Thank you! Thank You! Thank you! That’s what I say to myself now! Thank you for never giving up Karen!
I can’t even attempt to try and remember how many days over the past twenty plus years as a single mom that I just wanted to retreat into my closet and waive the white flag and give up on myself! It was frequent. It was painful. And I was exhausted as I charted the unknown waters of being a divorced mom!
Never Giving Up!
But though I may have wanted to give up on myself at times, I never wanted to give up on my family. My children didn’t need to see a mom in free fall! They needed to see that I was shored up, steady and that all was just fine.
So, that white flag never did come out. To the contrary, I pulled out my checkered flag instead and yelled, “Go Karen! ” And though it’s true, I may have felt delusional as I cheered myself on, it had to be done! I also had to do a little house cleaning in the friend department as I survived the trials and sometimes terrors of single parenting two children under the age of 5 years old.
You find out who your real friends are when you are involved in a scandal.
Though I wouldn’t call my divorce a scandal, I do think some thought it was all so juicy! Well juicy as long as it wasn’t happening to them! After all, it was a result of an affair. Those who wanted to know every salacious detail were front and center offering their aid to me and my very young children. But soon after they had learned all they could and after blasting it out to their respective coconut wireless fans, ultimately their need for receiving and transmitting dried up. And soon they were gone.
Friends Who Came and Went
The depth of their friendships showing like the exposed shells on the sand in a receding tide. It was a huge learning experience for me. I soon realized that I saw friends running away because my newly single status was more than they could handle. I had to take a really good look at who was still standing with me. And to tell you the truth, there weren’t many. Of course, when you are a married couple for 14 years you become one body. Your friends are all merged together like cells on a glass slide under a microscope.
Throw a different chemical onto it (aka divorce), and they all split!
That was a lot for me to handle too. I had never had any kind of life-shattering thing happen to me before and I guess a divorce was a true test of their loyalty. And by virtue of that, those who remained standing in my newly shrunk circle were the truest of friends imaginable. They are golden. And they are friends that still stand with me today.
One day I’ll make you proud. I promise.
And so day by day as my children grew from 4 weeks old to 3 years old, to 13 years old, and now to 23 years old, I look back and pick up that letter and smile. God, it was so flipping hard! I went to sleep at night worried about absolutely everything from having the ability to put food on the table, a roof over their heads, and clothes on their backs.
You know the small stuff?
And every morning as I started on a new day, I pushed through the anxiety and stress and believed that the best is all around me and in my future. I changed my dialog from worry to certainty.
Thank you for being able to provide a home for your children Karen!
Thank you for being able to feed them 3 meals a day Karen!
Thank you for being able to keep up with their ever-changing and growing bodies and putting clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet Karen!
And thank you for seeing who was and more importantly was not your friend Karen! Thank you for making me proud!
We really do have the ability to push through and stay the course. Giving up is not an option! If you have survived a day, a month, or a year so far as a divorced mom, then you have nothing but a ton more to achieve and celebrate! It won’t happen overnight. It happens moment by moment and day by day and month by month. Because the fact of the matter is, you are growing up again. You are learning new skills that you never even knew existed. And I promise you they are there!
And you know what the best part is?
You will reach that place when you least expect it. You know you have arrived when you wake up and realize that you actually slept through the night and the heavy anxieties that were always somewhere hanging onto your shoulders and back and head and stomach, are no longer present.
You made it through. And you made it through a stronger, more resilient amazing woman let alone mom! You are the excellence your children will strive for. And they too will realize they made it because you made it!
So close your eyes and think about how far you have come and where you want to go! Get rid of your white flag and keep your checkered flag on hand! You will be waving it for many days to come! Because…Girl, you got this!