“Hi Mommy. How’s life? You have a boyfriend yet?”
I had just picked up my 9-year-old daughter from school. It was a rare moment that just the two of us were in the car together, and after she plopped down in her seat, that is how she greeted me.
Well…when I dropped her off at school at 7:50am I was single, and when I picked her up at 3:00pm I was still single.
I had to tell her that no mystery man who wants a very part-time girlfriend had presented himself to me that day. And I’m OK with that.
I’ve been a single mom for 8 years. Right now, I love it. I have three children and they are my priority. I’d rather stay home and watch “Good Luck Charlie” on Netflix with them than go out on a date.
For the first several years of being single, I was absolutely miserable when my kids visited their dad every other weekend. I soon realized that wasn’t good for anyone, so I forced myself to enjoy the silence and the alone time. It’s in these brief times alone that I truly realize I am happy being single. When I wake up on the weekend mornings they’re with their dad, I treasure the silence, the ability to shower and eat breakfast and get ready for work without any distractions.
These content moments tell me that I am truly not ready to share my life with a man. When people ask me when am I going to find a good man, it kind of hurts my feelings…making me feel like they think I’m not good enough on my own. That they think I’m not complete.
Sure, a partner in life would be nice sometimes, but right now I’m busy and fulfilled. I have three children who are thriving. My son is one of the top 10 gymnasts in our region in his level. My daughter is one of the top 10 gymnasts in the world in her division and my other daughter is a shining star at the studio where she is pursuing her dreams of Broadway and television. Some days I feel as though I’m up to my neck in quicksand and pray that we just make it through until bedtime. Then, hallelujah, we wake up in the morning with a clean slate and get another chance at another day.
It’s in these brief times alone that I truly realize I am happy being single.
I am filled with joy with my children. I love the chaos of our daily lives. I love that my job (I’m a children’s ministry director) allows me to provide encouragement to families and children and that I get to walk alongside them in their journey.
The only relationship in my life that needs work right now is the relationship with myself.
I’ve let myself slide…put myself on the back burner. I went for a three-mile run yesterday, the first run in a couple of years, and I was three minutes per mile slower and 40 pounds heavier than I was the last time I ran a marathon four years ago. No, I didn’t become a body builder who eats only protein and steamed broccoli and gains lots of muscle. Those 40 pounds are all wine and chocolate and…oh…a few slabs of cheese tossed in for good measure! Yesterday as I was trudging those three miles, I came to realize that it’s me that I need to be more kind toward. It’s me that I need to build a better relationship with. I need to stop punishing myself for letting myself take a backseat to everyone else. It’s time to get out there and run. It’s time to let myself thrive as well.
So the next time anyone asks me if I’m still single, I’m going to say no. I’m going to tell them that I’m not alone in this journey. I have my children, my mom, my stepdad, the most incredible friends and support group on the planet…and when my kids are with their dad, I get the whole bed to myself!
You will also like To My Single Friends and Dear Single Mom.