When we were at the store yesterday, my 5 year old learned a hard lesson.
A practical lesson & a life lesson–don’t pick up glass bottles you don’t intend to buy, & especially don’t pick up glass bottles of expensive alcohol.
Also, glass breaks, wine stinks, & people can get hurt even when you don’t mean to hurt them.
We were in the check out line, waiting to make our purchase.
I had all 5 kids with me. It was late. There was a line. And inevitably, as a military store (because guns & alcohol are a great mix, right?) was a display of wine bottles & other alcohol products (all in glass, mind you) on either side of us.
Before I knew what hit me, there was a crash, lots of liquid everywhere, broken glass, a lady’s gasp (not me, but the woman in front of me holding her toddler), & Salem, my 5 year old, standing there looking horrified.
We all got splashed with the contents, but Amalia got hit the worst & was drenched from the waist down.
We had a good conversation on the way home–about wine (my kids could not believe that anyone would want to drink something so abhorrently offensive to the nostrils), about unintended consequences to actions, and about not touching things you shouldn’t.
I don’t share this as any remarkable thing.
Rather just another blip in the blur of motherhood, but one that stands out particularly strong because I think it’s a lesson that we all need to learn, particularly the part of dealing with the unintended consequences of our actions.
Joseph has been TDY (essentially a mini-deployment) since the end of February.
He’ll be back in April. In the meantime, it’s just me, holding the family together.
Most days are surprisingly good.
I am surprised at how much I really, really enjoy my kids.
And surprise myself at how far I’ve come as a mother.
Every time Joseph has left previous to this, I usually have a mini-break down about a week or two into it. But this time, things are easier. Not because my kids have changed, but I have changed. My general attitude about being alone, being a single mom* for a time, has changed.
I see it as a challenge, sort of a game.
Can I be a patient, kind & loving mother, day in & day out, despite the challenges of not having enough time in the day to do everything that I want or need to do?
Can I choose to be happy even when my house isn’t as clean as I’d like?
Can I enjoy, not just take care of my kids (clothe, feed), but actually enjoy being with them, being present with them, despite my lack of support or help from my significant other?
It may seem as a small thing, but somehow, this small shift in thinking has made all the difference.
I’ve never been happier to be a mom (truly), & I’m experiencing this all while having every reason to be burned out or discouraged.
Being a single mom, for any amount of time is hard.
But I’m learning that little choices (like our attitude) can alter the trajectory of all of our other choices.
My life right now is nearly 100% kids–to say it is “sooo much work” doesn’t even begin to describe it. I have a stack (literally) of recipes & photos I’m wondering when I will ever get to posting on the blog. I have a half a dozen books I want to read & side projects I want to do, but for now, they all have to wait.
For now, I’m super single mom**.
Giving each day a fighting chance, treating it like a challenge to prove myself–can I be the kind of mom I want to be despite my less than ideal circumstances?
And the answer is yes, absolutely yes.
*I realize my experience is not a true single mom experience. I still have a husband who supports & loves us, even from a far (not to mention all the financial support). But the day to day child rearing & taking care of business, it’s straight up, all me. And in that sense, I suppose I can relate, if only in a small sense to those true warriors, those true single mothers who deserve all the support, love, & respect we can offer them.
Weight loss update from this post:
I am so excited to talk to you guys about how this is going! But for now, just wanted to let you know that I have lost over 10 pounds so far (probably more because I haven’t weighed myself in over two weeks) & have discovered some really important insights into weight loss & health, namely, you get out of it, what you put in.
My general curmudgeon attitude after the miscarriage was really preventing me from making the changes that needed to happen in order for me to get back into the place I wanted to be physically, & more importantly, emotionally.
It’s been a little bit of a journey & I have made small & big tweaks to my diet & exercise & it’s been amazing to see how all the little daily choices add up to big changes.
Anyway, I plan to do a post on my progress in a few weeks, but want to give a shout out to anyone who is wanting to losing weight, or struggling with finding a diet/exercise balance–don’t give up–take it one day, one meal at a time. one exercise session at a time. Each little choice is important & you are worth it!