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”?