There are so many “firsts” that are a part of divorce. First shared holiday, first weekend away from the kids, first anniversary divorced…. the list goes on and on. And the “firsts,” well, they suck. I never know how something is going to hit. A lot of times I’m no prepared for it at all. Holidays I know are weird now, but I didn’t think Mother’s Day would be a difficult day!! I mean, it’s “my” day. But it WAS hard. Really hard.
My sister was speaking in her Sacrament meeting on Mother’s Day this year, so the family all decided to go support her and listen to her talk. It was even at 10:30 which is later than my ward, so the morning should have gone ok. But it didn’t. I got up early to make sure I had time to get myself ready. I laid out the boys’ clothes, asked them to get dressed and eat cereal while I kept working on getting Holland ready. I knew I was going to be with my family, and I was excited to have one of them take the “mother’s day picture” since we were all matching. I had it all planned out. I asked for shoes to be put on at least five times, had Holland crying about getting her piggies put in, the boys were running around and not listening…. it really honestly was a very typical Sunday! (I know all you moms are nodding your heads in agreement reading this).
But then there were the sad and lonely feelings I couldn’t shake. There was a blaring absence of anything special from my kids even though I literally suggested to them that they could make me cards after they were finished getting ready for church that morning (Tim decided to give me the cards he made at school the NEXT day…), there was a text sent with good intentions that made my heart sink, there was no help on a day that I knew other moms were being pampered, and there was no dad telling me how grateful he was for me to be the mother our children. It was hard. And by the time I walked out the door to two boys in the car with NO shoes, I was done. And I lost it. I curled up in the rocking chair that I rocked all of my children who made me a mother in and I cried. I didn’t cry just a few tears. It was the deep down, ache in your heart, let it all out kind of cry. The cry where you ask God how you’re supposed to do this all on your own. The kind where you feel so alone and empty and depleted.
I got Holland out of her carseat and came inside. I crawled into my bed and text my dad that I can’t do this. I can’t be a single mom and do it well. He, of course, sent me back all the right things. He has so much faith in me, and I’m so grateful for him. It helped a little that day, but I was still so down. The kids did their own thing while I slept and felt sorry for myself. Until I wasn’t alone anymore because my family showed up – because my family ALWAYS shows up for me. My parents and two of my sisters walked in my door and they came into my room and they held me. My dad brought me a corsage that he had for me to wear to church, a nod to my dad who used to buy us girls corsages every Mother’s Day when he was alive. After a some more tears, I was able to get up and go enjoy my family’s company for a little bit before they had to leave. And I was even able to get the kids to cuddle in for one family selfie in bed.
We took the rest of the day and headed down to Riverton to enjoy some time with the man I’m dating and his family. The kids mostly went to play with Molly the puppy if we’re being honest. We ended the evening playing baseball at the park and everything felt better.
There may not have been cards, gifts, cooperating kids, breakfast in bed, or a perfect picture, but I couldn’t help but think of the Mother’s Days in my past. There were plenty that I spent sobbing because I couldn’t get pregnant and have a baby in the first place. And now my life is filled with THREE beautiful kids who literally are my world.