1.) How to enjoy my own company.
When I was first separated from my ex-husband I was incredibly lonely. After all, I had just spent the last 10 years having him by my side all the time. And then….nothing. It was immediate culture shock. My fist reaction was to fill the void with anything and anyone I could. I soon realized that in order to fully heal, I needed to embrace my loneliness. At first it was hard, but now I value my alone time.
2.) Not to settle.
Once you get out of a bad relationship you find out a little more about yourself than you did before, particularly things you wont put up with this time around. We saw the red flags, and yet what we did was compromise. Now sometimes it is good to compromise, but I’m much wiser now about what is a compromiseable VRS. what isn’t. (Example: I can compromise if a guy doesn’t eat his veggies, but not on a guy who doesn’t make me a priority.)
3.) To not take time with anyone for granted.
Not that I did before, but I especially don’t take time with the people around me for granted now. You never know what is going to happen in life, and since you really aren’t in control of it anyways, cherish every moment as though it will be your last. You never know, it could be.
4.) How to embrace the obstacles.
My journey, as a single mom, has left me at times feeling like a Salmon swimming up stream. As tiring is that is, I am thankful for it. It has shown me just how strong I am, and it has shown me what I am truly made of. Without it I would not push my own limits and have the triumph of overcoming the obstacles that are thrown at me. It is so rewarding to know that I really can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
5.) To Trust in God.
There is a huge chunk in the beginning where I can literally say that God carried me, emotionally and financially. I cannot tell you how I didn’t lose everything including the house, because the money never added up until the month was over, and my bills were paid once again. How? I still don’t have a logical explanation for it. But I do know that I am of more value than the birds, and it is my father who takes care of me.
Matthew 6:26Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
6.) To Love myself.
When I was married I was so hung up on giving everyone what they wanted and needed. I made meals I didn’t like, because my husband liked them. I did outings that everyone else wanted to do. I put my wants on the back burner for the sake of everyone else.
Now that I am single, I cook the meals I like. (Let’s face it, the kids don’t like anything anyways.) And I do what I want, when I want. We have a saying in this house whenever I’m feeling lost, and the kids are complaining about having to do something I want to do.
Are you ready?….. “I matter too!”
That’s right, I matter too and my needs are just as important as everyone else. I will never again be a martyr, because I really do matter too.
7.) It’s OK to ask for help.
It’s so humbling to admit when we need help. I was great at managing my household when I was married, but the truth is, I barely remember to have my kids brush their teeth in the morning anymore.
I was sitting at the doctors with them and he asked my girls if they brushed their teeth. They both said “Yes”, as they do before they go to bed every night. He then asked them when? It all of a sudden dawned on me….EWW…I don’t have my kids brush their teeth in the morning?! I was seriously embarrassed.
As a single mom, we have so much on our plates, it really is OK to make lists, (even though we never needed them before) set timers, (to remind ourselves to get our kids off the bus) and allow someone else to help around the house or take the kids for a bit. It’s OK to ask for help.
8.) To go with the flow.
I used to be planner. I could tell you what I was doing at least a few months in advance. Now? Not on you life! Oh, I plan things, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. Sometimes I am just far to exhausted from life to keep up. So we don’t, and I don’t feel bad about it. If it happens…great! And if not….oh well, that’s life.
9.) To embrace my fears.
There are a lot of fears I’ve had to overcome being a single mom. One is that I am literally the only one around to kill spiders. The first time I saw one I panicked like I normally do, and then I realized…..I was the only one around. I had to kill it, or worse…. let it roam free. (Let me tell you, hairspray works wonders.)
Another reality is that if someone breaks through my door, I am the only one here to protect us. (I actually had to stop watching The Walking Dead for fear of roundhouse kicking one of the kids in my sleep, in the middle of the night.) Protecting my kids is a big responsibility and not one I take lightly. Just like any emergency I am prepared if the situation ever arises and I have to exercise my right to the 2nd amendment.
10.) To Never give up.
I will never give up in achieving my dreams. At the beginning I dreamed of having an amazing guy come into our lives, give me back the privilege of staying home and raising my babies, as well as an amazing house to live in and grow old together. And though that could absolutely still happen, I’m not going to wait for it. I’m going to work my tail off so that one day I can buy my own house, and maybe be able to work from home. God’s by my side and no one’s gonna stop me!
“Keep moving forward!” ~ Walt Disney