Single Mothers Rock!

“Single mother.” What words or thoughts come to mind when you hear these words?
The ones that immediately came to my mind were poor, ignorant, loose, even slutty. I felt a certain pity too, but in a “thank God that’s not me” kind of way. In many ways, my attitude towards the term “single mother” was not unlike my previous attitude about women who had abortions.
And then one day, I found myself fitting that exact description: Single mother.

For the last seven years, I have been a single mother and wrestled with the idea of what it means. My judgment about the terminology and experience was so deep that I needed to have a personal connection to it in order to really heal my mindset. The things we resist, do persist, until we come to terms with them.

Growing up, my family and religious traditions had taught me to judge many experiences that didn’t fall in line with their framework as bad, even intolerable. There was no room for a mistake, and if, God forbid, I stepped out of those boundaries, a deep and pervading shame arose within me. I can still remember the time, about five years ago, when my mother said to me with great sadness in her voice, “Honey, I never thought in a million years your life would turn out like this!” Ouch!

Her disappointment with my circumstances hit me like a ton of bricks.

Moving across the country three years ago was the beginning of a huge shift for me. I made new friends and “family.” I discovered a phenomenal tribe of people who don’t think with judgment showing in their eyes, conveying the hardness they feel in their hearts. They have shown me, by their own lifestyles, that there is a different way of thinking about being a  single mother, and how to release the remnants of fear-based thoughts that kept me locked up in my own world of negativity.

What I have discovered as I surrendered and opened my eyes and my heart, is that there is always – ALWAYS! – a different lens to look through at my life. I learned that my experience with abortion was a catalyst for personal growth and transformation that was essential to my health and well-being. Part of that growth, I have more recently discovered, included throwing away the last vestiges of rigid thinking around being a single mother.

For much of the last twenty years, I kicked and screamed, withdrew and cried about my life, not wanting to accept the experience of being a single mom as part of my path. On a subconscious level, I know I was afraid of that same scenario when I had my abortion. And yet, twenty-two years later, here I am parenting not one, but three children, on my own. The more I refused to accept changing my mindset around this concept, the deeper I fell into denial.

In the last few weeks, I have surrendered to that part of myself that fought with and labeled the single mother experience as something negative. The more I embrace this aspect of my life, the more at ease my family life has been. The changes in me are directly tied to the positive changes I see in my kids.

The results? I realized just this weekend how much I LOVE being not just a mom, but a single mom. Seeing my experience as negative or lacking in any way made it so. But changing the perspective to one of positivity and joy shifted everything. And the best part? My experience of my circumstances is all up to me. I get to choose whether or not I want to be a victim or a martyr, or an empowered woman, in charge of my own destiny. I am almost giddy with excitement today as I feel that knowing flowing through my being.

I know that all is absolutely well and beautiful in this moment.

Single mothers rock!


1 comment:

  1. Great caring, writing, and wearing your heart Dear Christina!