My facebook keeps blowing up. Blogs about moms in their 30’s, stay at home moms, working moms, moms doing this, moms doing that, moms who just need a break and are explaining this to their husbands. There are so many types of moms all in different arenas of life.
It’s my turn. I am in a category that is narrow, I cannot think off the top of my head of anyone that has been in my shoes. I know they are there, I am not alone, but I don’t fit in with all these other mom blogs and it’s wonderful everyone is encouraging each other, but then there is me. The one who never fits quite perfectly into any of the scenarios I read and I’m sure there are others who feel this way.
Here is our mom story/my story.
I am a mother. A full time mother, 100% of the time. A single mother, no sharing the parental responsibilities ever. A dragon wrangler of not one or two, but three and wait…four!
“You chose to have them.” Yes I chose to have them. Yes I love every single one of them to their itsy bitsy core. Yes, did I say I did choose to have them? Yes this has been said to me multiple times by multiple people. Reminding me that I am solely responsible for their lives, for their health, behavior, sleep or lack of it, education, morals, present beings and who they are shaped into for the future. I knew what I was doing when they were created. I chose to make them, to have them.
Might I add that I did not choose to have them alone. I did not choose to do this thing called life with four minions, who are at the moment seven and under, by myself. So when you are visiting my house and I have one clinging to my body like a monkey, one screaming because I chose the wrong cup, one burning the toast and one yelling to have their bottom wiped and you get annoyed at the chaos and say, “you chose to have them,” remember that I am fully aware of where these little people came from. Maybe have a little mercy and go wipe a bottom for me.
When you see that mom in the store who looks like she has it all together. The makeup on, the necklace on, the kids semi-decent and she looses her cool a little more than what’s cool. Maybe you should keep that judging eye and think hmm…maybe she has been constantly around these kids for the past 712 days and quite possibly that is a little wearing.
Or you might see that same mom in the store who suddenly looks like the dragons got the better of her. The pants that don’t fit right, the hair a frazzled mess, the mascara smudged from the tears that were shed earlier in the van, the toes a chipped nail polish of a mess, the shirt covered in boogers and oatmeal or was that oatmeal and boogers? Who’s children have rats nests and long overdue hair cuts, who have mismatched shoes, plaid, zebra print and polka dot clothes all at once and are singing at the top of their lungs. Maybe those same kids are climbing in the freezers, touching all the fruit, dropping the watermelon and running down the aisles and that momma is growing misty eyed and defeated. Maybe that judging eye, that old man that sighs so rudely as she unpacks her cart, protects the wall of candy from screaming prying hands and licking tongues, is referee to slapping angry loud children, and stops the last child from pressing the oh so fun button that makes all the food come right over the edge of the counter of the bagging area and onto the floor while convincing them that cantaloupes do not go in the bag with the eggs. Maybe that old man or evil eye might think…maybe she is going home to an empty house with these same children. Maybe she is going home to be locked in a house all night with these never ending, energy sapping creatures. That your face may be the last face she sees all night that isn’t seven and under. Maybe that judging eye or sigh can be turned to a smile and bring a little light to her day instead of draining her more emotionally with the pressure of not being perfect, of annoying yet another person, of reminding her that she is alone in this venture.
This type of mom does not get a “break”. She does not get a moment of solitude. She does not have a team mate to take a load off of her shoulders. She does not have the gift of going to the grocery store alone, having a mom day or hour. She does not have someone coming home to do the dishes, to bath the babies, to read endless stories, to have an encouraging hug, to fix the broken light, to protect them, to plan with, to vacation with, to take her out, to listen to her as she releases all the stress of her day through a million words a minute. It is not easy for her to have a hobby, it is not easy for her to pursue her passions, to take time for herself. She has no time, this life she has is solely hers and the high ups and deep downs are not shared with anyone else but her tear stained pillow.
Yes we are incredibly thankful for any help we receive. When someone takes a child or two it is fabulous. But it is never 4. 4 is too daunting for anyone. “They are your children. You chose four. You never figured out what makes them.” We are fully aware of this every day of our lives as we have at least one face always in our view. 90% of every day is filled with them. Even sleep. It is as rare as a dragon to have a full night alone in my own bed. When the coveted alone time happens it is consumed with everything that team mate is made for. Providing, repairing, maintaining. The house, the tub drain…what drain? The budget, the car repairs…how is that going to be paid for? I wish I knew how to change my own oil. The activities, the garbage needs to go out, the light bulb has been out for months, the kids need new clothes, the cooking…what? I have to feed them more than KD and cereal? The doctor…my child is sick, we all must go to the doctor. They need surgery the ER? Jesus help us. It’s not just mothering that you are doing alone, it’s living. Therefore there is hardly ever a moment of emotional freedom. Freedom to enjoy just me. To remember my passions, my purpose. My purpose beyond these four.
But there is purpose beyond these four. There are moments this mom just has to let go. The kitchen is covered in watermelon, the couch is covered in chips, the grapes are still out, the boy has fallen asleep on the couch…2 hours before bedtime and it’s 2 hours past the other ones bedtime…but I’ve taken a moment for me. To write because that is part of me and part of my purpose. This is not a pity party, this is not a whoa is me. This is my life and I will live it, whatever is thrown at me and I will conquer it because I refuse to live a dull quiet life. We were made to live life and, depressed, defeated and letting everything get you down is not living. I truly enjoy this stage of my life and try to embrace every moment of it because I know it will not last forever.
To the single full time mom wherever you are and whoever you are. Wether you live with your parents like me, with a friend, or by yourself, I hear you and I understand. It’s hard. It’s lonely even when we aren’t totally alone. Somedays you feel defeated, like crumby crap, like you want to quit. But at the same time it’s thrilling and exciting and oh so fulfilling and empowering! We can do the hardest job on the planet all by ourselves! You my friend have got this and you are doing a fabulous job. Wether you continue your whole motherhood career alone or wether you find your team mate one day, today you are doing great! You have a purpose outside the mass chaos, the tears, the endless stress, the loneliness, the emotional draining of each and every day. You have purpose when this task is done and you have purpose in this moment. Take a moment. Take a moment while that little one is curled around your face sleeping. Take a moment while your child screams outside the locked bathroom door. Take a moment while your children fight in the back of the car while you drive. Take a moment in the shower as little faces peek in. Talk to yourself. Encourage yourself and remind yourself of what you love outside those faces. Find your purpose, you are worth it.
Life is Messy but Worth it.
(Having written this I must put a plug to say I am ever so grateful for my parents who have changed diapers, done baths, cooked countless meals and done billions of other things. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.)