Some days she has no idea how she’ll do it, but every single day she gets it done.
4:30 am the alarm rings. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. Your insides are screaming NO! You’re not quite sure you actually even fell asleep. Your day is beginning whether you like it or not. You do your count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 BAM your feet hit the floor. They hit so hard, you wake up hell and let them know its time to battle.
You bathe and armor up, already fighting the mind running of every list you need to complete today. Your heart races, you start to panic, but you just keep pushing. You stare in the mirror where once a happy woman stood, now its a worn out, broken down, wearing stress on your shoulders and tears in your eyes woman. A woman who looks like she’s aged 10 years. You cover yourself in whatever you can in your make up bag to make yourself look presentable. As you dress, you pick clothing in an order that you think hides everything you are feeling inside.
Exhaustion is all you feel at this point and there’s still a whole day ahead of you.
You wake up kids and everyone is already fighting you. You’re using whatever strength you have in that moment to pull up pants, put on socks, make beds, brush hair, brush teeth, start laundry, make breakfast, take care of dog.
The house is quiet and dark, but is being filled with your constant name yelling to either get up or go eat. You run around the kitchen while you smell the one thing that might just put a smile on your face…your coffee. It sits there to get cold because there’s too much to do. You dump it in a mug, so you can take with you in the car and hope maybe for a minute you can enjoy a second of that pleasure.
You start the military voice of shoes, coats and get in the car all while you are still straightening up, grabbing the kids school stuff, your work stuff and you’ve already broke a sweat. You jump in the car, look at the clock and know how this next 30 minutes will look like. It will look like a crazy woman running in on two wheels trying to drop off kids at school, fight traffic and make it to work on time.
You pull in work, its in these few moments you are either giving yourself a pep talk or you’re wiping your tears and not really wanting to face the day. They say I have depression, shouldn’t that excuse me to lay in my bed all day instead? That heart is still racing. It hasn’t truly stopped since you laid down last night at some point. You flip the visor mirror down, you wipe away your disgust, your heaviness. You take one last deep breath and you open the door.
You start your day with a wall in front of you. Your laughter fills the room. That smile and laugh you have become accustomed to hiding anything going on inside you. You work your ass off. You don’t stop. You go from one client to the next and push through it all. Why? Because they are truly helping you more then they know. Their accomplishments in their workout reminds you that you are exactly where you need to be. They are part of my healing. Their accomplishments send vibes down your spin. You know you got this. You were mean’t for this.
Day ends and its time to start your second shift- home, kids, dinner, clean up, homework, baths, laundry, vacuum, mop, bedtimes. Somewhere in the madness you grab a few bites of cold food. You’re dying to just sit down, but your list keeps you going. Kids are bathing, you steal a minute to wash your face, stare at that woman again in the mirror. That one you don’t know anymore. You sink to the bathroom floor in tears. I can’t do this anymore, you tell yourself. It’s that moment you want to just curl up in a ball and wish it all away. For a few minutes you are battling the voices in your head that tell you You’re not good enough.
Chatter begins to sound closer, so you hurry and dry your tears. You jump up quickly to make it look like you were in there busy doing something. You know your children read your pain. They see your swollen eyes, your short temper, your tears when you turn away. They hear your exhaustion in every demand. They’ve even heard you crying out to God in the night, all while you thought they were safe in their bed asleep. You only pray they know they are so loved despite how you are feeling. That they grow up and know She tried, she never gave up.
The clock ticks. Night is winding down. You tuck each child away in their beds. We say our prayers and in your mind you say an extra prayer for yourself. We hope in that moment of stillness with them that they know mommy is still here, still tender, still so in love with them. You walk back down the stairs and each step is in hardness. Each step reflects every failure, fear, pain you felt that day. You hope your smile overcame that and hid the secrets. You silently say another prayer for God to give you the strength of one more day.
Clock still ticking. Your work is still not complete. Your body aches, your mind races. It’s a cross between running a marathon and being hit by a truck. You know if you stop everything falls apart, so you push yourself a little longer. You post notes on the counter, you make list in your phone and it all still never seems to lessen. It doesn’t matter though, you have 3 innocent hearts counting on you. You are their safety, their protector, their provider and you will do everything you can to never stop pushing the limits as a person, as a mom.
You collapse in your bed and you reflect. You are now your biggest critic. You fill like you failed your job, your life and your children, but in children’s eyes they were fed, dressed, provided a comfortable home and most of all loved. They don’t see your downfalls. They see only their mom. Their warrior who never gave up.
Dear Single Mom, you are doing a good job. You are loved. You are worthy. You are a warrior!
Say a prayer, He hears you. It’s heavy put it down. You’re carrying more then they expect. Close your eyes……There’s just a way that morning carries hope. Sit beside me, lets talk……