Of course I've read a lot of books and observed how my peers parent but that's not quite the same as having learned from experience. I'll tell you right now it's very hard to give away something having never received it in the first place.
That's where choice comes in.
Not the kind of choice in SMC. Yes, I'm a Single Mother by Choice. It was an important decision--not a quick one but certainly not a difficult one. I am referring to the daily choice I make to try to be who my children need me to be. Many mornings I do not feel like starting the endless chores that come with being the one and only head-of-household. The requests, complaints, tears and tantrums begin at 5:45 am and end approximately one hour after official "lights out". (Show me children who stop calling out as soon as you tell them goodnight and I'll show you a well-soundproofed room.)
Being a single mom is difficult even if you have a "village" to offer respite. Being a mom of two young, rambunctious boys without so much as a cul de sac of support is a formidable challenge. Often I am too tired and overwhelmed to deal with the aforementioned requests, complaints, tears and tantrums. But what choice is there?
When I am overwhelmed by my responsibilities, it helps to remember that I can choose to act like a good mother. Just for that one moment I can choose mothering even though I want to lock myself in the bathroom or hide under a pile of unfolded laundry. I can choose to look into my child's eyes and give him a hug even though he's been a terror. I can watch Curious George with my sons during an 11 pm thunderstorm even though I haven't had a millisecond to myself since dawn.
It is a conscious choice to access reserves of strength during a mothering marathon. Somehow, knowing the choice is mine to make helps me get through the challenging times.
I first came across this on Pinterest and although I took my inspiration from the first seven words, the rest is quite meaningful as well. Come to think of it, it's been more helpful than YouTube.