Ok, I am a Single Mom.
But not by the terms that you probably just read that.
I just Googled “what is a single mom?” and I can’t even call myself that anymore because the common themes of those definitions don’t fit for me.
You see, I live with my former husband, his new wife and our 3 kids. For almost two weeks the other two parents have been gone and I have been home managing things on my own.
Our kids are all teenagers now and they’re all AMAZING kids, so it’s not like they’re driving me crazy or anything like that. In fact, I would venture to say that we all enjoy the peace & quiet that happens when it’s just us, at least for a little while.
But after a week or so, I start to notice a few things, and I take a deep breath and get thankful…
Because I notice and appreciate more that single parents doing this parent thing on their own are no joke. And I have SO much love and respect for them… Like, whoa… Because yes, I’m single, but I’m definitely never alone, and I’m certainly never on my own.
I don’t care who you are, managing a family is like running a business. The larger the business the more people you need on your team to have things run smoothly and be successful. Just as my sweet friend who was watching my son today reminded me, it takes a village!
I know that I say this often, but I realize how very thankful I am for this very modern and unconventional life that we live. How very thankful I am that no matter how weird it seems to the outside world, that my ex husband and his wife are my best friends.
I share this all not to brag, but because I am (we are) a stand for something in this crazy world… for families looking however we create them to look, not how society says they should look and not by way of default because things didn’t go as we planned.
I’m reminded that we each have such a unique and valuable contribution that we make to our families and our kids. That without one of us, this whole thing ceases to exist the way that it does. And I’m thankful for each of us.
What if we all just remembered to be thankful for each other?
And I wonder, what if in all relationships, we remembered the things we loved about each other long before life changed.
What if we considered that as life has gone on and we’ve learned from life, that we all change, often times for the better. And what if we had more compassion for all of that?
And what if we remembered that we each have a role to play in this game of life, and that this is one game that isn’t a competition when it comes to love. We’re in this together because at one time or another we decided together we were going to be.
We all fall down at times, get off track, things get messy, we work really freaking hard and lose sight of things. The players change, rules evolve, but at the end of the day there’s always a greater purpose to stand for… and there’s always love.
I know the holidays are tough for a lot of people, but I share this for what’s possible. Because this time last year and the few years before, things were different and separate and harder. This year we’re all together and our kids are happy and overwhelmed with love. And this year I’m overwhelmed with love and gratitude because we created this.
So from now on, I’m no longer a single mom – I’m a single woman, who’s also a mom 🙂