I'd love to paint you a pretty picture of my days, but I am not a great liar.
It is 7:45 am and I am standing in the line at Subway (yes the sandwich place) in my pajamas with a hat and a large jacket over top ordering subs for my 4 kids. I am sure it is a loving and non hurtful judgment, but I can feel the judgment all the same by the guy making the subs every time he looks up at me to ask what I want on the next sandwich. "Only turkey and 2 handfuls of olives?"
"Yes," I reply, "only turkey and olives." My daughter, God love her, is pretty particular with what she likes on her subs.
He does not smile when I crack a joke and say, "She is only going to pick the olives off and leave the rest anyway..she just likes the turkey and bun packaging."
How on earth did I forget things for lunches? How did a basic need that my children have every day get overlooked? In my hectic day yesterday of doing EVERYTHING (packing, working, moving, writing, parenting) I forgot to buy things for lunches. *insert mom guilt*
Being a single mom can be tricky every so often. It's a position that I never worry will make me too prideful or arrogant, because just when I think, "hey, I got this" and start to feel good about how I am doing, that's when I forget lunches, or break a major appliance, forget a deadline, or I am told a child needs 2 dozen cupcakes that morning and she wants them "the special kind." It's a role that keeps me rather humble and very aware of my shortcomings.
The man making the subs is trying to not make eye contact while I fumble with which chips/cookies to grab and what juice I want, and it is only as I am walking out that I catch a glimpse of my reflection and realize I still have sleep lines on my cheek from my pillow.
Today might not be the most stellar example of my parenting strengths, but lunches are made…by whom is irrelevant.
Going back to work full time after being a stay at home mom for over 10 years is not the easiest thing I have ever done, but every day is an adventure. So, even when maybe it wasn't the greatest day and there will be no parenting awards being won that day…there is ALWAYS tomorrow to try again.
And really, how bad could you have been today? At least you weren't the weirdo woman ordering subs for her kids in her pyjamas and winter coat with all the lines on her face.
I am grateful for how beautiful the last few days have been.
I am grateful for a good vacuum.
I am grateful for meeting new people who open my eyes to different ways of living and being so open about sharing their stories. I grow more as a woman through others' experiences.
Joelle is a 36 year old single mom to 4 children ages 13,12,11 and 8. She works full time as a radio host/DJ for 102.3 NOW radio and is not exactly sure how on earth she manages day to day, but somehow she does. She is also a Doula and a HUGE fan of red wine! Laughter is the best medicine..but if you can not laugh at yourself yet, she'll allow you to laugh at her. You can find her on Twitter at @jisforjoelle, Facebook at Joelle NowRadio, and Instagram at @radiojoelle. You can read more of her writing at www.jisforjoelle.com.