I’ve been living on my own for three months now and it’s been quite an adjustment. Going from being a married, stay at home mom seeing my kids everyday to a single, working mom seeing my kids every other week.
I’m not going to lie the weeks with my kids are just as hard as the weeks without them. I’ve always had this idea of the kind of mother I wanted to be and the things I wanted to do with my kids. But life doesn’t always work out quite the way we plan does it?
The weeks with my kids there are the normal stresses of parenthood. Sibling fights, fighting new foods, fighting bed time and trying not to miss the bus so I don’t wind up being late for work. Trying to keep the laundry and dishes caught up during the couple of hours we are home during the week. And don’t even get me started on bath time.
The hardest part for me though is the feeling of not being enough. There are so many times where I feel like not only am I not enough as a mother but like I’m just screwing my kids up. I don’t spend enough time with them when we’re at home. I’m not doing as many activities with them as I should be. My condo is small and doesn’t allow a lot of room for toys and playing. I don’t have the money to buy them things that other kids have or go places other people go. My anxiety gets the best of me and I get frustrated too quickly sometimes. There are times I feel so overwhelmed and just need a few minutes to myself and then feel guilty for wanting to be alone.
Then there are the weeks without my kids. The first couple of days are always nice. I’m working and getting caught up on everything that fell behind the week before. I enjoy the quiet and being alone, which also makes me feel a little guilty.
But then I start to notice just how quiet it really is. The house is so quiet, too quiet. I put on music and try not to let there be a quiet moment so I don’t feel alone. I try to put a lot of focus on my writing, crocheting and just figuring out life. But sometimes that’s not enough. I know I need to get out of the house and have a life, I really do. And one day I will get there. I will meet people I have real connections with. People with the same interest . People who I can really be open with and talk to. But right now in this season of life it’s just a lot of time alone trying to figure out ways to become my best self.
I know I’m doing the best I can with with the life I have. I know my kids love me and think I’m a great mom. I know that there are people in my life that care about me so I’m not really alone. But I’m also in a very different place in life than most of the people I know. I don’t say any of this because I need reassurance, as nice as it can be.
I say this because I know there are so many other mothers, single or not, who feel the same. And it’s not always reassurance that’s needed. Sometimes what’s needed is just to know that you’re not alone in how you feel. That no matter what your situation is you’re allowed to feel the way you feel. You’re allowed to feel tired, overwhelmed, angry at life, sad alone, happy alone, lost or like you have it all together. No one’s situation can be judged as better or worse than the person next to us. We all have challenges and struggles that no one knows about. Wherever you are in life you’re allowed to feel how you feel without judgement or opinions of others.
I wish I had something more uplifting and hopeful to share. But I don’t. This is where I am in life. This is what’s real for me so it’s what I share.