You can’t fall.
But if you do, you just get up and make dinner.
Case in point: A few years ago, I fell at a gas station, shattering the tip of my elbow and tearing my tricep. The pain was paralyzing, but I managed to crawl back to the car and drive us home. About three hours later, I was back from the ER doing laundry with one arm so my kids would have their school clothes ready. They never saw the silent tears as I tried to sleep that night.
And that, my friends, is the hallmark of being a single mom – relying on yourself to do all the things…through surgery, through Covid, through working, and virtual learning.
Is this just a season? Yes.
Is our journey all the same? No.
From visitation schedules to the father’s involvement and child support (or lack thereof in some cases), our circumstances vary. But it doesn’t mean it’s easy.
I’ll never forget a day in 2016, when my divorce was still pending. I had just picked up the kids, when my 4-year-old daughter pointed to the empty passenger side and said, “Mommy, we don’t need this seat. We don’t have a fourth person anymore.”
Not only was I emotionally navigating the sudden loss of a marriage, but so were my kids. And while I realized my daughter was just trying to make sense of this new family dynamic, the comment still stung, just as so many other things had: My first Mother’s Day without a spouse. Experiencing a silent house during their first overnight away. Losing our family home that held such precious memories.
Nothing can prepare us for this path, because it’s not the path we planned. To truly understand the loss of security, the humility, the sacrifices, one has to walk through it.
And if you’re reading this, maybe that’s what you’re doing, too…walking through a season you didn’t sign up for.
But please don’t question your worth.
Please don’t let these new experiences cause you to quit or – worse – cultivate a callousness so indelible you never heal.
Because I can assure you, it may not get easier, but you’ll get better.
Consider that this uncharted territory in which you’re walking is a chance to take every brick thrown at you to build a new life, new traditions, a new trajectory.
My journey has been arduous, humbling, and imperfect, but it’s been worth it.
I thought I lost everything, but I didn’t. I still had me. So I vowed to grow, learn the lessons rather than rush into relationships, and now choose to keep those completely private along the way.
I also vowed to turn around and extend a hand to others by becoming a legal assistant, where each day I get to help people hop onto stepping stones I once stumbled across.
Now how will you repurpose your pain? I promise someone is waiting on your story – your healing.
In the meantime, just remember: Your family is complete without a passenger.
You, my friend, are enough.
I’m proof that a chapter is not the book.
And even though we can’t always choose our plot, we can write our narrative.
So find your pen and keep the faith.
You’re gonna be okay.