“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”~ Mother Teresa
As I sit down to write this article, it is 7:47 am on Saturday morning, the day before Mother’s Day. I have already loaded the dishwasher, swept the floor, cleaned the bathroom, put away the hide a bed from the indoor camping sleepover my daughter and I had last night while we watched Frozen, toasted some gluten free bread and added the coconut butter (we’re mostly gluten and dairy free), had at least four morning snuggles, and have managed to make myself a fresh cup of coffee somewhere in there.
This is the life of a single mother.
As I was sweeping the gray tile floor in my kitchen, I was thinking about the fact that tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Emotions started to well up inside me and a twinge of sadness came as I realized that my Mother’s Day would not be the Hallmark card version of Mother’s Day. There will be no “father inspired” eggs benedict served with fresh coffee in bed. There would be no bouquet of flowers from a dad.
I started to feel a little down…for a moment. But as soon as the wave of sadness came, another wave came over me—one of love and belonging.
I don’t think anyone dreams of being a single mother when they are young. I never sat in my highschool math class, staring out the window while my teacher talked about the Pythagerom Theorem and thought, “When I grow up, I want to be a single mother. I want to work hard all day. Rush my kid to an from school. Take her to afterschool activities by myself, be generally exhausted almost everyday and have to use the tactical planning of Navy Seal team 6 raiding Osama Bin Laden’s compound, just to have some time to myself.”
This was not my dream.
We live in a flawed world where “sh*t” happens. But something beautiful also happened when I become part of this new tribe—what I call the “Single Mama Tribe.” My heart opened wider than it ever had before as I have met and bonded with some of the most amazing women that I am proud to call Soul Sisters and friends.
We have all walked a similar journey: marriage, kids, divorce.
I am inspired by the journey my Single Mama Soul Sisters walk with me everyday. I think of my dear friend who works full time, raises her sweet three year old daughter and still manages to find time to pursue her passion of being a jazz singer. I laugh weekly with my other hilarious single mama friend, who at almost 40, has gone back to school to become an electrician so that she can give her children a better life. I smile and my heart glows when I think of my wise, intuitive soul sister friend who always has something deep and insightful to say to me when I am having a down day.
I am surrounded by beautiful single mother sisters. They are fierce, intelligent, bold, beautiful and can laugh at life with me like no one else.
Since I inadvertently joined this Single Mama tribe, I have experienced a depth of love and belonging.
After my daughter fell asleep last night on the hide a bed, I decided it was time for mama to watch a movie that I would like. I was thrilled when I found the new movie “The Letters,” that tells the story of Mother Teresa. As I watched Mother Teresa (the ultimate single mother) go through the streets of Calcutta and help the most destitute and dying, I thought, “This is the blessing of being a single mother.”
We have a chance to open our hearts so wide with love, to mother our own children and others that cross our paths.
I never expected to be here, but I am happy to be in a place where I am free to love with an open, wild heart. So, to all my other soul sisters in this Single Mama Tribe, I wish you a Happy Single Mother’s Day.
Author: Wendy Haley
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: London Scout/Unsplash