“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
― Michel de Montaigne
It has taken me until recently to fully grasp how many typical household duties I cannot do on my own. Simple, easy, one person tasks- I cannot do.Attempting to open a jar of sauce left me sitting on the kitchen floor in tears one night, I wasn't strong enough to turn the top. And in that moment I realized there was no one but myself to do this task. There was no one stronger than me to get this jar opened.
For the first time in my bubble of positivity, I was not strong enough. Up until that seemingly meaningless and typical task I had a feeling of invincibility.
I can do this. I can do this. I AM doing this.
That simple act of opening a jar gave me a chance to slow down and observe my situation a little clearer. It gave me the few moments of clarity I needed to realize something massive about myself. I still had so much to learn, and my dependence on others has held me back my entire life. I want to do as many things for myself (and the kids) as possible. Could it be an ego issue? Possibly. Could it be pride? Most likely. Yet, I don't care much either way. I need to learn for myself- for once I cannot and will not categorize tasks as a male/female type activity.
I pulled myself off the kitchen floor, dried my tear stained face, quietly whispered to myself that I was ok and I was in control (a mantra of a few other newly single mama's I know) and proceeded to slam the shit out of that jar of sauce. Conventional? Nah.... Yet it worked! The war had been won and dinner had been served. Of course, no one wanted pasta that night and everything ended up being a waste. But I had won! That small snipit in time was powerfully enlightening.
I have been spending most nights reconnecting with friends I had set aside once becoming a mother, I had lost my balance. Such a pattern in the past year I have noticed. My entire 2012 was spent finding my balance between ME and MOMMY. I am excited to say the journey was well worth the struggle, I have found myself inside of the role of motherhood. And the balance is no longer as hard as it once was. After the day has been completed and the books as read and tiny babies are snuggled in their beds I return to the relaxed person I have missed so often through-out the years. I have made sure to always have plans, to always surround myself with people who bring a smile to my face. And more importantly spend time with people who remember me- because I am still trying to remember myself. I have found it interesting to speak of the past and hear things about myself I had completely forgotten. How could I have lost my entire life so easily? How could everything be so black since becoming a mother? I had sunk so far to the bottom of the sea in trying to be a super woman mama. Silly me, I just need to be me while extending my love and care to the tiny beings who I brought into this world. I didn't need to completely erase myself to do so. Four years later maybe I might just be catching on to this parenting thing...
Life at home has been easier than I expected. I remember the night Derek moved out, I spent the whole night on my phone mass texting my single mommy friends.
"I don't know how I will be able to sleep without someone next to me."
"It gets easier. You will actually begin to really enjoy it."
"I am going to feel so alone without another person here."
"You will learn to fill your time with things YOU enjoy. There won't be any more awkward silences."
"How will I manage balancing all the kids alone?"
"You won't. It will be hard. You will cry. You will break down. But you will also realize there is no one else but you- and you have to pick yourself up and just keep moving forward. And after all is said and done you will marvel at yourself and how you found new ways to cope with old situations."
Derek spent the day with the kids yesterday, I came home from a trip to the mall with an amazing friend and sat down for dinner with he and the kids. "Ya know," I said half nervously "I can't lie. I actually really enjoy sleeping alone now." He stopped and thought for a moment before replying, "I do too."
The space from each other has been amazing, I think we truly do recognize our place as parents is best separated. In having space from the other person we have regained respect for each other. We have come back to a place of speaking kindly to the other, and giving time for each of us to grow on our own. I am proud of the two of us, this whole realization our relationship may have ended years ago, has blossomed into a friendship that is not based on forcing anything on eachother, but leaving be, and only speaking when we feel like it. To be honest I have kept my distance through-out this so far. I know I will get to a place of having things to say to him, but at the moment I am searching for the new me.
The balanced, self sufficient, purely happy, confident single mother of three.
And we both are completely content with that.
I will always have my moments, I will probably break down from exhaustion more then I wish to, but this is simply ME. I am over emotional, and tired, and yes, sometimes lonely. But it feels amazing! I am figuring out my feelings without the guilt of being in a relationship that felt false and forced. I have found the larger parts to myself I had unconsciously boxed away.
I feel alive.