There is a loneliness so profound, I’m having trouble even beginning to describe it. It’s not a loneliness of the heart or mind. It’s one of the soul. It transcends most human understanding. It’s in this deep place that I hope no one else can ever experience. It doesn’t happen overnight or even in a month or two. It’s a culmination of years of decision-making alone, wiping tears alone, tending to illness alone, eating alone, attending events alone, etc. And sadly, I have to admit that it’s somehow become a part of my every day struggle.
I’ve recently realized how lonely I feel. It’s become the single most difficult part of single parenthood. While my kids were younger, tasks were difficult. Buckling and unbuckling them into car seats, getting them ready for school everyday, feeding them, changing their diapers, wiping their butts, building their toys seemed like monumental projects. But recently as they have become more independent, which I have become eternally grateful for, I also have to face the fact that being alone is now a new normal that I have to accept. It’s now this state of mind that has become the daunting roadblock to overcome.
Realize that there is no task, no decision, no event that I do not do alone. The simple and mundane to the difficult and challenging are always completed without any help. I don’t want to discount the countless offers of helping me. I appreciate each and every single one of them. Yet, the reality is that as much as offers of watching the kids for me are undeniably appreciated, caring for my kids for a few hours doesn’t take away the pain of the loneliness I described. The moments of making a decision of where to place my couch or what sport will benefit and match my child’s personality. It’s the utter silence and lack of adult conversation at the end of the night that results in this melancholy.
Will having a partner help? Yes, probably. But navigating the dating scene is, in and of itself, a stressful undertaking. I’m not even sure if my heart and mind are ready for that level of commitment.
My purpose of sharing this is also not to get offers of evening conversation or help in decision-making. But rather, a glimpse into the reality of what single motherhood looks and feels like. I’m not looking to commiserate with others or even throw a pity-party for myself. I just want to bring light to the issue. As a psychologist and educator, one of my important platforms is the issue of mental health. I want to be transparent in my discussion of this journey. I want to be able to share not only the struggles of the past, but also, those of the present.
Will I overcome this obstacle? Of course I will. I seek help through prayer and daily devotion to God. He will carry me through this, just as He has carried me through every other battle and weakness. Whether lonely, alone, surrounded by a thousand or even one single person, I will always stay focused on the most important goal I have: to raise my children to be loving, caring, intelligent, wise, generous, independent citizens. And I promise to do it with a smile on my face. This is my battle to fight and they deserve a mom they can remember as happy and full of life.
Every ounce of me thanks the Lord above for the blessings I have been given. I’m so truly grateful for the community of friends and family who support us, love us, invite us and share their love with us. We will make it through because we are stronger than any obstacle in our way.
And to those who struggle with loneliness, push through, despite it. Love, even when you don’t feel like loving. Laugh, when all you want to do is cry. Cheer yourself on, especially when there’s no one else to do it for you. Dance, even when you don’t have a partner. And most importantly, remember your reputation is not defined by your circumstances, but rather how you chose to handle them.