Today was a day. The kind of day that makes you wish life could be lived from under the covers for just a few days (months, years…whatever). Do I really mean that? No(ish). Am I beat down from the constant onslaught of stuff that seems to be coming my way lately? Yes. Is my anxiety humming along at almost record setting heights? Definitely.
Most of my woes these days tie to being a Single Mom and all the things that title brings with it. The never ending cycle of trying to find some peaceful means to deal with a person you have no interest in having a relationship with nevermind parenting human beings. Werk werk werk werk werk & not enough time in the day. The budget juggle of running a family and house funded by one. Laundy for three by one. Self care is at the point where the thought of even trying to fit it in stresses me out. Muffin tops – good bye low rise jeans hello stress eating. Exercise – please see muffin tops. Lawyers – no one likes lawyers until you need them. I’ve become very fond of my lawyer and I think we may be going steady at this point. Unfortunately this relationship is getting awfully expensive. Oh hello there panic attack, I feel like we just saw each other last night.
Halfway through the day I could feel my knees buckling, the angry/sad/frustrated tears creeping into my throat, and the general hysterical feeling that my life is not meant to be lived by one person. At the very least I could use two assistants, a driver, a dog walker/trainer, a tutor, a handyman, a finance expert (who is basically a magician), and a chef. I’ll handle the personal shopping piece on my own. Sadly when I checked the budget not a single one of these things were funded.
Whenever I start to go down this path of being completely overwhelmed I’ve learned to do a few things to break the cycle – thank you therapy. Walk away. Take a very deep breath then five more. Nice slow deep lovely peaceful breaths. Remember nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Make some time to meditate. Have a cup of tea. Do something good for yourself that makes you feel really good for a few minutes- read a book, surf pictures of pretty things, cook, clean, listen to music..whatever gives you a moment or two of joy. Write out every single feeling you have in a journal that nobody (maybe even you) will ever read. Take a nap because sheer exhaustion really can get the better of you. Go to the gym. Eat a popsicle. Buy yourself some flowers. Whatever puts that little girl feeling in your heart for a few minutes. It’s actually going to be ok. I repeat this to myself over and over and I mean this – you are going to be just fine. You have not just survived but managed to thrive no matter what life has thrown at you. And you’re doing it while you’re raising little people.
Most important of all – be grateful. Shift the focus to all of the things that make you happy.
Did you wake up this morning? Yes. No matter how you feel about your ex did your past relationship give you something precious? Yes, your kids. Who fills the space in your home? You and your kids which is just so perfect. How much time are you investing in a failing relationship? Zero. All that time and energy belongs to the kids now.
Your bed? Stretch corner to corner because all that real estate belongs to you! Your house could be like mine – pink and ultra feminine. Because the only person that weighs in on pink sheets in the master bedroom is yours truly. And wow pink sheets cheer me up. My budget is my own so even when it’s tight it’s up to me to make decisions. No ‘oh my god my payment bounced because someone took extra cash out of the account’ situations. My bathroom vanity is covered in skin creams, make up, and face serums. There is no room to be saved for shaving products and combs. My groceries, cooking, social life, fridge, closet, kitchen….all mine. Exactly the way I like it. Complaints about all of these things from a Partner? No longer exist. These are all things I’m grateful for that have happened since I’ve been on my own and when I take the time to list them out they feel like a pretty big deal in my life.
I’ve learned when I have days like this that sometimes I can get by and sometimes the breakdown is inevitable. So when the tears are flooding to the surface I let them. I feel sorry for myself for a few minutes – and that’s ok. Because it passes. It passes and I realize anyone would be worn down by what I’m going through right now. It passes because I remember that anything can be handled in bite size pieces.
There is a quote I love by Nelson Mendela that always comforts me on days like this one, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”. So this overwhelming situation we’re in – you have got this! I have got this. We have got this. We’ve got this because we can. We’ve got this because when you set your sights on success it happens. This life we’re living is JAM PACKED. I don’t know about you but this is way more than I bargained for. And it’s so much better than anything I’ve lived before because it’s mine only to be shared with two small people that have a piece of my heart forever. Although this life is full there are so many ways to tackle it and so much happiness waiting for us.
So tonight I have a blistering hot bath, I read a book, go to bed early, and know these problems can wait for another day to be dealt with. I tuck my kids in after stories and kisses and know I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. I remember that not once has a single thing life has thrown at me taken me down. So toast your own success at making it this far and the adventures ahead of us. Because adventures are for the strong and this Single Mom thing has been the best training ground I can think of.