I’m struggling today without him — the husband that left three years ago in search of a life that didn’t involve me, a life that didn’t involve our kids.
I’m struggling today because my kids are struggling.
I barely envisioned myself as a parent let alone an only parent, and yet here I am. I’m a single mother to a 4-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl; two kids who desperately want to know where their father is; two kids who, in their childlike curiosity, through waves of grief, are never satisfied with the answers I give them.
But I don’t have a better answer today because I can’t even answer the questions myself.
I don’t know how a father could turn his back on his own children. I don’t understand not loving two people who are so unbelievably lovable.
But he left us. All of us. And in doing so, he left me to pick up the pieces of two shattered children and attempt to put them back together in a way that is functional. But truthfully, some days I don’t know how to do that because I don’t even feel functional myself.
This isn’t what I envisioned when I envisioned parenthood.
I wanted more for my kids, two parents worth of more; two people who could give my kids more than what I alone can give them.
I don’t feel like I can give them enough.
Parenthood is hard and single motherhood is harder. I carry so much guilt and shame, fear and worry, and although those feelings are not limited to mothers who are parenting alone, they echo just a bit louder in the heads of single mothers.
I’ll get through this, as will my kids, and one day we will look back and be proud of how far we’ve come. But that’s not going to be today.
Today I’m looking ahead and the road seems so overwhelmingly daunting, that I just want to sit down, stop moving, and curl up into my grief. But then I find myself catch site of what is waiting on the side of the road — two children who are patiently waiting for me to give them some sort of direction.
I can’t stop here.
I don’t know where we are going and I don’t know how to get there, but I know that I’m not going to give up. We may get lost, we may hit bumps, we may even have to climb, but the kids and I, we aren’t stopping here.
My kids didn’t get what they deserved in a father, but I’m going to make sure that they get what they deserve out of life. If I have to work two or three times harder to get it, then so be it.
I never envisioned myself as a single mother, but I also never imagined loving two kids so much. This journey won’t be easy and I don’t have the answers today, but in each of my hands I hold a child and within that child is an entire lifetime — a lifetime that is just beginning.
This is not where my story ends; this is where our journey starts.More On