I was transformed when I became a mom. I know this is not a unique experience. I know many women whose lives were forever changed the day they first held their child. For those of us who carried our children within us, the transformation may have come sooner. No matter how our children were delivered to us, we, well at least I was forever changed. The amount of love I felt for my son was overwhelming. The ability for my heart to grow and be transformed was amazing to me. I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never knew how being a mom would help me become the woman I was meant to be.
I was transformed once more when I became a single mom, a sole parent. When my husband died, my life, my roles, my being was again forever changed. I had never felt such sadness in my life. As I held my husband, moments after he died, my life was transformed. No longer would I press my head against his chest and hear or feel his beating heart. His chest was still, his eyes were empty and my being was forever changed. I was alone in my journey as parent now. I would now love our children with the power of two hearts and feel the sadness of all of our souls.
I love being a mom. My husband and I were a good team. We were not a perfect team, but we got each other and worked hard. Unfortunately, when you lose a teammate, the whole game changes; the strategies change, the outcome changes, every thing changes. I definitely changed when my teammate died.
The funny thing about holidays for me is that they point out the changes. They have a way of magnifying the differences between my past, more happy life and my current, hang in there life. Mother’s day is no different. For me this year, it seems to be blasting a bright light on the choices I have made. Today, I will not take my kids to brunch ore the zoo, or any other “celebrate” type place. There will not be a large meal on our table. This is because I made a difficult choice a year or so ago. I chose to forgo the stress and the salary that a full time job would give us. I had worked full time in a job I really, truly thought would be a good fit for us. Well, it wasn’t. My blood pressure went up, the kids were in the care of others for 8 to 10 hours a day, and the only time we had together was filled with homework, a quick (not homemade) dinner and a rushed bedtime. I was exhausted, they were cranky and unhappiness filled the air. So, I left the job. I took a part time job so my then 4 year old could go to preschool part time and so I would be home at the end of school to help with homework, make dinner and slow our pace down…like it used to be in a two parent home.
Today, I don’t regret that choice though. I am still working a manageable job…nearly full time. I am still present to my children…whether they like it or not and am able to sleep most nights. Being present to our children was the most important goal to us as we became parents. I worked in the afternoon and evening and Dave worked early so he could pull the afternoon and dinner shift with Sam. It was really amazing to me at how well it worked for us.
This Mother’s day, I am feeling the loss of the life I had deeply, but, I am also deeply grateful that in this world of rushing around, I was able to say “STOP”. I was able to get off the busy train and be present to my children. It was important to us. It is still important to me. So today, even though there will not be brunch or an outing for us, there will be comfort for me because I am able to hold on to a piece of our parenting together in this ever lonely world of being a sole parent. I know this time will pass quickly and I know my kiddos don’t realize the sacrifice right now, but I do know when they are grown with families of their own they will know that I did my best. My best was to be there for them. My best may not have delivered the newest and the brightest toys, but my best kept a piece of their dad in my parenting.