Sometimes I'm Afraid...
Sometimes I'm Afraid...
Life as a single mother comes with challenges, no one could possibly understand unless they have been here. Parenting is hard enough with a partner and just one child to care for. Parenting two children with no partner is near overwhelming.
I've been on both ends of the spectrum. I was married with one child, and I am now single with two. Let me tell you how drastically different the two situations are. It's easy as a mother whose partner is close by to take things for granted like, helping with the heavy lifting, the bedtime routines, dinners, day care duties, taxi driver on family outings, netflix side kick, professional hugger who makes everything feel ok and worth the struggle.
Parenting with your BF is hard, but you have a personal cheerleader in your corner reminding you, so what if the laundry didn't get done today, you rocked it as a Mom and that's more important.
Now that I am a single mother again...gulp...I find myself very afraid. Afraid of the loneliness that is sure to settle in once the nights alone become real again. Afraid of the loneliness I will endure when I accomplish that pinterest project I've been working on for weeks, with nobody around to shout out, "Hey! Love! Check this out! What do you think?" Afraid of the deafening quietness that occurs once the children go to bed and I'm still awake in the living-room winding down. Moments that I used to spend pillow talking about that days sweet little nothings till we fell asleep. No one to surprise me with dinner out when he see's I've had a rough week with the kids. I'm afraid of the pain I'll feel when I go to church and see woman after woman walk to her seat with her husband and children there beside her. It will feel like a stab in the heart as I feel like the only one in the church still alone.
I'm afraid I am not a good mother. I am terrified of the emotional and spiritual impact my singleness will have on them. I blame myself for their loss of a father figure in their lives despite the truth that I am not. Girls so desperately need a strong man in their life, to teach them what they are worth so they don't desperately seek that validation through boys. Did I do the right thing? Did I do all I could to ensure they knew they are loved? Do they know they are invaluable and irreplaceable. I don't mean have I simply "told" them this. I mean do they KNOW inside their gut that it's true! Did I instill joy and peace into their lives daily, or frustration and anxiety?
The fear sometimes can be suffocating...
As a single mom you feel like there are so many disadvantages to overcome. There is no second income to budget with. There is no second car to use if the first breaks down. There is no built in baby sitter for those last minute meetings that simply can't be missed. No one to take over dinner because the baby still hasn't taken her bath, and the other kids are hungry. You just can't be in two places at the same time. There is just not enough of me to go around. I only have two hands and two feet.
I could make a laundry list of the fears a single mother faces daily...seriously...all day. But I won't. I won't because I have a secret about fear. Come closer...are you listening?
Face it. Face fear dead on. Look it right in the eye and say out loud to it:
"My God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of love and power, and a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7
Did you hear that? Power. I've been given power by a loving God. I not only have his strength to lean on, but he has also given me my own! Did you also see that I have been given a sound mind? A mind that fully faces fear and has the ability to refuse it's request to rent space in my heart.
When I am afraid I begin to tell fear all the things my God has done for me. I remind fear God is my provider and my hope. That God's perfect love continues to cast out fear in my life. You've heard the acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real.
Out of fear I can begin to worry about things that haven't even happened yet! That's what fear does. It paralyzes me from the ability to hope and trust.
There are 5 fears that I choose to face head on and refuse to give them place in my mind:
- The fear of failure: I know I may fail, but failure is one of life's greatest teaching tools! So what if I failed today, I will risk failure over and over again because I will never grow as a parent, let alone a woman if I don't. I'll just keep myself safe in bubble wrap never knowing victory because I never struggled to obtain it.
- Fear of rejection: Fear of rejection in the past costed me great opportunity. So share your voice and go for it!
- Fear of pleasing everyone: Let's just get real. It's impossible to please everyone. Someone will always feel let down. You appear neutral in just about everything so you never truly find your voice.
- Fear of change: Embrace change! Single motherhood is a huge adjustment, huge! But I have also developed an independence and strength I never knew I had! I can find comfort in the quiet solidarity rather than freak out that I don't have anyone there in the moment.
- Fear of success: Sounds crazy but it's true! I was afraid of success for years so I stopped trying to dream big because I convinced myself it would never happen. So last year when I began to run after my Newborn Photography Business with reckless abandon I saw huge profit! I finally stopped believing that "I will never find success like she did...." bah!
So there it is...I'm afraid. Just like you. Just like her. Guess what? That's okay! Fear forces us to either embrace it and conquer, or cower and fail. Let's choose together to conquer fear with love, power, and a strong mind! Let's allow God to go before us and show us his faithfulness.