The photo above is one of my all time favorite pictures of my daughter and I. She’s about six months old and at the time, I felt like I had my dream life. My little family was beautiful, full of so much love and joy. My husband treated me like I was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He adored me as a wife and mother of his daughter. If someone had told me the events of the year that followed this picture, I would have laughed in their face. A double life, the destruction of an affair, my husband moving out, a single mom to a fresh one year old… Actually, had someone even told me ONE of these things was to happen, I would have bet them all the money in the world that they were wrong. Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t make that bet.
My first Mother’s Day was one for the books. What every new mom’s first Mother’s Day should look like. Relaxation and pampering to the max. Didn’t change one diaper all weekend, went on a shopping spree, drank coffee in bed, ate deliciously planned meals with paired wine and cocktails, flowers, cards, you name it … the works. A lot can happen in a year. The next Mother’s Day my husband took me out to brunch where we sipped mimosas and ate some amazing food with our darling daughter. Sounds pretty standard, right? Well, this celebratory brunch was actually his first attempt at coming back to our marriage and family after he had been in an 8 month affair. There were flowers, coupons, and promises galore. Having him come back to our family was a nice Mother’s Day gift in a twisted sort of way. However, it was very short-lived.
The following two Mother’s Days were spent with my mom, aunts, and friends celebrating the sweet gift of motherhood. Celebrating the gift that God gave me this amazing daughter to nurture and raise. And as much as I did feel loved, supported, and thankful, I was still husband-less on this day, which stung. Last year, our divorce had just been finalized and I was greeted with a card, champagne, and flowers from my baby daddy. Of course, it was thoughtful that he appreciated how I was raising our daughter and wanted to acknowledge me. I am not dumbing down this gesture, but it’s still a loss. It was not a celebration planned by my husband. We did not wake up on this special morning, all together under one roof. I had my daughter all day, on my own.
Loss. Even though I felt loved and celebrated, there was loss. This was not how I pictured this stage of life. And that’s just plain hard. It’s hard to see all of your mommy friends with one more baby on the way, spoiled by their husbands on this heartfelt day and you are now divorced at square one. Mother’s Day is meant to celebrate motherhood. The ups, the downs, the beauty, the mess, the joy and the tears. Sadly, for single moms, it can feel like just another day. If you’re a single mommy of little ones, I encourage you to create the perfect day for yourself. And if that means hiring a babysitter, THAT. IS. OKAY. This is one of those days, full of triggers that has the potential of letting you down all over again. We need to do what we can to minimize this. For our own well-being. We look out for the well-being of our little ones all day, every day. Look out for #1 on Mother’s Day this year. Don’t dread the day that you don’t have a husband to spoil you, spoil yourself instead! Spend time surrounded by your mom, loved ones, fellow single moms, dear friends … whoever will bring YOU joy on this day. Give yourself the gift of whatever will help the day be a happy one! I will be praying that your triggers are few and that your cards/flowers/gifts/cocktails are many.
Image by Siana Photography