I love marquee signs. You know the one outside of a church that says “Live so fully that Westboro Baptist Church will picket your funeral.” Or outside a DQ that says “Scream until your dad stops the car.” Signs add laughter to my day or sometimes, a little inspriration like yesterday outside of of a school.
“It doesn’t get easier you just get better.”
Well isn’t that the truth! When it comes to life’s blistering, brutal changes and curveballs it doesn’t really ever get easier.
I’ve been doing this full time, single mother shuffle for nearly 15 months now. Nothing about my life is any easier than it was a year ago. This life, like that of many parents, can be hard, exhausting and overwhelming at times. It’s still painful to read articles about the importance of fathers in their children’s lives and know that your kids don’t have that anymore. It sucks to be so proud of your kids you could burst but instead you get teary because their Daddy can’t see what amazing little people they are.
It isn’t any easier to work full time, parent full time, take care of a household full time and still have something left at the end of the day. To not be so tired and worn that you are useless to everyone.
It’s still a beast to figure out schedules, homework, errands and how to cook a meal when you’re only home for 27 minutes on Tuesday night in between carpools. It isn’t any easier to keep the grass mowed, the laundry “done”, the field mice at bay and the oil changed in the car when said car always needs to be in motion. None of this is easier. Not one single thing. But that sign was 100% spot on- I’ve gotten better.
I’ve gotten better at absolving myself of guilt. I didn’t chose this, Patrick didn’t chose this. My kids are thriving, happy and strong. I’ve gotten better at praying to my Heavenly Father and asking him to be a continued, glorious presence in their lives and to help me be a little better every day.
I’ve gotten better at the day to day of our crazy, hectic life. The management of work and home, of parenting and a personal life, of fear and faith. I’m better at finding moments for quiet, moments to run, moments to be a little nutty and moments just for me.
There are still stumbles, rough patches, hard days and nights when my chest gets so tight I don’t think I can breathe. There are moments I still blink in disbelief that this is where my life is at age 40. There are times when I am so physically exhausted that I hurt. There are times I just go in the laundry room, close the door and cry. (OF COURSE I start a load of clothes when I’m in there-we widows have to multitask.)
I know that I will continue to get better at managing it all- my job, our house, the schedules and the pain. I only have to look at how far I’ve come from this time last year to know that I WILL continue to get better. That better will include a lifetime of prayer, work, an open heart and acceptance. To quote Tim McGraw “I ain’t as good as I’m gonna get but I’m better than I used to be.”
So CHEERS to all you barely broken, slightly struggling YET still smiling works in progress out there…may we all strive for better!