As I stepped outside for my evening walk today, I heard three voices behind me saying, “We’ll come with you!”
The loving, patient mother in me thought, “I’m so blessed. My children love to be with me.”
The selfish, impatient mom in me thought, “there goes my quiet time.”
I am a single mom with three teenagers and a ten-year-old at home with me.
Yes, three teenagers. Pray for me. I also have two grown children and a grandson, but we’ll save that for another article.
My children are the lights of my life and the air that I breathe. They all love to talk, and I love that. Even more so, they love to make me laugh. There isn’t a dinner with them when I don’t giggle through the entire meal.
But sometimes…just sometimes…mom needs quiet time…or so I think.
I get my quiet time eventually. It comes on the weekends when they go with dad.
And you know what? The house is too darn quiet!
I can hardly stand it. I don’t need just any noise. I need the noisy giggles of my four happy children. Quiet time comes – and I find it isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
As I enjoyed the evening walk with my children, it dawned on me how many conversations I get with them. Just me – no one else.
During the week, there is no opportunity to say, “Honey, go ask your father – I am busy.”
Nope. Busy or not, I am it.
I cannot put into words the extreme patience I have gained through this change in life. I have learned to stop what I am doing and listen.
I have been a mom long enough to know how much they need that. I never regret it.
And I never regret that I am their only choice most days of the week, when they need a listening ear. It’s a privilege.
During our evening walk, I learned that my 14-year-old son has some amazing ideas for house designs, and he has learned a ton about the topic with a computer program he uses. He was able to point out what he likes and dislikes about certain houses along the way.
My 10- year-old made me smile and reminisce about being her age as she stopped and allowed herself to get soaked by the many sprinklers that were watering lawns in the evening. My son asked why she would do that.
I just giggled and said, “She’s enjoying life.”
If you have little ones momma – please slow down and enjoy their world.
My almost 17-year-old son brought his bike and would zoom past us, showing off his tricks, speed, and strength…because that is what teenage boys do. Each time he whizzed by, I was reminded of how quickly 17 years has whizzed by. He wants to be a Marine.
I want to stop time with him.
I have another 17-year-old, my daughter. She was adopted at age six from China. She declined the walk, but out of the blue, suddenly showed up on her bike.
She waved and said she was heading home. Soon she’ll be waving on her way to college.
My little neighborhood was filled with my four busy, smiling children, and one proud mom.
Between the warm summer evening air, the giggles, the antics, and the disbelief in my children’s independence and growth, I couldn’t help but feel like the most blessed mom on earth.
I also couldn’t help but imagine God smiling down on me, saying. “I knew this would be better than alone time. Oh, and also – you’ve got this. All on your own – you’ve got this.”
A straightforward walk, and we all got our love tanks filled.
Imagine what I would have missed if I told them all I needed peace and quiet away from them.
Where’s the blessing in that?
I’ll walk alone on the weekend when they are gone, and I’ll miss them like crazy.
Single motherhood is by far the toughest thing I have ever experienced.
As a single mom yourself, I am sure you understand. Although I cherish the one on one time I get with my children, I also dread the worries that come (and they always do), which I have to face on my own.
How many times have I been pacing the floors all alone, waiting for a teenager to get home, or hoping someone’s fever goes down? The answer is, more than I’ll ever be able to count.
Or when I have looked at my checking account and wondered, “how on earth will I pay all of these bills?”
Medical exams that had me worried I might have to face something terrifying alone…and then I feel a tap on my shoulder.
Again, He is always reminding me that I am not truly alone, and I’ve got this. Rather, He’s got this.
When I meditate on this thought often, the comfort is amazing, and my time alone is not scary, but welcomed.
I don’t live in La La land. I know that there is strength in numbers, and that number is only one in my home. Moi.
Still, single motherhood can be scary and lonely.
Rather than let that envelope me, I choose to focus on what I love most about it. And what I love most is the cherished alone time with my children and the decisions made in my life, between God and me only.
I run a very relaxed home with my children. We have a lot of fun, a lot of conversation, and smiles around every corner.
Life isn’t perfect, and I do run a tight ship. But with no husband to “impress,” I feel that my singleness has been a blessing in many ways to myself and my children. All of my decisions are based around them, not a husband.
Husbands are great! Again – don’t get me wrong. But if you are a single mom, whether by choice or sudden circumstances, you couldn’t control…embrace your singleness, and give all of yourself to you, your children, and God.
There is a silver lining amongst the moments of worry, fear, and anxiety.
Those days come for sure. Just be sure in between those days, you are purposefully enjoying the conversations, giggles, goodnight kisses, and cereal for dinner nights that only you get to share with your children.
This was a guest post
Single motherhood and a passion for writing, has brought me to my current career as a freelance writer and blogger. You can find me at www.apronsheelsandyogapants.com, where I share my thoughts on motherhood. When I am not mothering or writing, I prefer to be dancing, dining, and simply enjoying life.