I have been so relieved to hit the bed lately.
See if you can keep up with me as I serve my country holding my kids in my arms.
I'm lonely. And I find myself feeling angry sometimes. Not at the people who I've given up in order to ensure my children have a good life. Not at my parents for failing to teach me what a good relationship looks like. Not at my friends who stay in bad relationships just because it's better than being alone.
I'm mad at myself. For failing to choose a good person to spend my life with. I wonder why do I sabotage myself? Why do I go into a relationship hoping that maybe he's "the one" when I know deep down inside that he's not? I never answer these questions. I just ask them after each break up. Or when I'm lonely.
People tell me that the right guy will come along and I smile and nod my head and tell them how I agree and that I'm perfectly okay with waiting. I'm only half lying. I think deep down inside I want to stay alone. Not because I don't want someone else.
I don't want to fail again. My kids' dad was a horrible mistake. I'm not going to sugar coat it tonight and say "without him I wouldn't have had my children." I know that's true. But it was a horrible experience and I don't ever want to make that mistake again. I don't have just me to worry about. When I didn't have kids the only bad thing to come of a failed relationship was a broken heart. Now I have two additional hearts to protect. And theirs is more important than mine.
My 5 year old, Sean, had a rough week because his daycare class was so busy with making Father's Day stuff and having Father's Day lunch and sharing stories of their dads. He threw a plastic shovel and it hit a kid in the face. He told his teacher "I don't have a dad. My father doesn't know how to be a good dad."
How the hell am I supposed to heal that? People tell me "you just have to remind him that he has YOU and he has other family members who love him." Yeah, try telling a 5 year old that what he wants doesn't matter because everyone else loves him. When what he truly knows is that he needs a father and the only one he has is an asshole who doesn't know how to be a good dad.
And here I am at past midnight closing up the third episode of Orange Is The New Black I've watched since the kids have fallen asleep. And all I want is someone to share it with. Someone to talk to about how freaking awesome this stupid series is.
I put them in swim class and I put them in tee ball. So they can be kids and have fun and learn boy stuff. Hell I'm coaching Sean's tee ball team. And they laugh and have a good time. We throw the ball around at the park and we go hiking and collect rocks and get dirty. It's all good stuff. They enjoy it. But at the end of the day we're still just three. We're a damn good three. But they still ask me why God hasn't given them a good dad.
And that pisses me off. Because I haven't given them a good dad. I made the wrong choices in men. I chose to be alone out of fear of failing yet again.
And I wonder if I will always have no one. And if they will always only have me. I don't know that answer.
Someone asked me if I've prayed about it. And I do. A lot. But even while I'm praying I am doubting. I go on Facebook and see the posts of all my married friends and I know that behind those smiling couples lies bad marriages. Not all of them. But enough to stunt my hope.
Not sure what my point is anymore. I guess it's just a rant. No real need for answers or pity. Just some single mom ranting. I guess it's up to me. It's up to me to take risks and find that right guy. It's up to me to deal with the heartbreak after each failed attempt. Or just hold out for that right guy, if I can recognize him.
So if you're a single mom feeling lonely or angry, don't feel too bad. Under all this fake smile, head- nodding perfectly-fine-with-waiting single mom lies someone who feels your pain. I know it's hard. And lonely. And sad. But you aren't alone in that. Not really.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.