As I lie here in my bed, listening to the thunderstorm outside and unable to sleep, I find myself reflecting upon motherhood. It’s tough to be a mom sometimes. Even tougher still when you have to go it alone. Although ending my marriage was a choice I made after much prayer, finding myself as the only responsible parent has been a hard journey.
It has been made more difficult still by the challenges faced by my children and me. My kids have to live with a mom who has bipolar disorder. I try my best to stay regulated and under control, but have my moments of weakness. I often feel as though I’ve failed my children.
My boys have their own issues. My oldest son is very bright and thoughtful. However, he is plagued by anxiety, which in turn causes emotional outbursts. He has an innate need to please people and is awkward at times in his attempts to make friends. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and therefore his feelings are easily hurt. He gets those traits from me.
My youngest has autism. He has faced many challenges in his five years of life. He has difficulty verbalizing his feelings and tends to show frustration as a result. I may know he’s angry or upset, but it can take hours, sometimes days, before he can verbalize why he is feeling that way.
Doing this by myself has been hard. Oh how I would love to have a partner on this journey, but their father is sadly incapable of seeing beyond himself, so I am the lone responsible parent. It is something I take very seriously and the love I have for my children is greater than any love I have experienced. I wish for them that they knew the joy of a loving father as I have, but it is not meant to be.
I have days where I feel like supermom and am able to conquer the world, my children by my side. Other days, like today, I question my abilities to manage the world at all. There are days that I want to sit on the floor and cry. My disordered thinking magnifies my fears and causes me to question my abilities.
I wonder, do other single parents feel this way? Are they plagued by doubt and fear? Do they question their abilities? This is not a road I would advise anyone to take lightly. I worked hard to save my marriage, but hope turned to sadness and anger. Then resentment set in and there was nothing I could do to change my feelings. It is painful to watch your hopes and dreams of a fulfilled marriage fade away and it sucks to share your children with that person.
I haven’t given up hope, though, on finding a partner who would love my boys and show them what it means to truly be a father. I’m not sure how to find this person, but he must be out there somewhere. In the meantime, I must continue to follow this path I have chosen. Am I, are we as a family, going to make it? I sure hope so. My children, and I deserve much more than what was handed to us.