About two weeks after Eamon was born, I was going crazy with being stuck in the house. Aaron and I bundled up our little bundle of joy and went "out for lunch," which means that we went to Fuddruckers at about 3 PM and ordered our hamburgers to go. There was NO ONE there, except the staff.
While we were waiting for our food, the manager came out and sat down at a table to eat. It turned out that she was also pregnant--and due in a week. She was excited to see our little one, though kind enough not to try to touch him since I am a little paranoid about strangers or excessive amounts of people touching him before he gets his shots (people at school keep asking me when I'm going to bring him in...like I would really take him to an elementary school during cold and flu season).
The manager was actually due the following week. She was having a little boy as well, and asked us some questions about how we were handling him. When Aaron went to get our food and put together his hamburger, she told me how lucky I was that I had him (of course I know this already). The father was not in her life, so she was going to be doing the single mother thing. Not only that, but she didn't really have much family around here, and wasn't sure what she was going to do about babysitting since she works at a restaurant and has crazy hours. Lastly, she only had about 4 weeks of vacation time saved up.
This being Eamon's fourth week of life, I find myself thinking about this woman very often. How on earth is she doing to do it? I had my husband home for the first 3 weeks before I had to go it alone. Today, when Eamon went through his second night of not sleeping (he's fine...he just got overtired and then gassy and then stubborn because he wanted to be held all night), I texted my mother about 5:30 AM and asked if she could PLEASE babysit for a few hours so that I could get some sleep, and she was over here by 6:15. Eamon's other grandparents (Aaron's parents), his Oma and Opa, have also been so kind and generous. They completely did his nursery and helped us get some things were were still missing before he was born (like the swing...thank GOD for the swing), and have already been down twice to offer their support and spend time with their grandson (again, taking care of him so that Aaron and I could get some sleep).
It's not just those who help to take care of Eamon, either. Aaron's job was nice enough to let him take an extra week (he only had 2 weeks of vacation) off. At school, my fourth grade team has been invaluable at keeping me in the loop and making sure that my sub stays more or less on track with my kids. Friends have stopped by to see the little guy, or bring me lunch, or go with me to get our hair done so that I don't go completely insane from lack of contact with the outside world. We didn;t have to buy hardly anything for Eamon ourselves because our wonderful friends provided so much (and Julie even came from Massachusetts to organize it all!).
I don't know how single mothers do it. I have SO much respect and admiration for them. I know that we're extremely lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives. I know it's possible to raise a baby completely on your own, but I'm so glad that Aaron and I have managed to cobble together a great little village to help us out. You are all very loved.
Eamon and Sally (coworker and friend from school)
Eamon and Charmaine (friend and coworker from school)
Eamon and his grandparents on both sides