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Anytime I feel the burn of single motherhood, I think about some of my married friends, namely the ones who wear a constipated frown on their face, ALL of the time. You can just feel their inner turmoil – their certainty of not being able to handle another minute waging against the possibility of an alternate reality. Even if it means enduring years of “meh” or even emotional abuse, people stay in it, to the end, fists up. In these moments, I feel like I’m the lucky one to have been delivered from the low-grade depression that plagues far too many couples these days. I wish that I could reassure them that it’s not selfish to want something healthier. That there’s nothing “normal” about being in a perpetual state of contempt and indifference.
Now that I’m a single mom, I find myself studying married couples and their body language everywhere I go. If I’m at a restaurant and I see a couple texting throughout the entire dinner I think, “Oh yeah they’re on their last stretch.” If I see a couple arguing I think, “Thank God that’s not me anymore.” On the flip side if I see a couple happily holding hands, on a walk with their kids, well down the rabbit hole of despair I go, because dammit I do want that.
It’s so easy for us single parents to have momentary pity-falls. Especially around Christmas time when the family postcards start filing in. Damn Shutterfly. Whatever happened to just plain ole Holiday Cards. They are so stinkin cute these days–the matching outfits, the technicolor exposure, the props, family dog in the mix, etc.
Truthfully, despite my low moments, I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier in my life and here’s why:
1) I’m so grateful that God opened my eyes to the TRUTH. That I have an opportunity to start fresh, to embrace an entirely new path, and that my kids get to see a happier more relaxed version of me.
2) While there are times when I sorely miss having a partner in my life, I have also enjoyed the space and time that my single lifestyle permits. Let me qualify this a bit. I know it seems like my life would be even crazier, having to juggle work, kids, school with less manpower. But once you remove yourself from a situation that is emotionally taxing, that weighs on your heart and mind daily, you’d be surprised how much energy and potential you have.
3) When I made the decision to get a divorce, and I managed to get through that first year, suddenly the floodgates of hope and inspiration busted wide open and I was able to think and feel in a way that I hadn’t in a long time. It gets better. A lot better.
4) I would never in a million years trade the peace of mind and spirit that I enjoy for a less than remarkable man. I now know my non-negotiables and most importantly I know my worth. If you come to embrace the full measure of your value, if you can become unwavering about what you deserve in this lifetime, than there’s no question that things will work out on your behalf.
If I’ve caught you in a rough patch, and you’re really feeling the burn of single motherhood, try re-framing the questions you ask yourself? This is perhaps the most powerful tool you can use.
Asking different questions will lead you to new pathways of thinking. Instead of asking, “Why the hell did this happen to me,” consider this question: “What was I spared by going through this?” “What doors are about to open as a result?” Then step aside of your own panicked fear, open your heart, and let the blessings appear.
If you’re a single mama and struggling with something in particular we should chat! Comment below and let’s connect.
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