra work a single mom puts in until recently when my friends began having kids and hearing them complain about the things they don’t get to do and the things they have to do. I usually just laugh because they have husbands who help them and most of them don’t nearly do as many things as I used to do to be involved with my daughter (I do have to remember that I was in my 20’s and my friends are just beginning parenthood in their 40’s) There were definitely times of loneliness–especially around the holidays or when attending a wedding alone–but I’m nearing the end of my daughter’s high school years—and when I look at what a lovely young lady she’s become I know it was all meant to be. I’m trying to get used to not spending as much time with her, encouraging her to go out with friends on the weekends, those are the loneliest hours for me so far–I know I have done the best that I could and that it’s her time to become her own person and will soon go off to college–I don’t think I’m ready to deal with loneliness at that level but know everything will be all right. There are sacrifices we as single moms make (not spending time with friends, missing family functions due to work, not being able to get your kid everything that their friends have, making compromises at work–in my case changing careers and work places to try to have the best schedule to be able to do things with my daughter, even if it meant less pay–my child is going to remember that I was always there to cheer her on for her activities, to volunteer for all her field trips, that I always listened and valued what she has to say) These things have made her a strong and confident person (who is now aware of the fact that she does have a father, yet has never sat around sad about not having him around. She actually has a difficult time understanding her friends problems when they are upset about their divorces parents because we haven’t had to deal with those sort of issues) and strengthened our bond. Sorry I rattled on and on—bottom line is—you will be all right. Just focus on your little man and everything else will fall into place–whatever that may be.

  2. I also know these feelings! And I am not even a single mom yet (have been trying to become pregnant for the last 2 years and still no success, but still hoping it will happen very soon).

    But luckily, I only have these feelings of loneliness about once every 2-3 months, and then there is usually a reason for them. Like you said, your houseguest had just left. That is exactly the kind of situation where I would also become a bit sad and lonely, maybe even a tiny bit depressed. But I don’t think this is only true for single moms. Because at least in my case, I remember experiencing exactly the same feelings when I was a child, living with my parents and siblings, and my grandpa had left after a 2-week-visit as a houseguest. Somehow there was a gap every time after his departure, even if there were still 4 other people around me.

    So whenever I am feeling lonely or sad, I remind myself that there is a reason for it and that the lonely feelings will therefore pass in a day or two. And they do, every time. Because in general I am really not lonely at all, it is only these reasons that cause the temporary feeling.

    I don’t know about you, but I personally enjoy my freedom most of the time. To be able to decide for myself, what and when I want to eat, where I want to go, what I want to watch on TV. So most nights I am absolutely fine. I just don’t always realize that I am fine because it is the norm. The only thing one notices and keeps in mind are the nights where one feels lonely. So I try to remind myself now and then that the lonely nights are the exception, because they really are (in my case).

    And I believe that people who are not single experience loneliness, too. Of course it might look or feel different, because there is another adult, but if this other adult does not seem to see or understand ones problems and worries or even contributes to them, it might even feel like a worse kind of loneliness I think.

    And as a last thought, you mentioned that the phone doesn’t usually ring in the evenings. But still you have the option of picking it up and making it ring at someone else’s house 😉 Maybe other people would be happy about a spontaneous call, who knows, they might be feeling lonely, too…

    Anyway, I hope you are feeling better again! 🙂

  3. I know what you mean and I certainly have nights just like that.. I have two kids and another on the way. On nights when I’m unbearably lonely, I just climb into bed with one of my daughters. Snuggle for few moments and then hop back into my bed and go to sleep. It helps me shift my focus from what I don’t have to the two little amazing people that I do have. We are human. It’s normal to want adult companionship and it’s okay to feel this way, you just can’t let it consume you. I hope things get better for you. These guys are only small for a little while – then they grow up and you’re free to hunt down the perfect guy. Free to go on crappy (or amazing!) dates with strangers. Or not. 🙂

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