You’ll hear me say this a lot around here. I’m a single mom. I’m lucky that my ex-husband pays his child support (my thoughts and heart goes out to you single parents who aren’t as lucky), so I get some financial help with the kids. I’m very thankful for this. When I tell you I’m a single mom, what I mean by that is that I’m the one in the trenches every day. Hollering at kids to get out of bed, triple-checking that the teeth are really brushed, getting them to school on time, home for them after school to ensure homework is done, they are driven to one of their endless activities, making doctor and dentist appointments, driving them to games and friend’s homes (I could go on forever here). Some days, I’m so knee deep in crap, homework, and sports fees, I wonder if it’s all worth it. Some days, I’m ready to run and let someone else take care of the “everyday” parenting crap.
Just outside of my kitchen a sign hangs in my hallway between the kitchen and the stairway. The sign reads “Today is the day. Find your voice and make a difference. You are the real thing. 100% original. Be fearless. This is your life. Use it wisely and MAKE IT COUNT.” I hung that sign there for my kids. I want them to know that they are amazing just for being them. I didn’t grow up thinking that way about myself. I thought the only way I could be amazing was to get straight As, take first place, skip a grade, finish my work first, you know…be perfect. No, this isn’t how you become amazing. How you become amazing is just by being you. And this sign was to remind my kids of that.
The funny thing about this sign is that when I see it, it reminds me not to whine about how hard it is being a single mom. It reminds me to make every second with my four amazing kids count. For all of you single parents out there, you are your kids’ rock, their stable constant in this cold and cruel world. Your smile is the one they want to see when they come home. Yes, we need to remind them to pick up their shoes and hang up their backpacks. Yes, I bark orders and I’m not so happy and chipper all of the time either, so I need little nudges in the day. That’s why these reminders around my house are good for my soul.
The payoff? Getting notes like this from my 9 year old daughter who is so-very-good at sharing her feelings. This note now hangs front-and-center on my fridge to remind me that the everyday isn’t just crap.