I finally made it to baby storytime at the library today and I feel accomplished! For weeks now I have been trying to go to one but always failed. So today, I feel accomplished that I was able to get up, shower, get dressed, make breakfast, wake the boys, have them take their breakfast, dress them, packed them up, and get on our way. Storytime usually starts at 9:30 am and we made it at 9:38 am. Mission accomplished.
I have accepted that I would always be tardy for events so I unapologetically walked into the room with my stroller to find it filled with parents holding their eager babies as they sang songs. This reminded me of the show Working Moms on Netflix which always begins with the moms seated in a circle with their babies on their laps sharing baby milestones and singing songs.
Frantically I took my boys out of their car seats, found a seat, and joined this array of exuberant parents. We sang songs together and of course, it was a struggle trying to keep up with the different movements with two babies on my knees but we managed.
I actually thought this would be a little different. First of all, I wasn’t expecting it to be as packed as it was. The event is a walk in so I was only expecting a few parents. Despite that, the filled room was a pleasant surprise since I was eager for interaction with other moms and I have been aching to get my babies out there so that they can interact with other kids.
Lastly, I thought we would be sitting around a circle reading or listening to a book being read but instead, we all sat in a semicircle facing our “instructor” or storyteller. In the front, she had some props and a monitor where the words to the different songs were displayed whenever we had to sing.
I have to admit that I felt slightly out of place here. As a first time mom, my interactions with other moms were relegated to Facebook groups, Instagram comments, and the occasional stranger who felt the need to sneak a peek at my boys at Costco. Other than that, I have rarely interacted with other moms. I also felt like I stood out in my attempts at following the songs with two babies.
The familiar phrases I have always been greeted with made their way out of parents’ mouths striving to remind me of my singlehood.
“Wow twins, you must have your hands full.”
“And I thought I was tired…”
I never know how to respond when people make those remarks. Yes. My hands are very full. With two babies, two jobs, a YouTube Channel, and a Blog, they are barely carrying all the weight. And yes I am very tired. Allday every day.
I always wonder if my interactions are always going to be filled with conversations of me explaining how I “do it all”. I always wonder how they will react when they find out that I do it all as a single mom with little to no help from the dad.
I have only had to deal with my single-motherhood in the interactions online. I haven’t had many instances where I could share the brutal reality of my “hands being full” in real life. So now that I was at the library with these moms who probably have husbands and partners at home, I felt out of place.
Furthermore, when the teacher came to ask me my boys’ names (Hodari and Milambu), made an attempt at repeating them but failed, I felt awkward and made a statement that “you can call them Milo and Dario”, in an attempt to ease the hardship. I felt as though I should apologize for giving my babies such hard names that are hard to pronounce. And this brought on an array of questions as I saw them interact with other babies.
“How will they make friends?”
“Will they face even more hardships because I’m a single mom raising them?”
“Will they be able to make friends”
“Will they get teased for their skin color or names?”
Sitting in this room filled with white faces (one Indian and one Asian woman) “Are they at a disadvantage because they are black being raised by a single mom?”
“Will they be ok?”
Do you ask these questions? Do you wonder how your child/children will progress through this world of opinions and hardship?
I never thought about these questions much. I have always been cushioned by my walls, engulfed by the love and admiration I received from passing strangers who thought they were “so cute”. When I went to storytime I became exposed to another world I had been eager to join but was afraid of venturing into.
Truth be told, there are varying statistics that allude to boys being doomed if they are raised without a father especially if they are black. So I have always pondered the effects of my singlehood on my boys.
Needless to say, they enjoyed themselves. Carefree, they played with toys and interacted with other babies the best way they know. And that made me happy. That reassured me that maybe they’ll be okay.
I always admire the innocence of babies: their uncorrupted minds, beliefs, and thoughts. I want to raise strong men who will survive the tests of this world. I know that despite my worries, preconceived notions, concerns, hesitations, fears, and discomfort, they will be okay.
So, I felt accomplished that I made it to storytime and even more, I feel renewed. As I interact with other moms, I’m sure I’ll have even more questions. All I know is it’s better to be uncomfortable and grow than to stay put and die.It's better to be uncomfortable and grow than to stay put and die. Click To Tweet
How was your first storytime experience? And do you find yourself feeling out of place in situations where there are married moms?