I just realized today, as school is winding down for the year, that I made it one entire school year as a SINGLE MOTHER TO THREE KIDS!!!!
The school year seems like a big deal to me because the big husband bombshell was dropped on me the week my kids went back to school, last August. My middle daughter was starting Kindergarten. I didn't tell anyone, including my family, that we had separated because I didn't know what was going to happen and didn't want anyone asking questions. I was so distraught that I was literally sick to my stomach for an entire week, could not get out of bed. I drug myself out of bed, looking haggard in basically pj's and not giving a shit, and had to stand there with him and smile at her first day of elementary school, on what was already an emotional day for me. The timing actually worked out though because everyone assumed I was depressed because of my daughter starting Kindergarten, which was true too, and so no one asked questions.
I think back to that first week or two...wow. Talk about overwhelmed. I had no idea how I was going to do this. How I was going to run my business during what is the busiest time of year for me, do laundry, do dishes, keep up the house, get homework checked and signed, take care of an epileptic dog, buy groceries, make lunches, pay bills, make dinners, give baths, plan birthday parties (2 of 3 kids that time of year), run kids to various practices and games; nevermind even beginning to think about having everyone's emotional needs met--of which those were HUGE considering what we were all going through. Cue survival mode.
So how the hell did I survive that? I hadn't thought about it much until now.
At first my husband had such guilt over what he had done and the amount of stress I was under that he would come over most nights and help me out with dishes and cooking and stuff. After a while, it dawned on me that nothing was changing...he would sit in the house and watch the big screen tv, eat the food I bought as if he still lived here; and it was so angering, that I realized it wasn't worth the help. So I made him stop. I'll never forget taking the trash out for the first time by myself. I DREADED it. But it felt so good when I had finished to know that I COULD do it, and that snowballed.
I figured out shortcuts. I got uber organized, and I hired help. I let a lot of things go--my house is almost never picked up, and laundry sits folded in baskets a lot, and my kids watch way more tv than they should. I didn't let go of the things that were really important to me, like the quality of food we eat and having home cooked meals. I started grocery shopping on my day without the kids and perfected the art of getting in and out of the store in less than 30 minutes.
And after a while, I didn't just survive, but I thrived. I took the 2 nights a week that the kids are with their Dad, and I use it for ME time. I see my friends way more than I used to, I made new friends, I saw every Oscar nominated movie, I took myself out to dinner, I brought home take-out and snuggled up in bed with a movie, I went dancing, I tried new restaurants, I went to concerts. I even managed to lose 25 pounds and am back in my high school sizes.
There have been tough times too, obviously. Throw in the father with the brain tumor and surgery that went horribly awry, and I truly, truly cannot believe I have made it through. WOW.
The best part is that my home is resentment free. There is nothing living here but truth, authenticity, love, and encouragement and I LOVE THAT.
So excuse me for a minute while I bask in this victory :)