Kids came back today,
and it took all my energy
to help with homework,
and get them to bed.
(And tidy and take the trash out
and moderate arguments
and put them back in bed five times.)
I want to cry out like a wolf,
I want to be heard by other single parents everywhere.
I want them to respond to my cries,
my messy wolf pack,
saying You aren’t alone.
I hear you.
I feel this way too.
Howling in the dark together
raising a ruckus
strength in numbers
Can we change this heaviness together?
I don’t know.
I’ll just keep howling
until I can sink into sleep.
I’m amazed I’ve been able to keep up this pace,
2-3 yoga classes a day for two months,
but I’m not just doing this for me,
I’m doing it for my kids and for my students too.
I’m doing it for the ripples of peace and goodwill
that flow out into the world
when I make just one person’s day a little brighter.
It’s amazing how I can find the strength to go on,
day after day, feeling tired, feeling wiped out,
feeling like I have nothing left at the end of the day,
and yet, each morning I wake up,
and I’m ready to do it all over again.
This feels like I’m being trained for something even bigger.
This feels like an opportunity to flex
my resilience muscles,
my endurance muscles,
my persistence muscles,
my faith muscles.
A year ago, I felt weak and destroyed,
devastated, betrayed, abandoned…
But now look…
Just look at how strong I am now.
A nightmare woke me up at 4:30am;
even with the light on I didn’t feel safe.
As sleep was out of the question at that point
I began to read and lost myself in bits about
blue-zone cultures and longevity.
And then breakfast and meditation
and yoga classes 1-2-3,
finishing at 12:30
talking on the drive home
with a dear friend in Colorado
going through some stuff of her own…
and reordering business cards
and thinking about writing an
“about me” for my website
which has lain dormant for two years,
and a shower, ahh…hot, beautiful water…
and then it struck me.
My daily life used to feel like a nightmare.
I would pray to god to give me beautiful dreams
so that I could find solace at night when I slept.
Now, between working as much as I can teaching yoga
and taking care of my two beautiful children,
my life has become more fluid and easy
and I feel more empowered.
This was the dream I was looking for
at this time last year.
and now it’s real.
Without knowing when it would happen or how,
I’ve lived into a more powerful version of myself.
Today I feel strong, healthy and happy.
In comparison to the nightmare it once was,
today my life feels beautiful and light.
And I am so grateful.
I’ve been working a lot harder
in order to make ends meet.
Between working and mothering
there isn’t much time or energy for anyting else.
They say all work and no play makes us dull,
but I feel so fortunate,
because I love my work.
I love teaching yoga.
I love helping my students relax and find center.
I am grateful that I get paid to help people be happier
with themselves, their bodies, their minds, their lives.
It somehow feels ok that I don’t have time
or money for a fancy vacation…
So maybe my work is my play?
At some point things will be clearer for me,
and I’ll be able to leverage my gifts, talents and abilities
to earn even more income doing what I love,
but until that time I’ll keep working hard
at this yoga teaching gig,
loving what I do,
loving the people who come to my classes,
loving that my work feels like play.
I’ve been working my @ss off,
trying to boost my finances
for what will come.
I’m tired, overhwhelmed,
my body aches, my mind is fuzzy,
and I’m flooded with a sense of futility.
And it hits me…
I’m doing what my
grandmothers and grandfathers did…
I am struggling just to get by.
I thought when I married him
I’d be taken care of.
I’d raise our children
and take care of the house
and he would take care of us.
But that dream was shattered
in an ugly, unkind way.
How can my faith in life be restored?
My family struggled through
the Great Depression.
And countless ancestors before them
struggled through poverty, famine,
sickness, and endless toil…
and through it all…
they somehow survived to procreate.
And so I was given a chance at life.
Sometimes I wish I hadn’t been given this chance.
If I had known I would end up here,
wondering where I’ll live
and if I’ll have the mental fortitude to keep going,
I’m not sure I would’ve signed on.
What’s the point of living
when you’re struggling just to get by?
And I’m being asked to take on
and even greater challenge…
be strong for my progeny,
give them a reason to keep going,
pretend through it all
that I’m good at this,
that I like this,
that this is all ok.
Hats off to all the single moms out there
who managed to pull this off…
you deserve an award for your performance.
But frankly I resent being here.
I resent the weight of this burden.*
*I just want to acknowledge that in comparison to many, many people on this planet I am doing quite well. I currently have food, clothing, shelter (for now) and access to resources that could be of help. I recognize that all my whining and moaning and complaining about my situation here might elicit absolutely no sympathy at all from people who have been through far worse. I’m just sharing how I feel. I don’t expect that my feelings make sense to anyone. I’m just sitting in the middle of my own suffering wishing I could get away from it. Maybe one person out there knows this feeling. Maybe one person out there now knows that they aren’t alone.
I just want to be a good mother.
I try so hard.
And at the end of the day,
I lose it sometimes.
I lose it with my kids
when I’m tired and they’re tired.
There used to be another adult around
who’d step in
when I couldn’t anymore.
That adult is gone.
When I’m tired and sick
there is no one else to take care of me
I’m tired of taking care of myself,
tired of being alone.
I want help.
It’s in these moments
that the anger wells up
if I don’t stop it.
I get angry for being thrust into this place
of missing my kids when they’re not here
and overwhelmed when they are.
I’m tired of this mess, this story.
I can do so well for hours and hours.
I can be proud of my mothering,
the balance I manage to find.
But at the end of the day
I’m tired and they’re tired
and sometimes I just lose it.
Both of my kids are in bed.
We had a great night;
coaxed them through homework,
they ate a good dinner,
Then we read two chapters
of Prince Caspian
and now they’re in bed.
I’m feeling like a successful
single mother right about now.