I work in the film industry where it’s pretty unheard of to have a kid before you’re at least 36 years old. I’m 32, so by industry standards I’m a young single working Mom and might I add in one of the most demanding fields out there (PR Executive ranked #5 on Forbes 2013 Most Stressful Jobs list). I can’t tell you how often I hear “I don’t know how you do it”. In my head my reply is “What exactly are my options”, what I actually say is “It’s hard but you just do it”.
Ultimately single parenting is hard but not impossible. I actually think working in film publicity for years before I had the baby helped prepare me for parenthood. How would they compare you might ask… see below:
Work: I deal with a lot of irrational mood swings (you gotta love the creative type).
Parenting: Irrational mood swings are toddler’s M.O. (mode of operation).
Work: I get all sort of crazy demands at all hours. This was especially the case when I was an assistant, but the effect on the overall business is now greater as non-assistant so I have to respond to demands immediately.
Parenting: Where do I start here? Should we discuss the whole infant feeding schedule or should we talk about the 5am wake up calls for cookies and ice cream (never going to happen kid). There is always something a kids needs and “Wait a minute” does not apply to them.
Work: A Publicist is always prepared. You need a pen, I’ve got 5. You need an itinerary, I emailed it to you and have a hard copy plus a few extras. You can’t remember what we discussed, no worries, I put it in an email and will forward.
Parenting: I dare you to leave the house unprepared. It will be your worst day ever. I have a snack, water bottle, pocket-sized toy and hand sanitizer in my possession at all times.
P.S. I was planning to write this post and just lay out exactly how I do it, but as I thought more about it, this will have to be a series of post. Some of my “single working parent” methods are comical and some of them will have you thinking “sh*t is getting real”.