Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Solo Mom: The tough stuff

Posted December 13, 2011

Stacy Lamb, organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle

I believe the best way to have a friend is to be one. Hopefully, the fact that I have the best network of supportive friends anyone could ever ask for speaks to the kind of person that I am.

I’ve been a single mom for two and a half years now, and not once have I ever felt “alone.” My kids are widely loved and have a ton of strong adult role models in their lives.

Last week, despite all of that, my resolve was tested.

There was the usual chaos of work and trying to help out a friend or two in need (remember, be one?), that unexpected bill, and all those other stresses that we are all faced with. The standard “when it rains, it pours” kind of week. The kicker was Friday.

My little guy needed a relatively minor surgery. No big deal, right? Just find a way to get the other kid to school on time while guessing what time I should have the little one to the hospital (And which hospital was it again? After all, it had already been rescheduled twice). Oh, and don’t let the two-year-old eat or drink anything – sure, no problem. Logistics figured out – that’s my specialty.

Everyone got where they needed to be on time. And the little guy and I spent a lot of time bonding coloring on hospital sheets, putting stickers on his gown and mask, and answering the same questions over and over. He’s a great kid – not once did he complain or fuss, even though I knew he had to be scared and starving.

And then they finally took him away for his surgery. Every parent would hurt at that moment. We all fear for our kids health and safety, especially when it’s in someone else’s hands. But when I walked out into the waiting room, I was very much alone.

To be fair, I didn’t tell many people what was happening ahead of time, and I didn’t ask any of my friends to go with me. In retrospect, I should have. But maybe my son’s attitude through all the waiting was his way of being strong for me. Maybe this time I didn’t fall apart because he didn’t. Maybe he’s learning a little strength from his mother, and I from him.

For the record, everything went fine and he recovered almost instantly, as kids have a way of doing. And yes, my friends berated me for not asking anyone to be there with me. But, then again, the hospital staff might have been a little unhappy with an army of supporters in the waiting room.

Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She also is organizer for Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.



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  • Killian Dec 14, 2011

    Yeah, I remember watching my kid being wheeled out of the room on a stretcher for surgery. I trusted her docs, but it still scared the crud out of me. Her father was with me, and my mother wanted to come, but her siblings were at school.

    Hope he feels better quickly!

  • friendinnc6 Dec 14, 2011

    It is certainly a scary thing to hand your child over to someone else for care, especially a surgery. This applies even if they say it's a simple surgery. And this is the same whether you are a single parent or not. Some people just handle the situation better than others like asdfg's husband. You said you didn't tell many people, but those you told didn't offer to keep you company? I think I would have prefered to go it alone anyway. I assume you don't have any family in the area to help either. That would make things easier. I'm glad he's okay though!

  • Bklyn2Raleigh Dec 14, 2011

    OMG...I can't even imagine the feeling of having to hand your child over to a doctor to have surgery...heck, I can barely stand to leave him at him Grandma's house to run errands. Blessings to you and your family! It is amazing the love you feel for your children. I think about it often. How you can love someone so much it hurts :)

  • madntad Dec 14, 2011

    I applaud you. Im a single mom of a son for 2 and a half years. And i have always been certain of one thing.....I need him just as much if not more then he needs or needed me. He is an awesome kid! no not always peaches and cream, but i still wouldnt change a thing!

  • no taco p Dec 14, 2011

    I'll be a single father of two for nine years, this New Year Eve, and my oldest one(15 at the time) had to undergo surgery on a broken finger this past summer. I can tell you from experience that you never get over those feelings of helplessness when they take your child back to the operating room.

  • missparrothead Dec 14, 2011

    I recall when my son and daughter had to get ear tubes and the feeling when the nurses wheeled them away. Very empty. They are however, in good hands and know how to successfully treat/handle children. Sounds like you made it through like a trooper. Hats off to you...being a single working mommy of 2 young children is a huge challenge.

  • asdfg Dec 13, 2011

    I completely understand. My daughter had her tonsils out and I was fine until they took her out of the room. Then, I lost it. My hubby was there but I think he just thought I was crazy.