Written by: Kimberly Brown
Single parenting on Mother’s Day can bring on a host of emotions. Love. Thankfulness. Pride. Pain. Grief. Loneliness. I would venture to say no one dreams of single parenting as a child. I had the same sort of dreams that most other little girls experience. Husband, four children: two boys, two girls, dog, cat, and a yellow house with a white picket fence. Obviously, I did not think perfection was too much to ask out of life! Well, life happened and not exactly to my level of perfection, but to a “perfection” that I would not trade for anything in the world.
At a young age I was told I would most likely not have biological children. As I entered my thirties, marriage was not a part of the picture yet, and being unsure if it would be or even if biological children were in my future, I started thinking about adoption. When I finally thought my dreams of being a mother were about to come true, the four month old adoptive placement I had passed away tragically. Losing him was devastating and I felt my dream of motherhood was taken with him.
Then, in March 2018, God opened another door and I adopted my daughter Lily. That same month Braylen was born and his adoption was finalized in December of 2019. My love for them just continues to grow! I cannot help but smile at Bray’s chubby little cheeks and the mischievous gleam in his eye when he does things like, find the Aquaphor and smear it all over himself and every surface he can find, and then says, “I wanted wotion, Mommy.” We have a standard quote in our family that we repeat frequently, “There is nothing you will ever do to make me stop loving you,” and that’s the honest truth. I will always love them!
I am unbelievably proud of my children. They amaze me every day. In fact, my five year old surprised me the other day with a new skill: whistling. I had no clue that she had gained this capability and it brought up a little emotion. I was overwhelmed with pride that my baby girl was growing up and learning new things. I even told her how proud I was of her accomplishments. However, my emotional moment was cut short when she responded with, “Well, I do my best.” in a very nonchalant and dismissive tone. I mean, we all need to be cut down to size every once in a while, right?
While most of my emotions on Mother’s Day are positive and joyful, there are a few uncomfortable moments of thought. The pain and grief of Toby’s loss surfaces. I grieve what might have been and the circumstances of his loss. There’s also the feelings of loneliness and self doubt. As a single parent it is easy to find yourself in a place where you feel all alone. All your friends are married, but you talk to the empty room after children are put to bed for the night. Try being the third wheel on a double date. It’s lonely. And let’s not forget the self doubting train that has a regular route in your head. “What did I do wrong?” or “Why am I still single?” All of the voices can be so deafening!
I wouldn’t trade any of it though. The “uncomfortable” makes the love, pride, and joys of parenting all the more rich. My dreams of perfection as a little girl were skewed by my broken humanity, but because of my journey into motherhood, Mother’s Day is a time of deep gratitude for me. I will forever be grateful for my children’s “tummy mommy.” She chose life in hard circumstances. I am a mother because someone else could not be. As for me, my family was not created in the conventional way, but right where I am is perfect. And if/when God chooses to bless me with a forever soulmate, that will be perfect, too. I’ll just let life happen and find His perfection along the way.