I know most parents feel this when we hit mid-summer…”when will the kids be going back to school…I need a break!” As a sole parent, I don’t know if it’s worse or not. I know that I have to do it alone though. I also know that there are parents out there with spouses that do it alone. In my neck of the woods, school begins again in early August. This year, I’m kind of feeling like summer has been too short and blown by quickly. I worked most the summer and am feeling all those things that I didn’t get done weighing on my shoulders. I’m happy I worked. The boys have done great this summer and in general, all is well.
I don’t feel like I had any moments of respite though. I don’t feel caught up and I don’t feel settled. I love the start of school. I love it for me and for my kids. There is always this time prior to the start that I feel restless and stuck. I am feeling like I’ve been in this same place before so many times. I feel the anticipation of not having a permanent place to work again. I feel the stress of not being sure how financially sound I am. I feel the loneliness of having done everything on my own for another summer.
This week and next are the weeks that call for my greatest level of patience. I have done all the leg work for setting things in place for another school year and now the ball is out of my court. I must be patient and wait. A dear friend reminded me the other day that things most often work out for me…with work that is. She reminded me that last year I really did achieve what I had wanted. I worked in a place that I love all year. I gained experience and wisdom. If only my patience had increased!
I think when the heat of summer sets in to stay, I feel the weight of my daily life a bit more. I miss the moments of respite. I miss moments when I don’t have to be in charge. I miss the moments of pure relaxation and fun. I have been much better recently about taking care of myself and making sure I have down time. As a sole parent though, I haven’t really felt any true down time like I used to feel it. I am always on and always need to be. I’m all my boys have. Even with good self-care, this fact alone makes me weary. I miss feeling safe and relieved at the end of the day. I miss not always having a to-do list. I miss sharing the responsibilities.
Truthfully, I will most likely always shoulder the responsibilities of my children, our lives, alone. There are very few brave souls that will step in and love me and love my boys…finding one brave soul…well, nearly impossible. I am grateful though for the responsibility in a way too. I am so grateful to have these lovely boys who remind me so much of their dad, who, although they can wear me out, they always love me and in their own ways saved my life. Without them, the responsibility of caring for them, well…I probably would have faded away after Dave died. I nearly did fade away even with them here…but it was my love for them that gave me hope each day.
So, even though I’m feeling restless, a bit wiped, impatient, and mentally and emotionally fatigued, I know the summer wipeout will pass. I know in a few weeks, we will be back to full steam again and I will have landed just where I was meant to be…for now. I will continue to care for myself and carve out the time I need to recharge. I will rely on myself to be my safe place…hard to do all the time, but I will. I will do my best to rest peacefully in the thoughts of how far we’ve come and that I am surely a survivor.