I never anticipated this current season in my life. I’m raising two kids, going to school, and trying to build my career.
And at the ripe age of 30 years old, I’m suddenly navigating life as a single mom.
I’m realizing that when the trash needs to be taken out, I have to do it. When the bills come in the mail, I have to pay them. And when my kid clogs up the toilet with a whole roll of tissue, I have to fix it. I’d like to brag about the fact that I learned how to snake my toilet last week.
But even with my little victories, it’s still easy to have moments where I feel like I can’t handle all this new weight. And that I’m going to fail miserably.
Here’s how I’m redefining life as a suddenly single mom:
The responsibilities in my household are the same, but now they all fall on me. I also like to have some semblance of a life outside the home. I’m currently working on embracing the foreign concept of known as “resting.” I don’t have to do all of the things. I don’t have to be all of the places. And as long as me and my kids are happy and healthy, the world will not end if I order take out for dinner.
I’m slightly obsessive about my routines. I hate arriving to places late. I don’t like my kids going to sleep after their bedtime. I like my towels folded a certain way. And dirty dishes in the sink make me cringe. But I’m figuring out these expectations I’m placing on myself are unrealistic. So what if those dishes have been in the sink since yesterday? Who cares if the kids go to bed 30 minutes late? All these things are survivable. At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.
I feel like my kids need this now more than ever. It’s so easy for me to just check out mentally while I’m trying to figure out HOW ON EARTH I’m going to do this. Most evenings I wish I could just lose myself in a bottle of wine and fall asleep. But my girls need me there to talk to them about their day. They need me to play with them. They need to know that during this time of tremendous change my love for them remains the same.
Be Gentle With Yourself
And while I’m giving them TLC, I can’t forget to do the same for myself. I’ve had more than a few “what the fu** have I done,” and “what the fu** am I going to do,” moments over the past couple of months. I’ve also been afraid my kids are going to hate me. Or that my youngest will start to feel like dad is more fun than mom, because he is much more financially capable of giving her fun experiences right now. While food, clothing, and shelter are my focuses. But I’m telling myself to STOP! I’m doing the best I can. And that’s all I can ask of myself.
I initially wanted to keep all the crappy stuff I’m dealing with to myself. Honestly, it’s pretty embarrassing to reveal that you’re not as well put together as you try to appear. But I realized that by keeping it to myself, I was missing out on the support of all the amazing people in my life. So I first told those closest to me. Then I told all of you who take the time to ready my blog. And everyone – all of YOU – have been nothing less than amazing. My heart is full from all your kind words. I feel all the good vibes and well wishes. And I don’t regret my decision to share.