There are moments in motherhood that take our breath away. There are the lovely moments, like when we hear our children giggle, when we feel the warmth of a hug and a wet sloppy kiss or just the everyday mother-child banter. There are also more difficult moments that can leave a mom feeling breathless, like willing a child’s fever to break or watching them struggle with a painful social situation.
Let’s be honest, motherhood is not always sunshine and rainbows…
My experience with mothering has been a majority of beauty, wonder and awesome mixed with moments of storm clouds.
When I became a single mother several years ago it became abundantly clear to me that I was the only adult living in my home with my two daughters.
There was no longer another adult for me to share the day to day ups and downs of parenting. There was no longer someone to call upon for help during bedtime. There was no one there to help me out when one of the girls came down with a fever in the middle of the night. There was no longer someone for me to depend upon for anything at all.
I was truly alone, and I had to be realistic about what had happened and suddenly had to embrace the role of Single Mama.
I quickly learned some very useful things.
I learned that life can change without any warning from one day to the next. I learned the importance of always having enough Children’s Advil and Ventolin in the medicine cabinet. I learned to always make sure that there is extra milk and Tofutti Cream Cheese in the downstairs fridge. I learned to always have some white Bristol Boards on hand for last minute projects that are due at a moment’s notice. I learned the value of keeping an up to date list of phone numbers for the plumber, air conditioning repairman and electrician. I learned that going to bed with a sink full of dishes is not the sign of laziness and is nothing to be ashamed of.
I learned to act brave even when I was feeling frightened.
It has now been almost 4 years that I am a single mother, and I feel grateful each and every day for everything that I have and for everything that I don’t have. I try my best to provide my daughters with the love, guidance and support that they need (while driving them crazy like all good moms do) and have learned how to reach out to friends and family when I, myself, need some good old fashioned support and guidance.
Motherhood is like riding a convertible on a summer day.
There are stretches in the ride which feel easy-breezy and cause us to believe that all is perfect and lovely. There are also stretches which are windy and stormy and find us wanting to pull up the roof and hide out until the storm clouds roll away. I guess the lesson that I have learned is to celebrate the sunny moments, to hold on tight during the windy moments and to gracefully accept the hail storms which can occur at any time.