Ever wonder what it’s like to be a single parent? When I was married, I often wondered how single parents coped and managed on their own with no back-up. And then, with no warning or time to plan, I myself became that single parent. I never expected that I would become a single mom, and frankly when I did, I took it on full-speed ahead and never looked back. I embraced the role and decided that I would put on a brave face and go with it.

I just spent 48 hours on my own – no kids, ALONE…… As a single mother of two I rarely have any time without my kids.  I am the primary caregiver for my daughters.  In my world this means that they live with me full time and spend most of their time with me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.   However, it’s not common for me to have a weekend without my daughters being at home.

Everyone in life has baggage.  Some bigger and fuller than others, but it’s an unavoidable element of life.  The way I see it, we all walk around with these invisible back-packs that we wear.  Inside of them are a mélange of our strengths, fears, experiences, likes, dislikes…..one could say that these are the backpacks that sometimes weigh us down heavily and other times allow us to dig deep and find the strength to get through difficult situations.  They are the places we can store our special memories and useful tricks that can help to guide us when we are feeling the need for some extra help.

My marriage is over…..what now? Is this a question that you would ever imagine asking yourself?  It certainly wasn’t for me. I never imagined that it would be ME.
I had never thought that my marriage would end and that I would have to go through the steps to a divorce.
I knew this was something that happened regularly, too regularly, but not to me.  I am someone who always believed that I would be in a long-term marriage – sure there are ups and downs in every marriage, but if you had ever asked me 5 years ago if I thought I would end up divorced, my answer would have been a strong and bold NO!

I recently participated in a 7-day gratitude challenge.  A friend of mine nominated me, and the directions were quite simple.  I had to post 3 things a day, for seven days, for which I was grateful.  I also was required to nominate at least 3 other people to follow suit and participate as well.  I figured this was one of those challenges that would be easy, seeing as in my opinion I am and have always been an extremely grateful person.

At this time of year, with summer camp only a few short days away, I always find myself reflecting upon my own experiences at camp.  I started my camping career at the very young age of 2 years old.  One could say that I was very young to be a camper, but with my older sister and cousin to watch over me, I boarded the yellow school bus which took me to day camp every morning.   After 6 years of day camp I felt ready to conquer the world of sleep-away camp.  My older sister had started going to sleep-away camp and I wanted to follow in her foot-steps.
So, the summer after I finished the third grade, knowing NO ONE (except for my sister), I hopped onto yet another yellow school bus which took me off to sleep-away camp for 4 very long weeks.

Mother's Day has always been something that I have felt proud and privileged to be a part of.  In May 2001, I was 6 months pregnant with my my oldest child and I remember a friend of mine giving me a Mother's Day card designed specifically for a "mother-to-be."  I was so excited for the new adventure in mothering that was about to unfold.
At that time, I was married. I expected that my "mommy experience" was going to follow the intact family path - one with a mommy and a daddy living under the same roof and raising their children as a unit.

There are so many quotes about patience and waiting…..   good-things-comes-to-those-who-wait“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” happens to be a favorite of mine.  Perhaps this  is because I spend so very much of my time waiting for people and things.  I like to believe that I am a very patient person.
My children may choose to argue that I am not always patient, but that is the result of a being a mom, a single mom, who asks her kids to do things repeatedly until the initial patience gets lost.
For the most part, I have a great deal of patience.  Sure, I get impatient waiting in long lines at the grocery store or sitting in traffic when the radio is playing lousy music, but  that’s normal, right?

  rainbowThere are moments in motherhood that take our breath away.  There are the lovely moments, like when we hear our children giggle, when we feel the warmth of a hug and a wet sloppy kiss or just the everyday mother-child banter. There are also more difficult moments that can leave a mom feeling breathless, like willing a child’s fever to break or watching them struggle with a painful social situation.

Lately my life seems to be filled with lots of twists, turns, and obstacles.
It’s natural that with our busy and often non-stop routines we are bombarded with a multitude of daily challenges – some of which can be compared to tiny pebbles and others which feels like enormous boulders.  As I have mentioned before, as a mother, I spend a great deal of my life behind the wheel of my car.  While in the car this week, I found myself having to drive over many speed bumps, and lots of things became very clear to me…

People love to have all of the facts.  They hear a tidbit of information or half of a story and find it necessary to ask as many questions as possible in order to feel as though they have all of the details.  Then they piece together the information that they have gathered, add in anything they feel is missing and share the “story” with others.  Sadly, much of what they share is fiction, and that is how rumors and gossip are created.

While driving my car the other day, it struck me how very frequently I am driving from one place to another.  You see, a very big role that I play in my life is that of  TAXI DRIVER.  I spend hours each day in my “mom taxi” shuttling my daughters to and from their respective activities and friend’s houses.

I didn't start off my parenting experience as a single mother.  I started things off by following a common path.  I got married, had two baby girls, and played the role of wife and mother.  I was married for close to 12 years before my husband left.  All of a sudden  I found myself carrying the new title of SINGLE MOTHER.   Quite honestly  it was never a title that I imagined having.  But there I was, a single divorced mother  with two children under the age of ten.    

Anyone who knows me well knows that I LOVE to cook & bake.  In fact, one of my secret dreams is to be a chef and to have my very own FOOD NETWORK show. Over the past few years I have developed an affinity for The Art of Barbecue.  Let’s face it, I am no match for Bobby Flay when it comes to grilling, but whenever I get the chance to barbecue a meal I feel content.  I think it has something to do with the fact that BBQ-ing for me is connected to summertime and being outside. Once the snow comes, my trusty old barbecue goes into hibernation until spring returns.

Life as a Mom is busy and hectic.  Life as a Single Mom is exponentially busy and hectic.  The lunches, carpools, schedules, laundry, social directing, and daily adventures keep Moms constantly on the go, and as a result we often forget to take time just for ourselves.  It’s hard to balance family time with time for yourself.  I know that for me, it’s always a struggle.  After all, I see myself as Mommy first and then everything else follows.