This morning I enjoyed listening to several women share about how much they are blessed by being grandmas.
One lady expressed how she felt it was her opportunity to make up for all her mistakes as a mom. Another lady laughed and replied she let her grandchildren do things she never would have let her children do. And yet another shared she was more able to experience the little moments of joy in a day with her grandchildren than she ever was with her own children.
It made me feel a certain sense of relief that my struggle to find time to just “be” with my kids is not only mine. It’s universal. It was even challenging years ago when maybe life was less complicated.
I hesitate to say that life was or is ever uncomplicated. I suppose our idyllic view of the past and its less-stressful, less-busy existence is probably not accurate – at least to some degree.
I’ll admit our situation as single parents is far less than idyllic and far more stressful than most can imagine. I can’t tell you how many people say to me things like, “My husband travels a lot. I know just what you’re dealing with.” I did feel that way when I initially began this single mom journey. My thought was, “I’ve basically been a single parent for the past several years. I can do this.”
What a rude awakening it was when I realized that was not the case. Even though my husband hadn’t been around a lot, he was still “there” in a sense. He was my partner, friend and encourager. He was as emotionally invested in our children as I was and still am. There isn’t anyone who has quite the same interest in my children as their father did. I miss that. I miss having someone to turn to and say, “Did you see that? We have the funniest kids!” I miss someone on the sideline of games who’s as interested in the soccer player with the #2 on his back as I am. It simply isn’t the same – nothing is. It’s all sad, difficult, complicated and stressful BUT I will tell you something wonderful.
Recently, my 14 year old daughter said, “Momma, we have a great relationship. I actually like you.”
I could have wept. It’s true. We have a wonderful relationship. We’re bonded in a beautiful way. I’d say that I have a good relationship with all my children. These life circumstances have enabled us to become stronger as a family – as our newly defined family. We’re in this together. We are survivors.
I know I’ll always have those moments when I wish I could simply be in the moment with my children, but I’m thankful beyond those moments that I can be in this life with them.
Sue Birdseye is an author and communicator who shares the adventures she has on her unexpected journey of single parenting. She went from the typical “picket fence” kind of life to being a single mom to five beautiful children. She has learned what it means to be totally dependent upon the Lord and how beautiful that dependence is. Her change of life circumstances has led to a passionate desire to encourage and bless other moms no matter their life circumstances. She has been active in her community as a foster/adoptive mom and public school teacher. She has also been part of her church’s worship, discipleship, women’s, and children’s ministries. She is an avid book reader, a game night hoster, and an early morning writer. Her book “When Happily Ever After Shatters” is the story of how God stepped into her life and the lives of her children just when everything seemed to be falling apart. She hopes that her writing will encourage, bless, and maybe even make someone smile.