Monday, October 3, 2016

Building a Village

I never put much thought into motherhood. I figured, hell, I can tame 24 wild kittens every year. Being a Mom would be easy. Momming isn't easy. I don't think it's easy for anyone. Oy, the guilt that comes with being a Mom is crazy, I tell you. No one ever told me how guilty I would feel for the smallest amount of time or money that I put towards me.

So, I had this image of being a working Mom with a loving spouse. A lovely house. A fabulous job. Ya know what I hadn't pictured?

A husband of 15 years stealing from his employer of over 10 years. The endless lies that followed. A house that went into foreclosure over a year before I knew it. A depleted account. More lies. Escorts on Craigslist. More lies.

I was Momming alone when Cooper was exactly 8 months old.
I took this picture the day before I became a Single Mom. 8-9-12

My income has barely sustained us. Child support has been ridiculous. I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease. Momming hasn't been easy at all.

My family, well, most of my family isn't family at all. They arrived to see the trainwreck, marveled in the awesome shit show that my life had become and then left once I started to rebuild.

Many of the friends that I surrounded myself with were not truly friends. Just because you are a friend doesn't mean you get to spew whatever venom you feel like spewing. Don't get me wrong, I had a few friends that were amazing, but overall, many that I called friends were people that were extremely judgmental and had no problem saying what they felt even when it made me feel even worse than I already did. Even worse were the ones that were talking or whispering behind my back, just loud enough for me to hear.

Over the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that I needed a village. I seriously can't do it alone. I think many of those people who I once called my friends can't honestly imagine what it's like to go from what I thought was happily ever after to literally drowning in life. I've had to rebuild my life from the ground up. It doesn't just happen over night. Mistakes have been made. You who judge can't begin to fathom. It's been four years, and I'm still rebuilding.

I started to build my village. Those who judged, beat me down instead of built me up, lacked empathy or support have been casted aside. I've turned to people that are better. People that have given me so much strength and support that I am truly humbled. My cup runneth over each and every single day. I never feel like I can ever repay the debt or do enough for them in return.

I have always been a person that fancied myself super woman. I've always hated to ask others for help. I felt it made me weak. I always felt ashamed. It's still hard for me to ask but honestly, I'm choosing who to ask more wisely.

Why is it so hard for us to admit that we need a village? Isn't that what we are all here to do?

I recently started reading Constance Hall's blog...if you don't read her, you should. She's real, funny, and a great read! She wrote about building her village and it amazed me that someone else was asking the same questions as me. She's a Queen, and I'm learning to be one myself. It only took 40 years. I love the notion of being a Queen but for me, I am much more fond of being a unicorn.

Being a unicorn started as a joke last year. I told my little Kinder-Hoppers that I was going to be a unicorn when I grew up. That little joke took on a life of it's own. One of the most FABULOUS Mom's I've met (also my room parent) knew the joke and wrote me the best letter I've ever been given as a teacher.

I don't just want to be a Queen, I want to be a Unicorn Queen.

Today I told my kiddos that I am a unicorn on the weekends. It became one of the funniest conversations ever. One little guy said, "You're not a unicorn, you're just a normal person!" I began arguing, "I am not a normal person!" One of my little EL nuggets said, "Ms. Martin, you're absolutely adorable." He was trying to say "absolutely abnormal". Best.Unicorn.Story.Ever.

Date #2 with guy #18 maybe, is on Saturday. Will there be a third date??? We shall see.