2017 · single mom

the helping hand

Yesterday was hard. I felt wiped before 10 am as I tried to breathe through some tough family news and juggle work demands. When my day finally wrapped up – almost nine hours after I’d arrived in the office, I sat alone in my car decompressing.

RomCom was actively preparing dinner as I stood, feeling a little ridiculous, without a job to do in my own kitchen. I’m sad, not incapable, I said laughingly and he assured me he was OK to chop vegetables and chicken for dinner. There was a little sense of uneasiness for me as I tried to relinquish control over dinnertime. As he stood over the sink washing dishes after we’d eaten, he pointed out that we needed a double sink. I agreed and reached for a towel to dry. 

When 8 pm rolled around, F made his way into the living room to protest bedtime before I’d even had the chance to tell him it was time to say goodnight. Without a word, RomCom stood and walked down the hall. F followed him, asking questions about this and that and, before I knew it, F was in bed – lights out and quiet. RomCom had handled bedtime unbeknownst to me. I welled up with happy tears. RomCom is a really, really, REALLY good guy.

Long after the lights were out and RomCom was asleep (and snoring, if we’re being honest) next to me, I was still trying to shake the sense of uneasiness. I couldn’t reconcile it: I needed the break, and I appreciated the help, but I still felt uneasy knowing someone else had done the dinner, the dishes, and the bedtime hustle. 

Never, not for a moment, did I think I’d struggle with sharing the burden of home life. 

After years of doing it alone, feeling sidelined was as great a challenge as it was a relief. Learning to allow RomCom to really support me has taken months, and I don’t know if I’ll ever truly be able to hand over the reins… even though I dreamt of a helping hand, the feeling of a partnership, over and over throughout those years.

Last night was the first time I didn’t feel like I was single parenting. It was the first time I felt like I didn’t have to face it all alone. And it was good.

(Even if it was a little scary.)

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