It’s the day before Mothers’ Day. While in the carpark of a supermarket with a list of items to acquire and a reusable shopping bag, I bump into one of my former university colleagues. He was always an old soul trapped in a young man’s body. A great mind to hash out contemporary topics between our history lectures at university. During our impromptu conversation, I asked after his family. He said that his sister always said that she admired my teaching style for history. I smiled and noted that she was one of my best students as well.
After we said our goodbyes, we went into the supermarket our separate ways. Then I resumed the Saturday morning hustle of a single mother. The first boy had archery lessons… yes in 2018 we’re still shooting arrows. Who would have thought it? Last week I had beginners’ luck when the instructor during my son’s session invited me to try it out. This week he wanted to see if it could happen again. The complete opposite happened. I was thinking too much about everything: how to get the target again, what I had to do after the lessons and how was I going to get through everything.
As soon as my son’s session was over the instructor called me aside. He said that he hoped that he wasn’t being out of place but he really admired the way I handled myself as a mom and a teacher. After thanking him for the compliment, I asked him why he thought that it was out of place. His response was that others may think that it is crossing the line when making those comments on a person’s character.
Twice in one day! Upon reflection of these comments from my former university colleague and my son’s archery instructor, I came to this conclusion. Single motherhood is a lot of work and it takes a lot from you. However, the rewards from it are sweet. It’s true that I get twice the love and the looks of respect from others. But here’s a twist and you probably were not expecting it but I’m really not single at all.
Everyone’s perspective on this is different. I may appear to be single as I have no spouse However, my support systems really don’t make me feel single. Many times I joke about the committee which goes into helping my family run. Before making any decisions, I have to confer with the committee. The committee is made up of everyone who is a part of this single mom journey: my mother, my family and the institutions of the school and the church. My mother is mentioned first because she really supports my dreams as a good mother should. I hope that I can be half the mother to my children as she is to me. Then my family related by blood and spirit help me so much in raising these children with which God has blessed my life. With them by my side, these children want for nothing. Their physical and emotional needs are met. Finally the institutions of the church and school, which work together to mould our professional and spiritual development.
So don’t stop praising single mothers. They need to hear the praise through all of the strength and difficulties. It feels sweet and makes it worth it. Single mothers wake up before everyone else in the family and takes care of the household. Single mothers make it work in terms of taking care of others. Single mothers believe in a power higher than themselves to help them get through. For with that power, they are not single. That power flows through the institutions of the family, school and church. That power that makes it possible for single mothers is the help that comes from the Divine.
And every blessing that has been given to me whether I can see it or I can feel it… I give it back to God. For everything I am… You helped me to be.