Single Parenting

Lots of men and women do this, and have done this, for millenia. Who am I to whine and whinge? Seriously.

I have learned that I can't do this alone. I have learned to ask for help. A lot. At least by my standards. I have learned that my family is more supportive that I ever would have guessed had I not needed them so much these last months.

I have learned that kids grieve on their own schedules, in their own ways, in ways that we may not recognize as grieving. I am learning to worry less, to be more forgiving of them and myself.

I have learned that rejection from some people is a blessing. I have become very, very private. I have given up being the "fixer" for the world, making things okay for the people around me. I can't. They'll have to sort out things for themselves. That doesn't make me a terrible person, or a "bottom feeder" as one person put it.

A few months ago I asked my brother to drive me out to Pedernales Falls state park, so I could walk in solitude along the trails and find a private place to cry and fall apart, where I could feel the love and support of the planet holding me. Many things came to me, sitting on a rock in the sunshine listening to the wind whip the cedar and juniper around me. I felt overwhelmed by everything ahead. So, so much to do, and then the stress of being the sole parent for my children - their sole emotional anchor, financial provider, guidance counselor, guide to life and the world and adulthood and the way to their own individual paths.

A thought entered my mind as I finally rose to leave:

"There is nothing to do but love everyone."

I hold onto this when the overwhelmed feeling comes back. Which it does, in cycles. But I have also learned that it runs itself out and I'm back to feeling my old intrepid self again.

There is nothing to do but love everyone.


chris and annie said...

Dear Liz, that is indeed the ultimate of all things and you are so intuitive and right to come to the end of yourself and find in the most intimate and secure place that love is the only answer. The only solution to an impossible maze of sadness life throws at us. So many people start to hate and feel resentment when something as horrid happens as what happened in your life, but you found love. I know that thought was more than just your head, it was angelic and light. Nothing is as pure as love. I am thankful that love connects us, even strangers because of its power.
May peace be your beacon,

Single Mother Grants said...

No child in a single parent family is by default doomed for a maladjusted life. Single parents must model self-respect and self-nurturing to the children and establish a support system for the family.