3-Legged Table Lore: Why I Use that Handle

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The name for my blog and writing for single moms is “3-legged Table” because I raised my kids without a partner and if I battled by own feelings of “not enough” before I was a mom, that was nothing compared to the lack I felt as a single mom. Their dad was the elementary teacher, so he understood kids. I had a good babysitting business when I was 15 years old, but that was the extent of my training. I had loved being pregnant, but the week before my first was born, I think I said “Oh shit. I know a lot about my own physiology, the biological process of babies growth in utero, and hormonal reasons for my many mood swings, but nothing about babies outside of my body!” So I promptly got pregnant again, after my son turned about 8 months old. That is what I knew how to do.

However, my kids’ dad went to jail (prison, actually- he made some super poor choices) for 4 years a week before my 2nd baby was born. And I was really up a super wide creek without any hope of a paddle or an instruction booklet and I was really in bad shape. He could not be a part of our family any more, that was clear. And I was super deficient in many areas (my own judgement, money, knowledge of raising 2 babies, a loving mother of my own nearby, and sleep, to name a few).

I saw couples everywhere I went and I never saw a mom with two kids. I figured that two kids put remarriage out of bounds- what single man could take on two kids!? (Or so I thought)

So I did therapy (sometimes twice a week… I had a few things to work through), found a job within my field (thank goodness I had a Masters degree that helped me find a good job), and I took on the handle “3-legged table” for our family to remind myself that my two bunchkins and I are a complete, stable, secure configuration. I didn’t need anyone or anything to complete the picture. I have been blogging off and on for those ten years under that name and I have a boyfriend/partner now of eight years, only one child at home (temporarily, due to the COVID-19 collision with her plans). But I still use the name 3-Legged Table for my blog.

Single parent families are not broken. We just have 1 parent who works their butt off to give our kids a great upbringing.

A partner in my life needs to be the addition, not the completion. I need to be able to feel ” like I am enough” with just little ole me (aka badass me- the woman who has done enough, is smart enough, good enough, and deserving enough to trust myself to be powerful beyond my imagination).

Things I do that usually result in me feeling “not enough” or powerless:

  • Spend too much time with or talking to my parents from another generation, who out of love, wish I would just conform to their norm;
  • Spend too much time with married mom friends who have very different lives than me.  I love Laura, my married friend, but her struggles, juggles and finances are different than mine and it can get itchy to me;
  • Spend too much time looking at magazines, catalogs, online shopping, watching movies, or social media showing me unrealistic lifestyles;
  • Compare my insides to other folks’ outsides; and
  • Work for a micro-manager.

Things I do to help myself feel that “I am Enough” or empowered:

  • Spend time in natural settings- walking, running, sitting and staring at gorgeous views that remind me the simplest things are pleasurable;
  • Spend time meditating to calm my amygdala down to relax and send good chemicals around ;
  • Take action rather than stew, ruminate and run around on the hamster wheel in my brain;
  • Take time alone to put entries in my gratitude journal;
  • Talk to my young adult children about important issues of the day. It proves to me that although they still make knucklehead mistakes (like all 20-somethings), in their hearts, I raised good kind people;
  • Try my best to adhere to a morning routine to start my day calm and centered; and
  • Let go and let God be in charge of the $#@! that I want to grab hold of and control despite no possible chance of me controlling it.

What do you do to remind yourself that you are “Enough”?

6 comments

    1. 😆 sometimes I have to say it out loud “brush teeth, then send that email”. Our kids can be super knuckleheads at times tho “I couldn’t do the dishes last night, the dishwasher was full” she said last night. 🤔

  1. Anne, I never realized how you got that name “Three Legged Table”. It’s perfect! I keep thinking of how you lived and raised your two beautiful children, and how it mirrored my life as a single parent with two kids. I really wish I’d had your conversation skills and thought processes. Yes, and a masters too. Thank God! Thank you for these wonderful and amazing posts. D

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