Photo from People.comI'm a single mom to my 2 1/2-year-old son, JD.
Long story short, when my boyfriend and I discovered I was pregnant five weeks into gestation, we decided to be parents -- woo! The day after my 12-week sonogram, he bailed. I've learned a lot about single motherhood since then. Here, some advice for new single mom, Sandra Bullock.
- Know in Your Heart How Lucky You Are Every day with your child is a blessing, and for single parents, it's an intimate blessing. Here's why: I witness something miraculous via my son all the time. Whether it's a new five-word sentence ("Mommy, you have pretty hands!") or a stolen kiss on my forehead (thanks Bud!). I used to feel sad that I didn't have someone to share these moments with -- his first step, word, encounter with solid food -- but then I realized, wow, this is all for ME! Better yet, it's all for us (JD and me!).
- Learn the Art of Multitasking From the Beginning Yes, single motherhood is a blessing, but it's also a major juggling act. Here's an example of doing two very important things at once that benefit both you and baby. I call it The Bath-time Facial. (Don't laugh. Okay, laugh!) I plop JD in a tub full of bubbles and boats and rubber cars and then apply my Bliss Steep Clean Mask -- it takes about 20 minutes to work its pore-cleansing magic -- the same amount of time it takes my son to splash and for me to scrub his hair. Get it? (Oh, and the green goop on your face is sure to get a giggle out of your kid -- BONUS!)
- Ask for Help Repeat after me: It Takes a Village to Raise a Kid! Listen, I totally embrace my modern family, but it's so much more fun when my family and friends join in on the action -- be it babysitting, a kid-friendly coffee clutch, or a helper on a vacation. (My brother Brian was my "manny" on my book tour.) It's also wonderful for my son to be surrounded by lots of people -- especially those who offer to engage him while I clean the bathroom or help solve the mystery of the missing toddler sneaker. (Found! In the umbrella can. Two points for Auntie Kate.)
- Make Mom Friends I have loads of sassy, single girlfriends who live in New York City, and a bunch of married, childless friends -- I love them all of course, but I can't live without my mom friends. They keep me sane! They chat with me at the park about fashion and politics (and not the color of poop) while our kids play in the sandbox. They totally understand what it means to get a 5 a.m. wake-up call to the tune of "Pancake, Pancake, Pancake!" and I'm not the only one with a Cheerio, pretzel stick, Goldfish buffet on the floor of my car. Mom friends are special. Period.
- Get Out It's seriously okay to go out sans your child. At first it made me feel really, really guilty. How dare I go on a date and drink a martini while my son plays trains and eats frozen yogurt at home with his favorite babysitter? See how crazy that sentence reads? Whether you sneak away for a mani-pedi, browse the local bookstore or do brunch with your girls -- me-time is essential for you and your baby!
Moms and single moms, please share your advice too! To read about my single mom adventure, check out Rattled: A Memoir.