Confessions on International Woman’s Day: Smile at a Single Mama.
Before I begin, I must warn you, there will be potty mouth here, a few emotional confessions, unethical use of punctuation and some RUN ON SENTENCES – so if you are squeamish – take a Valium.
There are so many things to say on this International Woman’s Day. One day can’t begin to shout about all the things to shout out against – such as the really, I can’t even believe how fucking ass backwards the debate on reproductive rights is…why even are we debating this…people get your beliefs out of my pussy and womb. Utah with your push to become the first state in the country to ban contraception education in public schools and Rush Limbaugh (I am not even gonna make a link there are too many!!!!!) you two are winning the race for most ridiculous JackShitAssFlobble spewed too loud and too often.
But, I don’t want to talk about that.
There are also so many things to celebrate about woman. It should just be a given that woman are celebrated. Just because. Why does anyone need an example or a reason?
But, I don’t want to talk about that either.
I want to talk about something down home small and personal: Being a Single Mama. While there are so many big things to say about this. So many details and thoughts to shout and dissect; I just want to talk small today and say thank you. Really, really thank you. For International Woman’s Day – I want to holler out my heart and thank the universe for giving me MY heart, for getting to be a woman and getting to be a mama. And, I want to thank all the people who support that space without judgement, often without even thinking about it.
For all of you out there that have ever lent a hand, offered a ride, come over to babysit, picked up kid from school, been woken from the sweet haze of sleep by a phone call to run out the get medicine or Gatorade in the wee hours before dawn, dropped off groceries, fixed a computer, left clothes by the door, poured a shot of whiskey, called to ask how are you?, offered a shoulder, a hand to be held, been on the other end of 107th incoherent tearfilled phone call or even just offered up a smile to a single mama. You did big. Might, have been nothing really special to you, but chances are you changed a day, made the impossible possible and softened some sharp edge. I know I thank you. Each of you everyday.
I was reading this most wonderful zine the other day called Hip Mama. (the gift of the subscription I am grateful for.) I was in line to get a cuppa coffee, the expense of which I can’t justify, feeling overwhelmed with the logistics of early dismissal from school for my son mixed with day work and night work, sports practices, and coming up with money for the school camping trip coupled with the nagging sensation of gratitude mixed with helplessness piled on top of I-plainass-need to make it to the end of the day having made it to work to make money to care for my kid in one place, while and the exact same moment in a different place picking up my kid, making dinner, checking homework….
While lost in the vast vapid expanse of HOW???land I was surrounded by couples with little kids and laughter, I am certain with their own stories, but they were not sharing mine. But, in the Zine there was Samantha Updegrave and she was, and I had shared hers. The tears rolled down under my sunglasses as I was called back to the sleepless nights, how am I going to fill the fridge, what is my name, did I shower this week, who is this child tirelessly wailing, where does the will come from to not strike out in anger, and I thank whatever the fuck it is out there that is bigger than me for the fact that all of a sudden the absurdity of a situation… child’s huge poop, their squished up face with huge tears, the mess on an already dirty floor… opens the heart to love and laughter. And, I thank you. All of you. For every act of kindness given or tossed or even dropped my way that helped me through that time!
I’ve made it passed the sleepless nights, the how am I going to fill the fridge and pay the rent. I have a real haircut, I sometimes go out. Even buy myself mani-pedi’s and expensive moisturizer on occasion. But, I am still there sometimes – a mess of tears and laughter: a single mama longing for a free food delivery service you can think order too that brings along jokes, strong rum balls and everything you forgot at the store and explains why you said NO to your child in clear rational way.
Right, this is getting at why you should celebrate women – your mama, your lover, your friend – all of them:
Better than I ever could Samantha in her story in Hip Mama says it like this:
(After a night of no sleep, no support crying baby finally asleep.)
“I put water on to boil and steep tea. Light incense, unsure of what good it will do, and I sit. An anger burns hot in my chest, the physical sensation of heat surprising, and quickly dissolves into a sadness. A deep staying sadness that finds me a frightened child. An unworthy daughter. An untrustworthy friend. A never-to-be-artist. An unlovable lover. An average student. A failed wife. A struggling single mama. Not enough.
“Arriving at this sadness, traveling through a darkness I once thought was reserved for others and holding it as my own, unravels me. My desire to do better than what’s right, to be everything all the time, to be good, all keep me wrapped up in failures. Sitting in stillness in the face of the storm with my eyes open and my heart breaking, I discover the expansive space that holds my true love, my innate capacity for kindness. The catch is that I need to make room for myself in that space as well. Its the only way to unfreeze the eternity.”
And, then before all is settled and understood, your child awakes calls to you and you find the courage to face another day. Women are strong, resilient and something special. Thanks so much for supporting me! family, friends, strangers, and universe. Now PLEASE make Rush, Rick, Mit and Ron GO AWAY so that it doesn’t get harder to be a woman. This would be good.
This is my very favourite song ever when I need inspiration in how important it is to keep on loving.
love.big.and laugh a lot. lot. lot.