I quickly lose sight of the fact that she is only 4 and a half. I’ll be the first to admit that I have become complacent. I leave her to her own devices at times. Especially when I am trying to run a house by myself. She is also painfully independent (see aforementioned slamming of bedroom door). I trust her not to put peas up her nose or to eat crayons. I am far too trusting.
Dating as a single mom is way more difficult than I anticipated it would be. First, you need to find someone that you find attractive (physically, emotionally, intellectually). If the feeling is mutual, you have the added trial of figuring out if they are a good match for your kid. This is significantly harder. And there is no easy way to do it.
So, this parenting thing. It’s a learning process for sure. For her and for me. I have to step up the teaching. And not take it personally when she points out my missteps. Because I’ll continue to make them.
Life is so much easier when you have a support system of people who understand your life experiences. And who aren’t afraid to say, “I’ve been there and it gets easier.”
In this polished social media society, where parents seem so put together, it is easy to think that we are failing when we are kicked in the nose by our amazing daughter. But we are not. I am teaching my daughter the value of admitting fault. And she is teaching me so much about firsts, wonder, and patience.
Fall is more challenging than Summer. This is just a truth. Summer is the time for eating tomatoes from the garden with balsamic vinegar and calling it dinner. For staying up a little late and chasing fireflies in the yard. Fall is none of these things. None. Of. Them.
We certainly have had some missteps, in particular once my daughter started school in the fall. But we recover and hug it out. I made it a practice to stand my ground as a parent, but to do so as gently as possible. And to readily admit my mistakes when I made them.
Suddenly, I could see a different future. One on my own with my daughter. I generated my own hope. I knew that I was on the right path.
Nothing about my life has turned out the way that I had planned. Not my marriage. Or motherhood. Or me. I am learning that this is actually the best part.