Being a single mum is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears; but also, twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride. -Unknown
I didn’t set out to be a single mum, and it’s safe to say most mothers don’t set out to raise children on their own. The loss of your mate due to death, mental illness, selfishness, or a multitude of other reasons force you into an area where you become all things to your children.
#Being12 is how I usually tag the photos of my son, when I upload them to Instagram. He drives me mad most days, but on the most important days, he reminds me that I can laugh. He reminds me that its ok to be driven. Some other folk call how we play around aggressive, but my beautiful boy reminds me that it’s ok to be vulnerable when the world tells you otherwise.
A Day In My Life...
My days are filled with convincing him that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, water is a must on a daily bases, making brown bag lunches is a must, because he keeps losing his lunch bags, in addition to telling him to walk the dog more than once a day. And of course, like all of us in the Mum-Gang, we are in constant repetition with the day old chant "Clean Your Room!", followed by him letting me know it's the 100th time he's heard the redundancy in request. In the end, the repetitiveness, the constant “Why???” when I say don’t do this or don't do that, and the silliness I get when trying to discipline him, of course is a ploy to distract me. This distraction reinforces that I don't want to be anywhere else.What I have learned is that all the colors I see and feel come from the awesomeness that my son carries in spite of living in a single parent home.
I don’t have all the answers, although at times I pretend I to.*quite normal, by the way*
I'm always second guessing my parenting skills, which I hide under the guise of confidence; and craving a glass of Riesling at the end of the day is an understatement. Just so you know, I'm quite the wine connoisseur, a regula-degular...and although red is better for you, I take pride in knowing that I am a light weight and I am pleasantly delighted that a sip of wine gives me the permission to rest, sigh, and thank Jehovah each day, for allowing me to make it through. I thank Him for allowing me to see my son at the end of every day, when there are others who may not come home from work, whole and complete. I thank Him for allowing me to talk to him even when our conversations lead to his struggles as a pre-teen going through puberty. I am already weary of pubescent stories that I'm neither in the right mind to fathom at this time, nor have I accepted that this too will be the similar fate I will share with other mothers whom have given birth to sons. I'm grateful that I have instilled in him the virtue for spiritual living in a world where anything goes and morals are virtually non-existent. I am thankful to my beautiful bouncing mini- man child for allowing me to still hug and kiss him, even when he finds it embarrassing. I'm proud and honored that he has allowed me to be HIS mother. My faith has gotten us through so much.
What Lied Ahead-Divorce??
My ex-husband's mental illness, his infidelity, his attempt at mental and verbal abuse, and his selfishness nearly brought me to a nervous breakdown. My FAITH and hope in Jehovah along with the support of my close friends and family helped me keep my sanity, and is still what I rely on to continue bringing us through the storm.
Going through a divorce and raising a boy to be a man in a world that’s unforgiving is extremely tough but I've learned a few things. 1) PTSD* is a real thing. When you’ve been in an almost 15-year marriage that didn’t go as planned, the stress of reshaping your thoughts, refueling your motivational drive, and maintaining normalcy for your child is the most nerve wrecking and humbling experiences. It was one of the hardest roles I’ve had to play while my heart was breaking. 2) You will find your strength in places you never knew you had it; a backbone made of steel, and a heart made of gold. One of my favorite movies is called Hope Floats. There’s a quote at the end of the movie, where the main character, and her daughter recount a bit of advice their mother & grandmother left for them after she passes. “Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up, and it WILL too!”
Being in charge of my small human, my position in this story has taken me back to the beginning, ths scary beginning. As I consider my time on this planet, we call earth, I am cinfident that my beautiful son knows that I have always been and will alwayd be his protector, defender, doctor, teacher, cook, nurse, or psychologist. 3) I recognize that we mothers have a lot to manage when it comes to the needs of our children but we also have to be willing and committed to our own self care. Yes! The end of my family of three was scary, but I inevitanly conquered doubt after all,and I believe that mothers have been doing these self refelctive studies since the beginning of time. We aim to get better because we have to be better for them. We need to keep floating upwards to our most desireable state of being and to finally find happiness, so that our children experience us at our best.
When we become mothers, the myth is that who we are takes a backseat to who we want to be. It's
A Myth. Rewrie the story.
To my twelve-year-old son, this year my Instagram posts will begin with #being13, because as your SuperWoman, I want the world to be proud of the Superman I am raising. I am a copy of my mother's ingenuity. She raised three of us with compassion, conviction to faith, and with love. Like my mother, who wore her cape with honor and grace, I promise to you my beautiful son, that I will make sure that you understand that you matter, you are loved, and that you are more than enough.
Kiwana Cabrera works in the tech field as a Content Strategist, but writing is her passion. She lives in Seattle, Washington, although her soul resides in New York. She's Brooklyn born, East Coast grown, and Caribbean bred. In her spare time she loves a good book, and values the time she spends with her 12 year old son either gaming, traveling, eating sushi, or just hanging out. She is a proud Jehovah's Witness. (JW.org)
*Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect anyone - from war veterans and abuse victims to persons directly or indirectly traumatized by other catastrophes including crime, natural disasters, and serious accidents. Getting treatment as soon as possible after PTSD symptoms develop may help prevent PTSD from developing into a long-term condition. Treatment may take the form of medication, pychotherpay, or alternative medicine. As many as an estimated 7.8%/of all Americans will experiencevPTSD at some point in their lives. Roughly 5.2 million people have PTSD during the course of a given year.
Muscari, M. (2012). PTSD. New York: DemosHealth.