It’s Thursday! Most mommies are eager to celebrate making it through four workdays because the weekend is near. Not me.
At 5:00 p.m. on Thursdays, my heart hurts and the tears flow. My house is empty. The featured entrée for dinner is cereal. Why cook for a party of one? My long to-do list awaits me to keep myself occupied so I can ignore that I am home alone without a life partner or my daughter. It’s just me. Poor me.
I dreaded Thursday nights for almost a year after my daughter’s parenting schedule became effective. My coping mechanisms ranged from binge-watching TV to going 100 miles per hour for busyness to eating almost a gallon of my favorite ice cream. My friends would sometimes just show up at my door with a smile and not allow my pity party to happen alone. It took many quiet evenings, gallons of ice cream and pep talks from friends to switch my mindset from a lonely mommy to a happy mommy when my daughter is with her dad.
Thursdays are rejuvenation days.
Motherhood, especially as a single mom playing dual roles, breeds exhaustion as we give and give to everyone else. A friend gave me a pearl of wisdom to always focus me when no one else needs me. Forget the never-ending to-do list and prioritize the self-care. Get a pedicure, go for a run or a hot yoga class, relax in a bubble bath, or schedule dinner with friends became my priority. Thursdays rejuvenate me to be my best self and the best mommy.
Thursdays are unstuff the mommy bear days.
I am guilty as charged with putting on the super mommy cape and saying “I got this” when really I am a complete wreck inside. I call this unhealthy practice “stuffing the bear”. Find a quiet, peaceful spot and just sit. Let all your emotions percolate and surface. Feel the beautiful variety of emotions on that given day. As Carrie Underwood says, “cry pretty.” Unstuff the emotional teddy bear that lives inside of you. Thursdays bring emotional stability to be my best self and the best mommy.
Thursdays are my daughter’s days.
My daughter needs her father and the relationship that only he can give her. Children of divorce need guidance, love, and discipline from both parents through cooperative co-parenting and fair parenting time. No matter what the circumstances, you must focus on your children’s need for relationships with others. Your loneliness is not your children’s void to heal, stop, change or replace. Children need their days with their other parent just as much as they need their days with you. Thursdays are for our children.
Even when I am happy, the heartache and tears still exist every Thursday, or any day that my daughter is not home. (I am not stuffing the bear – win!) Some days it is short-lived and others it is not. Single mommy, the simple truth is that the loneliness will never go away because a piece of your heart is away. Focus on a plan to make those days about rejuvenation, emotional intelligence, and selflessness for the relationships that your children need with their other parent.