Queer Mom Chronicles: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! I just want to say thank you for being here and reading Queer Mom Chronicles. I love this little corner of Autostraddle that we’ve created, and I’m really excited to continue to grow it and be in community with you all.

When I first started writing QMC, so many people had excellent suggestions for topics they wanted to see me cover, and I haven’t forgotten about them! There are some I really do want to cover this year, including mental load and household chores, childcare, and how to afford kids in major cities. To do the best possible job, I want to speak to experts on some of these topics, and last year, I really dropped the ball.

2023 was a big year of transition and turbulence for my family. It was my first year freelance writing full-time since 2021, and it’s bleak out there in terms of work. I did find one steady gig, but it has changed my schedule in ways that are tricky. My partner works in the entertainment industry and was forced to take a customer service job outside of our home because of the Hollywood strikes. It was the first time she has worked outside of the home since we met, and her not being around as much was a huge adjustment for the household and how things run here. Honestly, it took both of us until about now to really get used to it, and there are still hiccups and disruptions to the routine.

As always, my kid remained steadfast in spite of all the turbulence his moms are dealing with. He’s getting older and school is getting harder (fourth grade math is kicking my ass y’all!) but he still pushes himself even when he doesn’t want to. After beginning to learn the cello in third grade, he is taking his lessons up to the next level, and we’re really excited to watch him continue to excel.

I mentioned in my last column that he was going out of state for a week, and I’m happy to report I survived. He was gone for five days, and I missed him desperately, but I knew it was important to let him have this experience. As much as I’d like to talk more about what it was like, the last time I got too in-depth about the struggles I face co-parenting with his father didn’t end well for me, so I’ll keep it brief. Putting your child in someone else’s care, even if they’re other family members, is really fucking hard. Giving up control is hard for me as a mom who was a single parent for so many years. It’s even harder when you don’t entirely trust your co-parent. But I was able to tamp all my fears down for the sake of my son, and he had a good time. Giving him opportunities to spread his wings is important for both of us. But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it!

He came back just in time for Christmas, and the holidays are always kind of a shitshow when you’re a parent. Christmas day was a chill family day, but the week between Christmas and New Year’s definitely weren’t! Some of my partner’s family is in town, which means I have to be sociable when I’m definitely feeling the fatigue most moms go through during the holidays. This is the last week of my son’s holiday break, and I’m silently checking the days until he isn’t glued to my side, playing Roblox while I’m trying to work. These three weeks have been an absolute fucking slog, and I’m ready to get things back to our routine.

Parents know it’s mostly moms who do all the holiday magic. Frankly, this year it was hard to muster until the last minute. We bought a tree at the beginning of December, but we didn’t decorate it until Christmas Eve. I had gotten my kid new ornaments in October, and I still can’t find where I put them. With my kiddo being gone the week before Christmas, I felt like I was even less prepared when Christmas Eve snuck up on me! That night, I was pulling our matching pjs out of the dryer right at bedtime. I had remembered wrapping paper, but I forgot to get more tape. We had just enough to get through all the gifts. It didn’t help that I was also getting over strep throat — I was just trying to push through most days. This year, I was not feeling my most merry.

With the New Year starting, my hope is that I find a way to feel more settled, but I don’t think that will actually happen. Life just keeps happening, and every day blurs into the next with breakneck speed.

When I was younger, I’d make New Year’s resolutions I would ultimately break within the first few days of the year. Last year, I tried setting intentions for my year, and honestly, when I didn’t feel like I was living up to that intention, I just felt bad about myself. I do that so much anyway that I don’t want to give myself any more reason for self-criticism. Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I want to do this year both personally and professionally. Truthfully, my intention for the year is to just survive. Every morning I get up is a gift — right now there are so many mothers who aren’t even guaranteed that. I don’t want to take it for granted.

My intention for Queer Mom Chronicles is to keep growing and being here for you all. If you have questions, or there are subjects you want me to cover, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I love getting to know fellow parents, so say hi sometime!

How do you feel about the new year? Are you setting intentions? What do you want to see from Queer Mom Chronicles in 2024?


Queer Mom Chronicles is a column where I examine all of the many facets of queer parenthood through my tired mom eyes. 

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Sa'iyda Shabazz

Sa'iyda is a writer and mom who lives in LA with her partner, son and 3 adorable, albeit very extra animals. She has yet to meet a chocolate chip cookie she doesn't like, spends her free time (lol) reading as many queer romances as she can, and has spent the better part of her life obsessed with late 90s pop culture.

Sa'iyda has written 102 articles for us.

6 Comments

  1. Looking forward to more of this column in 2024! I’m not a parent but reading these articles helps me better understand my friends who are parents and what they’re going through. Happy new year Sa’iyda!

  2. Happy new year! I feel you on the new year’s resolution being just making it!! People keep saying things to me like, “we know you’re going to have a great 2024, because look at that amazing kid you’ve got!” and like, yes, she brings so much joy and ability to be present into my life. But also it’s so much fucking work and I am constantly behind on everything and just desperately trying to keep us all going while the world burns down! Love this column, and here’s wishing us both (and all parents and people) some unexpected, generous, loving support this year.

  3. I love this column! The difficulties giving up control as a single mum totally resonates. I have my kids nearly all of the time, and my family don’t live locally to me. So I crave a bit more space from my awesome kids…and then when I get some, I am anxious AF.

    I think we carry so much responsibility as single parents, and there’s so many day-to-day expectations on just us, it gets really embedded.

    “Every morning I get up is a gift”. Love that: setting an intention to remind myself of those words often 🙂

    • thank you so much! i’m so glad to have you here!

      being a single mom really is a lesson in giving up control sometimes, right? but it’s such a hard lesson to learn honestly. happy new year!

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