I have spent most of the day yelling.
My kids are in that stage where all they do is tell on each other and fight. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but a vast majority of our day is just that.
I try to be that calm mother. The one who doesn’t raise her voice, but ‘frustrated’ is putting it nicely.
Like, really nicely.
I try to hide somewhere, currently I’m in my bathroom, and I try to pray, but I struggle.
I struggle because I can still hear the crying.
And all I want is one minute’s peace, y’all.
Just. One. Minute.
I’m frustrated because this single mom stuff is hard. It exhausts me. It defeats me. It literally cuts me to the core.
I don’t get every other weekend off. I don’t get a break. I don’t get a moment to myself, unless it’s bedtime or I wake up early to soak in the quiet.
I have no one who gets it. When I try to talk, to just be heard, I don’t want advice, I just want someone to talk to, instead, I get excuses as to why their life is just as hard as mine.
It’s not that I want to whine. It’s not that I don’t love my life. Most days I do. Most days I can’t help but be grateful.
Even right now, I’m grateful. Grateful that I have a bathroom that I can hide in.
But sometimes, sometimes, it just gets to me.
Today is one of those days.
I remind myself that this season will pass. I remind myself that life is good. I remind myself that this is exactly what I wanted when I spent years on my knees praying to Him, begging Him to ‘just listen to me’.
But you guys, this is hard.
Raising these two kids on my own is hard. Locking myself in my bathroom just to have a minute to myself so I don’t say something I’m going to regret is hard. Acknowledging the fact that there is a very good chance I could say something I would regret is hard. Doing my best not to be jealous of my friends who have no idea what it’s like to be in my shoes is hard.
Finding the strength to pray when you are exhausted and completely at your wit’s end, is hard.
But it’s still doable.
So, as I sit now, against the bathroom door. As I hold back the tears that are so desperately trying to ruin my charcoal mask. (I’ve learned to multitask.) As I imagine myself anywhere but here, I pray.
I pray because even though I feel alone, I’m not.
I pray because even if I can’t be calm, He is.
And I pray because even when I can’t take one more step, He carries me.
Guys, do something today. Know a single mom? Send her a word of encouragement. Let her know that you’re thinking about her.
Single dads too.
Because this is hard. And sometimes she just needs ‘Jesus with skin on’.
And you just don’t know, but maybe that’s what’s going to help her unlock the bathroom door and come back out for round two.