Everywhere I look online, I see moms with young kids…blogging about it. It seems like there are pictures of happy families– a husband, a wife, a couple young kids. I often reminisce about those days, wondering where the time went. I see photos I took during those days and wonder why I can’t remember those moments.
I remember those days when the kids were young and my days were made up of trips to the YMCA to work out and have some coffee and chat with my friends, errands, housework, naps…you know how it goes. The days were grueling with three kids home under the age of 4.
Being in the trenches of motherhood are NO.JOKE. Although I love looking back at pictures and I absolutely adore my kids, I’m not entirely sure I’d go back to that time in my life. I filled myself with them completely, to try and avoid the pain of my marriage. Something big that was missing for me was time for myself, to have friends outside of my kid-filled world, to do the things I loved, for me. My now ex-husband offered little support, which made it even more stressful. I felt like a single mom even though I was married. I would have had PLENTY to mom-blog about when they were young.
So much great material.
Fast forward to now. My youngest is now 5 and all of the kids are in school all day, every day. I’m out of the trenches.
When you are a single mom, your mornings start and you are going until late at night. EVERYTHING is on you. Meals. Shopping. Sick days. School activities. Sporting events. Practices. Appointments. Bedtimes. Lunches for school. Money/bills. Enough to fill every moment and thought on how you’re going to do it all. The mom stuff still takes up a lot of time and energy, but it’s less kid-centered, if you know what I mean.
Am I doing this all wrong?!
The answer is no. None of us are. The physical and emotional exhaustion is the hardest now, more than before. With everything on my plate and very little help, and no financial support from him, keeping up is hard. There are days I wonder if I am literally doing it all wrong, because should it really be THIS HARD?? There are days I know I’ve been short tempered and impatient. There are days my anxiety gets the best of me and I just can’t deal with the world and I start counting the days until my kids are gone for their weekend with their dad, just so I can try to rest and not have to think about feeding them. By the time they come back, I’ve missed them so much, my heart aches, but I feel like I have completely failed them as a mom that I wonder if I will ever do better in this area. When the kids get older and they aren’t home all day, there’s still LOTS of awesome mom-bloggin’ material, but there aren’t so many older-kid mom blogs. Because the struggle is just different. Our roles as moms changes as they get older and life changes.
I’ve heard the things people say about single moms. I’ve seen the “funny” memes about single moms. They are not so funny and definitely not nice. Maybe you think we chose this life. Maybe you think we shouldn’t have had so many kids, or any kids at all. I was a single mom, then got married. And, I can assure you, I never thought I’d be a single mom again once I got married to my now ex-husband.
The kids are listening
There are plenty of reasons why I chose to leave him, but the biggest one was my life. I saw no way out while I was with him because I had been a stay at home mom. How would I support us? It got to a point I thought I would have to die to get out. I became a single mom again so I could live and so my kids would have a mom. One day I laid on the couch and said over and over to myself “I am worth more.” Saying it hurt and I cried. I couldn’t put up with the abuse anymore. I figured I would figure out the money and we have. Money is still tight. Life is still a puzzle being put together. As the kids grow, they pick up on more. Be careful with what they hear.
Many people thought I had a great life and that I had it all together. People show the world what they want the world to see. We don’t want people to think we can’t handle the life we have. So before you judge anyone, please consider that there is usually a LOT more to the story and if I can be brutally honest, if you knew even half of it, the strength of that woman will probably astound you.