I see you…
I see your hard work, your worries, your late nights/early mornings, and all the things you do to try to be more than just one parent raising a tiny human in hopes of setting them loose into the world to make it a better place.
I’ve been on this path for nearly 14 years, and to be honest, I’m proud of how far I’ve come, but I am also beyond exhausted. Raising children is hard enough when you have a partner there to help you carry the burden of all the fears and anxieties that come with these wonderful little people who lack a thorough instruction manual. Trying to navigate this path on my own is terrifying on my best day.
Please don’t get me wrong…
I know I chose this path. It wasn’t the path I wanted to take, but in order to protect my three girls (and most likely myself), it was the path I needed to take. Yes, I have support. I have some family, and some good friends who are like family, and they have played a significant role in my children’s lives and made their lives so much better than they might have been.
However, even though I am overflowing with gratitude for the love and support given to my girls and me, it doesn’t change the fact that late at night I lie awake with no one to share my fears and dreams with. There isn’t a partner there to help negotiate the truly difficult choices facing me. At the end of the day, I am the sole decision maker.
What if I make the wrong choice?
That’s on me…
Today is Mother’s Day. I love being a mom more than anything else in this world. My girls are the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, and they are the very last thing floating through my exhausted mind as I finally drift off to sleep at night. They are my heart and soul, and you better believe there is nothing in this world, or the next, that I would not do for them. They are my everything.
So you might be surprised to learn that Mother’s Day is one of my least favorite days of the year.
I assure you it has nothing to do with the three beautiful girls that made it possible for me to celebrate this day.
It does, however, remind me of how alone I feel on my parenting journey.
Every Mother’s Day, I hear all these wonderful stories; all these wonderful mothers showered with gifts of appreciation from their children; children who had help from their other parent. The other parent who takes the kids to pick out flowers, or make a craft, or plan a meal. There is someone there helping these kids learn how to plan ahead and make the day special.
Please don’t walk away from this post thinking I’m sad because I haven’t been showered with gifts. That’s the very last thing on my list. Sure, I love gifts as much as the next normal person! But I don’t need anything fancy to make me feel special. Just ask anyone who really knows me. I am pretty low maintenance.
And my kids are learning from me how to remember special days. Every time a friend or family member has a birthday, or when a holiday comes round, I help my girls think about how they can express their love and appreciation. I’ve taught them that love doesn’t have to be expressed through spending money. Something as simple as a hand made card, or writing a funny poem can mean just as much. In fact, it means so much more because of the effort involved in its creation. One of my girls gifted me with a special text message this morning with photos of one of my favorite music artists. It was unique and special because she thought of it all on her own.
So please do not get the wrong idea. My sadness on this day simply comes from the reminder that there is little piece missing that I had assumed would be there forever. I didn’t walk into parenthood with the plan to do it solo. Never in a million years would I have guessed I would have to walk out the door with my three girls and never look back. I don’t think any single parent really ever imagines tackling the job all on their own.
But here we are; all our blood, sweat, and tears being poured into our children with the hope that we aren’t screwing them up too badly along the way.
So on this Mother’s Day, I just want my fellow single moms to know I see you. I know what you are going through; the struggles you face; the fears you harbor, and the dreams you nurture. You’re not as alone as you might feel. We are in this together. And when our children take off and soar on the wings we have helped them build, we will take a deep breath and allow ourselves to feel proud of the work we’ve done.
Some days are harder than others, but in the end, everything we have sacrificed will be worth the struggle. I truly believe it will.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! YOUR CHILDREN ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE YOU!