Single Parent Sorrow
There are so many things that break my heart now. So many things I can’t avoid that I really want to. Things I would never imagine would cause me sadness.
Recently my youngest children and I attended a block party that a local Christian radio station put on. It was so crowded and hot and, ugh, the lines were ridiculous. We were there with friends and, really it was fun.
I guess what I mean is although I enjoyed it on the outside, my heart was breaking on the inside. There were all these families – mommies and daddies and babies and toddlers and children…well, you get the idea. I know there are way too many of us – single moms – out there. I know that I’m not alone, but sometimes it feels like I’m the ONLY single mom within miles.
There have been times – mostly in the first year or so of my single momness – when I felt empowered by each experience where I was able to fulfill the roles of both mom and dad. Now I don’t find any victory or joy in it at all. Now I just think about what’s missing rather than what I can fill. I can fill the role of dad to some degree – I can lift children, wrestle with children, toss children in the pool, teach my children to ride their bikes, cook on the grill, do home repairs, carry heavy things, etc. etc. etc. But I can’t stand next to myself at family functions. I can’t talk to myself about the amazing things my kids are doing – well, I can but it looks a little odd. I can’t split up with myself to stand in two different lines at a fair. I can’t encourage my son when he does pull ups at the Marine Corp booth while I’m waiting in line for the moon bounce.
I so appreciate that the Lord provides wonderful friends who can stand in for an absent Daddy. But, dang it, I don’t want a stand-in. I want my children to enjoy the life I always thought they’d have – a mommy and daddy who stand together and love them together and raise them together. I never imagined that that wouldn’t be the case. I never imagined being alone.
So here I sit typing about my broken heart. There are things almost every day that remind me of this blasted broken heart. I know that someday it won’t hurt as much – although I think it will always hurt for what my children have lost. Oh that I could give it to them. I wish I could change these circumstances, but I can’t. This is where God has us.
I’m thankful that I have a Father who promises to be my children’s father and my husband. I am thankful for friends who are willing to step into this crazy world I live in. Like the Psalmists often say – my paraphrase – life is tough…yet I will praise Him!