When society tried to make you feel guilty for leaving and raising your kids on your own, you persevered. You knew that the damage would be greater if you’d made the choice to stay.
When you worried that you couldn’t do both jobs, you did your best. When other kids went camping with both parents or rode bikes as a family, you created your own traditions. And years later, when your oldest said, “Hey, remember when we used to play badminton in the street. We did that a lot. Let’s do that tonight,” you know you managed to create memories that will sustain your kids.
When you only had a blurred notion of what it is that a dad does, because your own dad was rarely around, you read the books on parenting and observed the good examples and tried to fill in, in the best ways you could.
When you couldn’t do it all, you sat your kids down and explained that you wished you could do more, but that you are one person doing both jobs, and while you are doing your best, you can’t do it all. Through tears, you explained how much you love them, and that you understood that they were angry or hurt or sad. When you were dog-tired from doing it all, you found enough to softly explain to them that they would be fine and you would always be there for them.
When you raged at the Universe for putting you in this position, you woke again to be thankful for it all, even when it kicks your butt every single day.
When you think you can’t handle one more issue or fix one more problem or make one more dinner, you flop on the couch between your favorite people, turn on the TV and order a pizza. You laugh hard in that moment and tell yourself that what doesn’t get done today will find you tomorrow. As the three of you try to agree on a show, you sip some wine and remind yourself that it’s all about the journey and this journey is creating healthy, happy, independent, functioning people who know how to navigate storms.
When you have those days when you doubt that you made the right choice, you will step back and watch your kids thrive in this safe place you’ve created for them. You will see them for who they are allowed to be. Those moments prove that you made the right decision. (p.s. As the years go on, you will stop doubting your decision. Trust me.)
Once in awhile, remember that your kids picked you to be their mom. They have things to learn that they can only learn with you. (You have things to learn that you can only learn from, and with, your kids.)
You’re doing great.
This is how it’s supposed to be.
Happy Father’s Day.