*I’ve been meaning to write a post like this for some time, and even so, it’s one disorganized long ramble. But it’s real. Thanks for letting me work out such private emotions in a public space.
It’s the question everyone is always dying to ask. At least, a few people have and I’m always curious about other single moms, too. Many single foster mothers are divorced and parents of grown children, just wanting to keep being a mother. Most SMC’s just never settled down with someone to start a family, so start one on their own before they feel “too old”. The younger end of our group simply choose not to wait because we just want to be parents NOW. I guess I fall into that latter group.
I have dated plenty, throughout my 20s and into the very recent past. Some of these dating relationships died natural, peaceful deaths. Others were based on poor choices or instant gratification that was later looked upon with some regret. I thought, for some years, that I’d found “the one”, only to be sucked into a cycle of breaking up and making up that made everyone around me dizzy.
This was the love that broke my heart. At times I find myself grieving, still. Letting go of someone you love, but with whom it can’t work, seems like a process that refuses to end. Sometimes a season, or a mood, or some song on a commercial will trigger that loss all over, just as those same triggers bring about other kinds of grief.
My point here is not to go on ad nauseum about the pains of love lost and hearts broken. We’ve all been there, and done that. The point I’m trying to get to is this: the love of my (earlier) life brought me to the love of my current life, my daughter. I watched this person as a mother and realized that I wanted and needed to be a mother, too. When I saw that it was possibly not going to happen together as a couple, the way I wanted it to, I started looking for a donor, and going through the foster care licensing process. I felt a pull on my heart like I’d never felt it before. My children were waiting for me.
And isn’t it amazing, that this love I had for Moose, for Avalon, and now for Jo Jo, put that romantic love completely into perspective? Suddenly, my broken heart was not the huge colossal earth-shattering problem that it had been only a year or two before. My priority was my child. My love for my babies blew my mind, and continues to do so. It is so much bigger than any love I’d thought I’d known.
As I snuggle with my Jo Jo, as she crawls to me for “huggies”, or screeches with happiness just because I’ve walked into the room, I realize that relationship problems are just such a smaller blip on the radar. My daughter is what matters. Sure, there is still grieving to be done, there is still loss and sadness and often, tears. My broken heart, in a romantic sense, is still important. Any loss is. But good god… so not worth the drama and hysterics of the past.
My life is wonderful, it is amazing, because I am a mother. I am so full of love, and so much love is given back to me. I have fun every day, I laugh, and I feel gratitude. I look forward to so much, I cherish the present moment, and I am filled with hope for our future together. Being a single mom has meant more time for my daughter, more attention on a peaceful life with the two of us, her grandma, and great-grandparents. No couple arguments, no parenting disagreements, no “making time for the marriage” or working on relationship problems while trying to be a good mommy.
I’m glad for that, right now. I’m glad that I’m a single mother, surrounded by family and friends who keep us company and form our community. I’m happy for the quiet, peaceful days just playing and eating and growing, mom and daughter (and grandma). I’m grateful for true love in the past, even if it did not lead to a lasting relationship, and for the fact that it brought me to motherhood. I’m ok with the tears and pain that go with a broken heart, and ok with letting myself continue to grieve for the loss of someone I love, and the loss of the dreams I had for us, for as long as I need to.
Single motherhood is better than I could ever have dreamed, and I don’t think I’m willing to trade it for anything else, anymore. At least not right now.