Did I think that my marriage was perfect? No. Not by a long shot. I knew there were issues. Very Big Issues. I knew that we both contributed to those issues, and that we would have to come together to work on them. I thought that we were going through a rough patch - that we would find our way through that rough patch and eventually come through it with a stronger relationship in the end. I believed that with all my heart!
But my heart was wrong. In the end, there was no choice for me to make as far as my marriage was concerned. That choice was made for me. The man that I gave my heart to and intended to spend the rest of my life with was gone. My attempts to hold onto family and friends - to make them understand - resulted in further alienation. It's no wonder, really. But in the moment, I just could not accept the changes to my life that I had not asked for and did not want! All I could see was doors slamming in my face.
It wasn't long before word spread. It is hard to say whether it was harder to endure the looks of pity that followed me, or having to explain the constant waterworks to those who had not already heard from someone else. Mixed in were also hugs and words of encouragement from women that I didn't even realize were single moms. They always seemed so organized and put together that I never would have thought they were doing everything on their own! How could anyone go from where I was to so...put together? Maybe there was hope for me!
Slowly, I have been figuring things out. I am finding new ways to do things so that I can at least make sure that the basics are covered each day. My little family of 3 has adjusted old routines and settled into new ones. The boys miss seeing Daddy every day, and one of them is still convinced that Daddy moved out because of brotherly arguments or too many "Daddy! Daddy! Daddies!" But they are also somewhat appeased by getting to do things that they never got to before. Like staying for after school care on days when I simply cannot be in two places at once.
There have been moments of frustration when time has run out and there is still too much to be done. Or when Mom just can't do something the same way that Dad would do it. Or when they want attention but I am too busy to take a break from the increased responsibilities of single parenthood to play a game of Irishopoly. But then comes the break that we need, usually just when we need it the most. Sometimes it is an "Aha!" moment that leads to increased efficiency. (An hour of drawing up liquid medications for a week makes for sore thumbs, but mornings are sure a whole lot easier!) Other times it is a "laugh or cry" situation. And since there have already been too many tears in recent months, laughter is the standard response when things go awry. My Super Productive Morning gave me one of my first big laughs as a single mom.
Slowly but steadily, I am regaining a sense of community. Acquaintances and even former strangers have stepped into roles that were vacated by others just 6 months ago. I still miss the friends and family that walked away or distanced themselves under the guise of not picking a side. I still experience the grief attached to the death of my marriage and so many dreams. But sadness is no longer my primary emotion. While my legs are still shaky at times, my feet are once again under me as I take one step at a time into the next chapter of my life. This new chapter is
Conquering Single Motherhood