For over 5 years now I have been a single mom – single parenting my little boy. For the entirety of those years every time I would meet someone or talk to someone about my reality the overarching reaction was always something to the effect of: “you poor thing” “wow, a single mom, that’s awful” “etc…you get the gist of it. I actually did buy into that belief system for quite awhile myself – throwing a pity party for myself at every turn – feeling really bad about who I am and the reality of my life as a single mom; single parenting my little boy. Over the years as layers of acceptance have washed over me what is left is simply: yes, it is hard – sometimes it is fucking hard juggling it all and still showing up for my boy and myself, BUT, the unraveling of the struggle has left me in a place of softness, trust, gratitude, and actual JOY at the opportunity that I have to be a single parent….a journey not all get to walk on, but a unique and empowering one nonetheless.
As my boy approaches his 7th birthday, I am flooded with the imprints of all of those challenging times…yet, rather than the focus being on the harshness of them, I truly see the beauty in it all. Kai and I have walked a tight rope together and there is nothing more beautiful and powerful than the dance we have been on. I look back at pictures of him when he was little and, sadly I do not remember much. I do not remember his laugh, his voice, what he enjoyed, what we did together….I was in survival mode. I was overwhelmed and was doing the absolute best that I could given the resources that I had available to me. Looking back I do have the strong urge to go back in time so that I may show up in a different way…in an embodied and more present way. I feel sad looking at those pictures of my baby remembering how disconnected I was and also grief for myself in those moments. I did not choose to be as such. I did not want to be in a state of shock and overwhelm for years post birth. I never in my life would have imagined that I would have landed in that place…in that way….after giving birth. Yet, I did. I cannot take back those years. I cannot go back in time and change the state of events. I cannot go back to my decision to become pregnant with a man whom was abusive and unsupportive. I cannot change any of it. All that I can do is embrace it all as a part of a long, strange, beautiful, unpredictable, heart wrenching and heart opening life. It is simply a chapter in time – not the whole story. I am choosing to focus on the continual unfolding of the other chapters in life as single mama to Kai – and there are many.
Life takes us on so many twists and turns – throwing us upside down and sideways. Becoming a single mom and taking on the extremely important role as a single parent has definitely taken me on a ride…a ride of the unknown and unpredictability; pain and pleasure, stress and strain, love and joy, empowerment and collapse. But, at the end of it all…what I have is an incredible life with an amazing little boy and opportunity after opportunity to repair, open my heart in a deeper way, soften to what is, and tap into the unending life force that is accessible to us all in every moment. Embodying myself as a single mama, as the sole provider and primary emotional and physical support for Kai. There is nothing glamorous about this path, but there is also absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing to fall victim to here. NOTHING. It all comes down to choice….we can choose to take our life circumstances by the balls and embrace and celebrate them OR we can cower, sulk, and throw a huge pity party about how hard life is. Five plus years into single parenting, I recognize in myself the shift in perspective. I feel the power rising up my spine, grounding in my feet and my belly, and finally truly keeping my eyes wide open to all of the magic and joy that is alive in being a single parent.