By far the toughest parenting decision I made was to end my marriage and be a single mother. It was not a choice that came lightly to me. It was a choice that I struggled with. I grew up in a single parent home and that wasn’t something that I ever desired. But, here I stood alone and trying to raise a five year old son.
It was rough in the beginning. I was breaking down and crying and falling out from the pain of my marriage. It was like I was dying on the inside. I was scared. I was ashamed. I felt as though I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t strong like the women that I knew that had raised their children by themselves.
I felt inadequate.
I remember one time I couldn’t even get the strength to get up and make it to my hair appointment. I had no choice but to take my son because I needed to get my hair done. I didn’t want to ask for help. There was no one to call. I was alone. This was my life. This was my choice.
I called and cancelled my hair appointment. My hairdresser understood. She whispered it would be okay. I hung up. I stood up to go to the bathroom to wash my face and fell to the floor crying. My son held my head while I cried saying “Mommy, don’t cry. Please mommy. I’ll take care of you.”
I felt even worse for crying and not being able to put on a smile for my own son. I was failing at this parenting thing and he was only five years old. But, he held me. He rubbed my hair and I listened to his voice until I calmed down. I got up off that floor and climbed into bed and he climbed in next to me. I held him and held me.
I knew at that moment no matter what happened in life that we would get through it. We would survive. We had each other and that was all that mattered.