One of my friends recently had a baby and has asked me a few times, "How did you do it all by yourself?" I never know how to answer this, but the first response is, "I just did." Many people have asked me this, not just her. They've said that their husband stayed home from work or came home early to help out. Their sister/mom/MIL/friend stayed with them for the first few weeks to help out. I had help, just not that same kind. I had my parents and Shauna (and Mike) babysit for me when I was at work. They helped with things around the house. Went with me when I was out. But a lot of time I was on my own.
We all know my situation was not normal. I didn't have my husband making trips to Dairy Queen when I had a craving for a KitKat Blizzard. I didn't have him help me off the couch when I was "stuck". He wasn't at the rest of my appointments. He wasn't there when I went into labor. I didn't have him at my bedside caring for me in the hospital when I gave birth. He wasn't there to help with the late night feedings and dirty diapers. I got my own Blizzards. Rolled myself off the couch. Went to my appointments alone. Fed and changed Olivia at 3am. My dad happened to be at my house when my water broke. (lucky him) I was lucky to have my parents and SIL, Shauna, to help me out while in the hospital. They stayed up all night during delivery. They were there both days in the hospital. Shauna even stayed my first night there with Olivia and helped me. Poor thing didn't have any sleep for 3 days and she had a family of her own to take care of! Then my first night at home with Olivia, my mom stayed over to help. She was pretty tired, too. I know I was. I only had 10 hours of sleep in 5 days!
I didn't have a husband there to help with diaper changes or feedings. I didn't have him there to help with the piles of laundry, dishes in the sink and cleaning up the house. I didn't have him there to run an errand for me while Olivia slept. I didn't have him there to help with our traveling visits and all the stuff that comes with a newborn that you have to shove in your car and make 10 trips into the house. I admit, most people don't thinks it was normal. It was hard at times, but not all the time. To me it's normal. It's all I know. I just did it.
I'm pretty sure that when I get married again and have another child (which I want), I will have a lot of getting used to. I'm used to doing everything on my own, with no help. I've always thought about what it would be like to have someone share the duties, or at least help out. My guess is it will be pretty darn easy to me! (Wishful thinking)
I think back and I do ask myself, "How did I do it?" I'm really not sure. It was only a few months since Patrick passed away. I moved into a new condo. I was commuting and hour to Milwaukee for my full time job. I was keeping a household. I was raising my newborn. I guess I'm not sure how I did it. I just did. I had to. No one else was there to do it. Trust me. I had a few breakdowns about very little things in life at that time. I was angry at God. I was sad. I was busy. I was lonely. I was struggling. I was stressed. But the one thing that made me get up early every day is that I was a MOM. The one thing I had dreamed of my entire life.
So, I think that's my answer. How did I do it? Because I love my title as Mom.
Disclaimer: When I mean No Help, I don't mean No Help at All. I have my wonderful family that has been here every step of the way. What I mean is a spouse/significant other to help.