As I sat alone on the floor of my master bath, in my too big for two people beautiful house, waiting, as this three minute eternity crept by, one thought echoed through my head: “Two lines will mean the destruction of my life!” In the first four years of my marriage I would see these two pink lines a total of three times. Three years later, I would find these three beautiful monsters and I physically, emotionally, and financially abandoned I had no degree or experience, an empty bank account and just enough food to last a few weeks – or a month if I ate less. I found a job, learned to juggle bills and struggled to turn a little in to just enough. Therefore, from one single mom who had to learn very quickly here are a few of the things I have learned:
1. The importance of personal space and self-care!
o Doors: Locking and Knocking: Not only do you need your space but also children should be learning this early on. If you are in the bathroom, they will be too and if it is a public bathroom, they will shout “Yay, Mommy! You are a big girl!”
o Quiet Time: Time without noise is essential to keep your head from exploding! I personally send the kids to their rooms for 30 minutes a day if they come out the time starts over for everyone; I also take batteries out of annoying toys!
The difference between needs and wants :
Baby Wipes: I do not care how old your child is ALWAYS have baby wipes because they remover EVERYTHING! Permanent marker, make up, blood or whatever the case.
Books, Toys, or other distractions: These items are wonderful for quiet time. Just do not forget to remove batteries from any toy loud and obnoxious.
Nice clothes, Shoes, etc.…: They will get ruined so your best bet for at least the first 10 years is to think “comfortable grunge”
ANYTHING that is not for the kids: Your wants and needs will always come second to their wants because in truth if they are happy you are happy! Self-Control:
o Knowing when to laugh or yell is something I had some difficulty learning. So always keep this in mind:
Laughing: It may be cute now, but will it drive you nuts later? A cute bossy toddler turns into a teenager with an attitude problem!
Yelling: Is it that big of a deal or could you possible just need quiet time? Humor and Quick Wit:
o The older they get the smarter they get the more of a smart ass they become!
From the Mouth of Babes:
o Some things they say will make you stop and think:
I struggle every day to maintain my sanity while sacrificing everything I can for those beautiful little monsters. But during quiet time, behind locked doors I thank God for the chaos they bring, for it was their invasion of my body; the destruction of my physical appearance and the material things I had worked so hard for that reminded me of my strength and brought me back to the basics.
What I thought was the destruction of my life was in reality the rebirth of my soul and through these sanity survival tactics I began to remember the importance of myself, of my personal privacy, and of the beauty of silence. I learned the difference between need and want as I struggled to feed their bellies. Laughter now comes a lot easier and anger a little less because I finally accepted that they were made this way. Designed with tender hearts, smart mouths and occasional random wisdom having a single purpose for the first 18 years of their lives: To drive me crazy enough to always remember who I am, who I love and what I’m capable of.