I Don't Need a Man
Today I write to you wearing just my mom hat.
It’s almost 1 p.m. and I’m still in my pajamas + haven’t showered. I’ve had two cups of coffee and I’m on the brink of insanity.
 
Today was just one of those days that I wanted some space. I’m in a funk. I’m trying to take my morning vitamins + she needs to see and be involved + hand them to me slowly after she’s dirtied them up a bit.
 
I’m not allowed to make a phone call, she’s on me, “who’s that mama?”
 
I’m cleaning up the kitchen (again) and she’s emptying the cupboards.
 
I pack the bag for later, she unpacks it.
On any given day, I can take all this in stride. Today? It’s too much. 
 
I sit to write my thoughts, I never even bother to do this but today I need to see me, I need space for me, where am I?
 
She’s trying to sit on my lap. She comes between pen and paper.
 
I’ve resolved to mostly put me aside when she’s with me and awake. Today I need boundaries. I need to set limits. I have to have space.
 
I try to type something + she’s crawling on my lap, “I need to hold you, mama.”
 
Finally, she’s in her crib for nap, but she’s yelling at me for a tissue. Lately, she can’t go to sleep unless we’ve high-fived, fist bumped, kissed, hugged, she has all her babies, cream on her cheeks and a tissue.
 
I don’t know how I let this habit develop. I keep giving in when she screams. I know I have to hold it and not let her demand of me any little thing, but it’s so easy to calm her + quiet her…and just give her a fucking tissue already, much easier than listening to 10 minutes of screaming.
 
I’ve woken up with her every single day of her life.
Just me. No one else. No one is here to say, “Babe, sit, drink your coffee and write in your notebook. I’ve got this.”
 
And sometimes I’m so jaded I don’t know if I ever really want anyone to be here to say that. Who would love me in my pajamas, unshowered, jacked up on caffeine and desperately wanting to push my daughter away?
 
And I don’t need or want love anyway. I’m fine all by myself.
 
But now, I have a baby, and for 2.4 years I’ve so wanted to hold her close, keep her safe + warm + to keep the outside world away…
 
Yet, as we head into 2 1/2 years of me as single mama, me in charge of it all, me totally realizing how much I need support and how hard it is for me to receive it sometimes…
 
I’m attempting to create a new normal, a rhythm, a predictable yet adventurous life in which we both feel nurtured, held, safe and free.
 
She’s bigger + bolder and can do much on her own…it’s scary to realize we’re so close and so separate…
 
And I’m meeting all my anger and rage at all the people who I blame for not loving me the way I needed to be loved, and as I see myself try to create space + boundaries, I see the adults I grew up with who pushed me away. And there were too many…
 
I tell her I’m sorry that mommy’s being busy. I hold her close and tell her I love her and she’s so precious and it’s not her, it’s just me and I feel like I have lots of cleaning to do.
 
She says she wants to nurse. We sit on the kitchen floor, while the dishes are half done.
 
I take a moment and a breath. I look at the sun coming in through the window. I feel the cool breeze across my face.
 
I look down at her olive skin, her golden hair and I brush it from her face.
 
I smooch her cheek and tell her how much I love her, and I do, but I love me, too, and we’re both going to have to live here.
 
My breasts are tender and sore. This is all likely just me about to start my period.
 
For two years she’s been sucking + biting + nibbling + twisting + playing with my breasts + today I just don’t want it anymore.
 
I wonder if I’m drying up. How would I know? I squeeze my nipples and see some milk.
 
In the few sentences I got out in my writing I discovered something.
Summer makes me sad.
I see all the families heading off for their weekend adventures or camping trips + I wish I was, too.
 
I’m not getting enough nature time. I miss the mountains. I’m so busy caring for her and me, and the house and the yard and running my business and keeping up with friends + I’m afraid if I took us camping solo we’d get eaten by a bear.
 
So I keep thinking I need a man before we can camp as a family. (And I know that’s not true, but it FEELS true. Who wants to pack the car alone?!)
 
Its like my little girl (the one inside of me) has been trying to prove she doesn’t need a man since she was two and her father walked out.
 
I’m so tired of pretending that it’s all okay and that I don’t need any help. Have I proven that I’m independent enough yet?
 
I’ve had the career (two!) on my own, I have a car, a house, and even a child on my own.
 
Do you get yet that I don’t need a man?
 
Now that we know I don’t NEED A MAN, can I finally have one please?
xo
Rachel Claire
 
Rachel Claire