Are there even words to describe it or do you have to experience it?
I though I knew what it meant to be a single mom because I was a Navy wife. I had run the house on my own and been the sole disciplinarian during deployments. I thought I understood it. The thing is though, when you are a military spouse you have a dependable source of income. That is not to sound petty and say that a husband is just a paycheck but the fact is that when you suddenly have no IDEA when you will get any kind of money at all, well you appreciate what you HAD. You also had communication, you had love, you had someone else on the planet who was interested in the little things. You still had a best friend to confide in even if he was on the other side of the earth. Someone who knows your children as intimately as you do and gets excited about them losing a tooth or gets worried when they are sick. When you are a single mom you face every triumph and every trial ALONE.
That is not the only thing you do alone. You do 100% of the work 100% of the time. Like this week, Twizzler has strep throat and I ran out of bottled water. I can't say, "Hey hunny, pick up water on the way home." I can't even say, "Sit here with the kids while I go get some more water." I have to take my sick kid to the store with me. It was my only option. Poor Twizzler was ready to collapse walking through the store. I hated to have to drag him along but it was my only option. I also had to take my 2 healthy kids with me to the doctor's office along with the 1 sick child. In fact, I think that is the very same way that Twizzler got sick in the first place. Tuesday I had to take all 3 children with me to Hershey's doctor appointment and the next day Twizzler was sick.
Oh and then there is the stuff that I used to be able to put on my 'hunny do' list... That 'hunny do' list is my responsibility, which is why I have had a cabinet door sitting on the floor of my kitchen for a couple of months now. I have not had time to figure out how to fix it. It is the 4th and 5th hinge that broke since I moved in and frankly I am tired of calling the maintenance guy to come fix them and I am tiny bit scared he will start charging me for the hinges. It is better to just let it sit on the floor.
When I have car trouble, I have to figure out a way to fix it. When something in the house breaks, I have to fix it. When something needs to be built, I have to do that too. And I have to figure out where the money will come from to do it.
I am left with all of the responsibility of raising 3 young men. That is a daunting task. Their success or failure rests on my shoulders. I ask myself time and time again, "What qualifies ME to raise 3 boys? How can I teach them to be men?" I have never been a boy or a man. I can't know what their struggles are. Maybe it seems simple to an outsider but how many parents have decided that mom will talk to the girls about sex and dad will talk to the boys? There is sense and logic in that decision because a dad once was a boy who turned into a man. I am walking blind here. As Skittles approaches his teenage years. I am scared to say the wrong thing, to teach him the wrong thing. I want to raise Godly young men. I want them to honor their bodies but I don't want to set the bar so high that it is unattainable. I want to teach them about abstinence and the blessing that is marriage but how can I even teach THAT when I myself am divorced.
I am starting to ramble. My brain goes in a thousand directions when I think of the enormity of the task ahead of me. I need to get back to the basics.
I cook every meal. I wash every dish. I fold every towel. I change every diaper. I take out every bag of trash. I never get a day off, not my birthday, not mothers day. I never get breakfast in bed.
It is very lonely.
But I am not alone.
He is my confidant. He knows my children and me intimately. He cares about lost teeth and strep throat. He knows how to fix my broken car and calls in his angels to rescue me. Every time I start to worry about how I will buy groceries or gas, God sends someone to give me a check or a gift card that pays what I need. I can cry to Him when I am sad and praise Him when, once again, He has worked a miracle. The task is still daunting and lonely but...