On being a single mum

I’m a solo, surrogate parent to a now 9 month old baby girl, 30 hours a week.

Her parents have both returned back to the workforce, so I’ve been hired to go into the family home, and look after Molly four days a week.

She’s cute, it has to be said. Like, super cute. Especially the way she wriggles her feet when she’s feeding and coos when she’s happy.

But it’s also damn hard work. The challenges aren’t at all what I was expecting. The things you don’t think of, like – what do you do with the baby when you need to use the bathroom?

Apparently Molly’s sweetness doesn’t melt every heart however.

‘Single Mum’ Experience #1.
Recently Molly was crying incessantly from teething pain so we went for an hour-long walk to the shops and back. She ended up asleep and I ended up hungry so I went into a bakery. The woman at the counter stopped smiling at the sight of me and all but refused to serve me. I don’t know whether it was the pram in her spacious shop (trust me, there was well enough room cos I analysed all the Bishopdale shops for that particular feature before deciding which one to enter) or the fact I looked like a veeeery young solo mother (apparently I still look 16) but either way the shop assistant, an older woman, pursed her lips and tossed my paper bag containing the apple turnover to me.

So I was slightly anxious about how the (mostly retired) people would react to having a rather loud baby at a serene weekday mass.

 ‘Single Mum’ Experience #2.
I staggered into Saint Teresa’s balancing Molly and Molly’s bag, thumped down onto a pew and belatedly noticed adoration was going on before mass began. I pulled out some Tiny Teddies for Molly to munch on to keep her quiet; she squealed with joy at the sight of the packet. Continue reading

Jessica studied Music Performance at the University of Canterbury and works as both a model and photographer.

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