Time: Its Okay for Our Children to See Our Brokenness

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Becoming a single mom is almost like becoming a parent again; there is no instruction manual. You had tidbit of information, a few shared opinions and well meaning advice; before you are thrust out into the world vulnerable and fragile. You already are raising babies, but now you have to do completely alone?!

 

As scary as it can be. I feel like many parts of life, God does not give instruction manuals because we are learning as we go. We are learning what is right for us and what is wrong. We get our hands dirty to patch up the holes and we work tenderly and heal the wounds that were left behind.

 

And as we learn to parent alone, we also learn much deeper lessons about life, our children and ourselves. One lesson I learned  on this journey is; it is ok for our kids to see our vulnerable moments sometimes. 

 

For awhile I tried everything I could to keep myself calm and collected during my separation and divorce. I followed the advice of the kids counselor and school. It was what everyone told me. “Even if you are breaking inside, don’t ever let your kids see. They don’t need that burden.”

 

Part of this advice is very true. You don’t need to dump the load of brokeness and scary concepts that come with divorce. But I also know, you can’t pretend to hide the truth. My kids knew their dad was not around and they knew mommy was working really hard to keep things held together. They didn’t hear it from me. They saw me live it out daily.

 

So many times I became overwhelmed by the chaos and broken and exhaustion, I found myself crying. I tried so hard to pretend I was ok, because I didn’t want my kids to worry. Diving into bathrooms; sending them outside, handing them my phone were all distractions to keep them from seeing the pain, I couldn’t hold anymore. However in one moment, I wasn’t fast enough to hide myself away. I sank to the kitchen floor crying. I had hoped the phone and tv would distract my kids, but my barely five year old son heard me. Coming into the kitchen I made some quick lie, I could say, but instead, he walked up to me with his strong little arms. Wrapping them around me, he said, “You are ok, Mommy. I love you.”

 

My daughter soon followed the sniffling noise of her mom and asked, “Are you ok, Mommy?” And with her arms she wrapped them around me and there I sat. Both of my kids hugging the life and energy back into me, I was able to stop crying, embrace them back and then get right back up to take on the world again.

 

That was enough. There was no need to lie or explain everything or share some big story. There is a time and moment for that. But right then, my children knew I was hurting and they needed to make sure mommy was ok. Everything was still difficult to handle and their was still too much on my plate to handle, yet through them God reminded me why I was fighting this battle. 

 

Its funny how God made small children have big hearts. Maybe this was one of the many reasons the Bible says we need to have faith like a child. Children have a lot more strength without having all the answers to life. It is ok in some moments to let our children see, we feel broken sometimes. They will see the strong example of the powerful you are as you get back up and handle the world. And they will be your reminder to keep taking one step at a time out in faith.

NaTacia Z.

See more blogs from her at her site https://blessedsinglemom.wordpress.com

The Broken Wrist

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A couple of weeks ago, I was finishing up my vacation, when my friends and I decided to go to the river for one last hooray! While we were there, walking on the boulders, I slipped on a mossy rock and fell. My knee twisted under me and my right wrist broke my fall…literally! And it was off to the ER we went. I've broken toes. I've broken a finger. But with those, I just taped them up and went on. This was different. For the first time, I'm experiencing life without the use of my right hand. It's frustrating!

 I love being a mom. I love doing stuff for my kids. My older two are adults now, and my youngest is 17. And now, they are having to help me. Talk about being humbled! However, it's been nice to see them step up and help, without complaint. Teasing, yes! Complaining? No!

 During this time, I've had to slow down. I've had to trust others to help me. And I've had a lot of time to think. Seriously! What else am I going to do? There's been a lot of movies. Lots of social media. And after a few days of mindless activity, I picked up some books I've started but never finished. See, I'm an avid reader. I love it. Reading relaxes me. But I've been so busy the last few months, that I've only finished one book.

 It's not just books I've started reading again, I've also started reading, really reading, my Bible. Now, don't get me wrong! I read my Bible every day. I pray all day long. My relationship with my Heavenly Father is the most important relationship I have. But I've found a new appreciation for the amazing stories in the Bible. Real people with real problems who trusted a real God. Men and women who cried out to God in their time of need. Humans who desired to go deeper. Families who loved and families who fell apart. Perhaps it's my own hurt and inadequacies for these few weeks that have given me a different viewpoint at the brokenness around.

 There's something else I've found. God delights in restoring the brokenness. A Prodigal Son returns home. Paul, left for dead, lives. Hannah cried for a son and was given children. Not everything was instantaneous. But God delights in granting desires. Not like a genie in a bottle, but as a parent desires to give their children the best life possible.

 Mom's, life is just hard sometimes. We seem to take one step forward, then something causes us to back up and go another direction. Our journeys aren't always easy! But when I look back over my life, I realize that in the storms, Jesus was always in the boat with me. We'll get to the other side, and we will make it. So, don't give up. Look to your Savior, whose riding in the storm with you.

 And when your Little's are driving you to the brink of chaos, just stay steady with them. Someday, they'll have an opportunity to pay it back. And they'll do it without complaint! Teasing? Maybe. But not complaining!

Gwendolyn Irene

www.gwendolynirene.com

Hold on Mama

Peeling, yellow walls. One bunk bed. A bathroom shared with three other families. Pajamas for the kids and oversized clothes from the hospital for me. No money. No home. No hope. Just a big, empty void. 

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That was how I started my journey into single motherhood. 

Let me tell ya, sister. I see you. I see the struggle to put food on the table sometimes.  I see the frustration as you have to miss event after event for your kids.  I feel the pain of another holiday with no one to make it special for you. I know there are tears when you have to tell them that there isn't time,  there isn't money,  the isn't... whatever they want. 

I feel your pain. I know it feels like the hard is never-ending. 

But hold on, Mama. You have what it takes, and you are exactly what those kids need.  They were born to you for a reason. You are the only Mama that can mold them into the humans they were meant to be.  You, your struggles,  your victories... you were meant for them. There is no mom that can do better for them than you can.  Because they are yours. Their hearts beat in your womb before they ever experienced this world.  And your heart beats with them as they go through this life.  They know that.  

And ya know what? They will love you no matter what. And your life is all they really need.  It is enough.  You are enough.  In fact,  you're more than enough.  You are good.  You are necessary.  You are beautiful.  And you get to change the world as you hold these small people into responsible adults.  

You may not be able to give them a trip to Disney right now, but you can watch a Disney movie and eat the food that they probably ate in the movie.  

You may not be able to take them on an extravagant camping adventure,  but you can make a blanket fort in your living room and dream up crazier adventures than real life could ever hold.  

Your kids don't need the money and things.  Your kids need YOU.  They need you present,  they need you while they need you happy.  

So Mama, don't feel bad when you can't give them things or when they have to sacrifice.  They are learning about life,  about reality... they are watching you.  

Be the best you.  For them.  Take care of yourself.  For them.  Love yourself.  For them.  

I know it can be hard for us to value ourselves sometimes.  But you absolutely must find your value.  For them.  And for you.  

You are worth it, Mama. You are so loved. 

Shannon Joy

https://roughhewndiamond.com