I am an extrovert, true to my soul, extrovert. My “down” time happens when I am sleeping, I am most energized when I am with other people, when there are too many of my people in one room at the same time, I get giddy. My average day consists of time with kids, coworkers and 2-3 social encounters (coffee dates, friends over for dinner, playdates), I love people, especially my people. Years of singleness has allowed me to create such a beautiful network people, who love me so well. That prekid season, gave me the freedom to pour myself into my people, emptying my cup each day into the souls around me, all the while my cup was being filled to overflowing, a beautiful balance.
Becoming a mom overnight, was a bit of culture shock, reality sunk deep. I was “locked” in my home every night starting at 6:30, I suddenly went from having all of the freedom in the world to do and go where I wanted, to realizing I couldn’t run to Target late at night anymore. That affected me, suddenly I was realizing my cup was being emptied and suddenly my well was dried up, three little thirsty souls leaving me bone dry and weary.
I knew that becoming a parent would take sacrifice, the reality is that parenting is uncomfortable, lonely and just hard sometimes. That sometimes at the end of the day I am empty and have nothing left to give and it is still one hour until bedtime, in those moments I have to fake it to make it. One of the best things I learned early on in my motherhood journey was that I needed to set some boundaries to keep my cup full. Juggling parenting is a delicate practice, learning to realize when I should spend time filling my cup and when I need to just set that aside for a while, for the needs of one of my kids.
I have had many moments where I was unbalanced in my parenting, my cup was empty, my parenting was suffering and suddenly this calling to be a single mom felt so heavy. The beauty of community, my world of people shifted in that season of life and some of my people realized I was struggling. They began to meet me where I was at, literally. I don’t actually live near most of my community of friends but in a neighboring community 25 minutes away, my network has to intentionally drive to where I am. My Lovelies, would drive to see me, bringing over wine, their hearts, ice cream and even coming for dinner. They did it for me, so my cup was being filled, my community and that season of life taught me more about loving well than any other.
Community, what a gift, my heart grieves for people who do not have a good community, the people who struggle to find some sort of commonality with those around them. My life has been navigated as a single woman, but my soul was created for community, it’s where I thrive. The last two and half years as a single mom has been so good, it has taught me to be still, it has sifted my network and shown me what I am capable of.
One valuable thing I have learned recently is that I am better as a team. I can and have single parented well, but it takes more out of me and is something I really have to work in, single parenting for me is a deep character building daily exercise. I have recently had the honor of experiencing a little bit of what co-parenting can be and I must say, in that role I saw a whole new mom come out. At the end of the day, when I have given all to my kids, even if it nearly killed me, and put them to bed I am met with another human, who now pours into me, that is a beautiful gift. For a season, that satisfied my weary soul, having tasted what can be and stepping back into nights being alone, have left me a bit dissatisfied with my circumstances. If I am being honest I am aching for a co-parent or at the very least another adult to do life with.
I am a self reflective person, I spend my days trying to look deeper in my soul, always desiring growth and development. I am aware of the fact that while I can single parent and have for 2 ½ years and we are fine, we survive but I must say, I desire more than survival, I want to thrive. All of this reflection and processing has led to the reality that I desire doing life with people, I desire community and intentionality, aching for it from the very core of who I am.
So, my family and I are moving into an intentional living situation. Huge tables filled with people are what my dreams are made of, the more the merrier is my view more times than not. Saturday morning brunch at my home with my gal pals gets out of control often, we have more people than seats but in that reality we connect and bond in ways I never would’ve imagined.
We are moving in with my gracious parents, the home where I grew up. I am desiring a different kind of support, I want my kids to live with three healthy adults who love them, see them and pour into them differently each day. I want my kids to live with a positive male and experience that for the first time ever. I am realizing that this next season of life is needing to be intentional, communal and let’s be real, we need this. I am excited for intergenerational living and for the beauty that naturally happens when that space is created. It is there in the intentionality that we grow, change and thrive.