February 28, 2010

(Single) Mother

I could hardly form the words, when I first wrote about being a single mom on this blog. My fingers didn't want to type them. My mind didn't want to go there. I didn't want to say the words out loud. I felt defeated. I felt outed. I felt like a failure. I felt like a bad mother.

When I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't going to keep trying to make my relationship work, it took a while to fully accept what that meant to the other areas of my life… and yes how I was going to parent my daughter was one of them. Still getting used my new role as a “mother”, I wasn’t ready to take on the 100 pound weight of the “single mother” label. As weird as that may seem, I felt that “single mother” had so many connotations that I wasn’t ready to accept.

Last weekend, I went out for dinner and drinks with a group of eight women. All of us were virtually strangers. Few had met at previous events, some had exchanged emails and phone calls prior to that night. But none of us knew much more of one another than the few details that we posted on the Meetup.com group that we are part of. We are all single mothers.

As soon as I sat down at the table, my nervousness about meeting a group of new women disappeared. The conversation was easy. The laughter contagious. The sense of community palpable.

To the right of me was a mother still healing from the breakup of her marriage, just 6 months ago. Across the table was a mother of four – ages 8,7,6,5!! – who proclaimed that she would rather be single and happy, than married and miserable. Beside her, a mother who divorced her husband while pregnant with their first child. Sneaking in last, a mother of seven-month old twins, who at nearly 50 decided not to give up her dream of being a mother merely because she was single.

It made me realize that the tapestry of single motherhood, really is that, a tapestry. Made up of so many incredible women who are solo parenting, whether by choice or not, whether they were ready, or not. All of us incredible, powerful, and wonderful mothers.

It was just what I needed to experience. I feel like I am coming into my own as a new person, a new mother and a single mother. And it feels ok.

~ humps


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