This was my first Mothers Day as a single mom, and I feel that I need to share some of my thoughts.
Last year on Mothers Day, my husband took the kids in the morning so that I could sleep late. He made waffles for us, and there was a bouquet of flowers and a card waiting for me. There was no way on earth I could have foreseen that I'd be celebrating the next Mother's Day as a single mom.
Back then, my younger boy was barely one month old, and my older boy was a very active four year old. I was still learning the art of balancing two kids' needs and was daunted by the prospect of looking after my two boys together for even an afternoon!
Then, in June, my husband announced unexpectedly that our marriage was over. When he first moved out in August, I was in severe shock and I threw up each morning for two months straight. I was in panic at being the sole adult in charge, but I did the best that I could to be strong for my boys. At first, it was like there was a void in the house. Dinnertimes and bedtimes felt strange and empty, as if the very absence of my husband was a loud clanging noise. It seemed a monumental task to smile and stay upbeat even though I was crying inside - but I did it. Slowly, we began anew making our own memories and traditions, and now the house feels again like a home - our home.
Fast forward to this year's Mothers Day. Today, there were no flowers or waffles waiting for me downstairs, but my older son had made the most original card ever! (I'll bet I'm the only mom on the planet with a cardboard carnivorous plant Mothers Day card). My older son woke me up and there was no one else to take over and let me sleep late. I made my own pancakes to share with everyone, then put on a movie so we could enjoy a lazy morning. We went to Heritage Park in the afternoon and rode the steam train and a carousel.
Throughout the day, I had many conflicting thoughts about what was, what might have been, and what the reality is. I'll be honest when I say that I really missed having someone to share in this wonderful day. When I saw my kids' excited smiles, it seemed like such a waste that the one other person on this earth who would have been as thrilled as I was - had decided that he'd rather experience these sorts of moments without me - with someone else who is not their mother. Yet at the same time, I could feel a real sense of accomplishment. Here I was not only handling both kids, but thoroughly enjoying myself. And to think that last year, I would have been terrified of attempting such an outing on my own.
I've worked so hard this past year at making new friends for myself and my kids, at creating special memories and traditions, and in making us feel like family again and not just a threesome with one missing. I've made great friends along the way who have taught me to live my life positively, even in the face of difficult circumstances. When I look at where I am now, I still feel sad at the senseless break-up of my family. I can't say that I've completely moved on, but I can certainly see that I've made many strides in the right direction.
So, as the day closes, I raise a toast to all you single mothers out there - and all you single dads who have to be moms to your kids in the absence of another partner - HAPPY SINGLE PARENTS' DAY!