Well. I cannot believe it's been 2 months since I last posted. Time flies and it's not only based on fun.
April was a tough month. Glad to see it go. Lots to deal with in terms of kids, schedules, Gabe's visit, etc. It made me tired. I suppose my life makes me tired.
Now it's half way through May and while there are so many things to be grateful for, I find myself sad and stressed.
This week has been a whirlwind. I've interviewed for 2 teaching jobs and I'm preparing for another interview; all while working part time and running 3 kids in 3 different directions. On my own.
So, I want to say here that I'm learning something about myself and about society at large. I'm learning that even though I had a single mom, I didn't get or understand what that was all about. And to take it a step further and to be honest, when I saw single moms at birthday parties or social gatherings in the past, I think I made up a story about them in my head. Key to note here is that anything I made up about their situation was very rarely empathetic or compassionate. This makes me super ashamed.
Because, guess what! Now, I'm that woman. I'm that mom. The one with 3 kids who is trying to do the things I used to do (with a partner) on my own. I'm the person trying to work, figure out child care costs, and be amazing in general. And there are some days where that is seamless and others where I feel fucked and alone. Man, it is such a mind game. This whole thing.
To illustrate: today we were going to the birthday party of one of my bestie's daughters. I was looking forward to it. Thought it would be fun to chit chat while my 3 kids jumped in the bounce house and we sipped sauvignon blanc. Clearly, this was a fantasy and the reality I found myself in was with 3 CLINGY kids who had various injuries, levels of tiredness and our trusty, constant companion, hunger.
UGH. All I do is everything. Literally. I feed them (constantly). I pay attention to the stories, words, sentences, etc all the time. I hug them and get them ice during injuries. Of course I do. But, you know what? I thought the bouncy house at the party would keep them busy, entertained and happy. Instead, it gave them one million more reasons to need me and to cling to me. There wasn't a moment when I wasn't holding someone, fixing a bloody nose, getting someone cake, or helping them in the bathroom. I was so overwhelmed and I was in place (Laura's house) where I'm always so at home. So I felt stressed and teary. I literally almost lost it with tears and a pity party in Laura's backyard.
I also felt guilty. All those times I've seen a divorced mom at a child's birthday party and wondered: Why was the kid dressed that way? It's probably not that hard (since she only has one kid). She probably gets a lot of help from the dad since I'm sure he's local . Etc. ALL OF THIS IS BULLSHIT.
So, I apologize; not just a weak "I'm sorry" but a deep, from the soul apology. To any mom that I've thought this of. Whether single or married or separated. The truth is that there is a lot of freedom in doing this parenting thing on my own. But there is a ton of loneliness, feeling less than and self -doubt as well. There are so many moments where failure is all you feel and all you tell yourself. And that is wearing. There is also so much comparison which no one talks about. I found myself thinking that these women with their wedding rings still in place, have no idea that I used to be one of them. I wore my ring with pride, kept my home with dignity, and felt secure knowing I had those things. But now I don't have any of that. Does that make me less than? NO WAY! But are the feelings there? HELL YES.
Today I caught such a glimpse from God. I saw my children tired, vulnerable, sad and my heart felt broken. I felt like that's how I appear to God. It reminded me that we are still grieving. We have lost all that we knew to be true. And many days we forget all that. But a family birthday party is bound to bring that up. Just thinking of last May.....we were still a family of 5; still us. And now it's us and him. And today that made me sad and reflective.
I will always want the best for my children. I am with them all the time as a testimony to that. I do not date because I'm not ready and because right now I see myself as faithful to them; to our family. The time will come. And God will show me when I'm ready.
Tonight was hard for me. Sad. But I know each sunrise brings new hope. So, I'm banking on that. It's really all I can do!