Aug 11, 2014

Mom to Mom // Haley & Single Motherhood

Last January, I saw something that gave me hope (actually, I saw it multiple times because I didn't believe it at first glance) there was a plus sign on a pregnancy test before me. After pure shock settled in, a crying phone call to my mom, and a celebration lunch with my husband, I couldn't help but to question, "Why now?" The timing for my pregnancy was scary. Financially we were barely paying rent, and emotionally I wasn't stable. The marriage I was in was slowly revealing lies that had been hidden and the naive girl I was when we first met was forced to open my eyes to dark things that I grew up sheltered from.

On an early morning in Spring, I was three months pregnant with my hands pressed against my bloated stomach. I was trying to imagine what environment my son would grow up in, and it made me realize all that I was settling for. Suddenly it wasn't about me anymore. I swore in that moment I would do anything God asked me to do, to have a brighter future for our baby, if He just made it clear to me. 

That's when I felt God's assurance about my fear . . It was as if He said, "Leaving your marriage for your own safety, isn't what would break my heart, it was when you left for this marriage that broke it." I had avoided the truth of my husband's addiction, so I wouldn't feel the repeated pain and embarrassment from not listening to everyone who warned me. Holding my baby bump tighter, I had no strength for what I felt being lead to do. Only minutes following that exact prayer a huge shift came in my life; I looked over and saw the drug and needle in his pocket and I guess you could call it motherly instincts that kicked me into action because I packed my bags with no hesitation, swallowed my pride and went back to my parents' as the "prodigal." After a fight to get out, I realized having this baby actually was my hope, my safe haven.

Single parenting is something I knew I was choosing when I walked out those doors. Statistically, many women would have stayed under chaotic circumstances and destruction to avoid single mothering at all cost. I saw how that still could have been easier. Even after suggesting rehab repeatedly, I knew in my heart that I was on my own. My divorce was filed a month before our son was born. I could go on with a raw list of tasks that are straight up exhausting doing with no spouse, and I won't lie, I've caught myself thinking it's not fair. From the second trimester of pregnancy to labor and delivery I was a single mother. This is my life, and it's all I've ever known as a mama. But I can't ever bring myself to really reflect on all of those tough things that followed from day one. 

When I catch myself being overwhelmed I'm reminded that every mama is in a different place in their life but we all are in one community doing the same things that require super power energy. I love every amazing, scary, heart warming, tiring, motivating part of it. I also want to address that even though smiling is something I do best, I know it's okay to cry. I mean I've done my fair share of that embarrassing, ugly face crying when times suck. Fighting those tears doesn't make me any stronger. I've learned to find beauty in the vulnerability, even on hard days.

This journey has made me a stronger person than I thought I could be and in turn it's made me a better mother than I thought possible. I used to cry (again, with the ugly face cry) every morning I had to drop my baby off at daycare. I thought I was failing him by not being able to be a stay at home mom, (especially those really hip and cool mama's who get to go to Target and walk in the park with their babies in between nap times and household duties). But recently, I have discovered to be proud instead of ashamed. I believe I was chosen to take on this duty and I hold on to the promise that, "Every little thing will be all right,"  because it will. At the end of the day, rocking my son to sleep on my chest seeing his dependance on me to soothe and provide, that is my drive. I've gotten involved with a company called AdvoCare, an elite level nutrition company for the everyday person. I'm working a full-time job, and going back to school this fall. Through the midst of all I listed above, I am a professional nose wiper, spit up rag, high pitch baby voice talker, and the chaser of my mister quick crawler. Daily I strive to be present in every moment, not to sulk on "what ifs' and could have been's" and to dream bigger for our future. The load I'm taking may be heavy but the reward is satisfying. Beautiful things come out of dust. 

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