Why is it that we are so afraid to lose control? No wonder we are always stressed out. We work hard all day to stay on top of every single aspect of our lives.
The kids, money, cleaning, drive here and there, appointments etc.… We have so much to fit into such a tight schedule and God forbid anything goes wrong and then our whole schedule gets turned upside down. This is especially true for single moms. We’re running the show not only for ourselves but for our children too. And we’re doing it without much help in most cases. Life can get pretty stressful when you’re trying to stay in control so why not let go of control, kick your feet up and grab a glass of wine?!! And hey, if the world falls apart before your very eyes then at least you’ll be sitting down with that warm rush of wine filling your tummy.
I’ve always been in control at the cost of part of my sanity…until recently that is. Let me tell you about one of the worst but most enlightening days of my life. Moving day! We all dread packing boxes and getting them from point A to point B without anything going wrong.
My kids and I just moved about a half hour from our previous address and I had been dreading it for days. It was enough of a hassle just trying to sell my condo and now for the first time, I was about to move a whole houseful of stuff, 2 kids and 2 cats all by myself! Yes, I’m very stubborn and I’ll readily admit that I’m not good at asking for help. Well, I had decided to rent a moving truck to move the 32 boxes I had packed. My plan was to get everything out (kids, cats and furniture included) and clean my whole condo in 2 days. My schedule is quite hectic and I just didn’t have weeks to devote to packing and cleaning so 2 days was it. But thanks to my powerhouse attitude, I was determined to do it by myself.
I was driving to the new place with my second to last load, white knuckled from squeezing the steering wheel as I thought about how I was running behind schedule, the kids were sitting next to me arguing over something completely stupid and traffic was hardly moving. A million thoughts were running through my tired head when I got a text telling me the cable man was at my new place waiting for me. I had planned to be there long before but thanks to traffic, that wasn’t happening. All of a sudden my daughter screamed “Mom!” and I looked up just in time to see the back of the car I was about to slam into. I’ve never caused a wreck so of course it happens when I’m driving a big rental truck. Next thing I know, I’m standing on the side of the freeway a nervous wreck waiting for the cops to show up. 3 hours later, I was on my way again with a ticket to pay. But wait! That’s just the beginning. I finally get to my new place and realize that because of the wreck, all my lamps are broken. Then it takes me another few hours to get the boxes unloaded and to get the glass cleaned up out of the back of the truck. After that, I had to sneak away to cry and wonder where I’d gone wrong with the day. Here it was 10 p.m. on the night before the kids first day at their new school and I still had at least an hour of driving to do to go back and get the cats, drop off the rental truck and get back. I pulled myself together just in time for my daughter to come to me with the great news that she was having pain in her stomach and that there was blood in her pee! Well as any mother knows, that is not something that can be put off. I loaded the kids in the rental truck and we were on our way to the Urgent care. The doctor confirmed a UTI, wrote a prescription and we were on our way to the only pharmacy nearby that was open at midnight which happened to be a half hour out of the way. Well long story short, I finally got the kids in bed at 2 in the morning and when it finally seemed that I could stop and relax, my son comes running out of his new room screaming that the cat pooped on him! Of course! With the way the day had gone, why not?
That whole day I kept trying desperately to hold on to control and the more I tried to hold on, the more everything fell apart. It was as though something was telling me to stop! Give it up! But that felt like failure so I kept taking the hits and telling myself I could take it and that everything was going to be okay. But that’s where I was wrong. I was too stubborn to stop and ask for help and I kept putting up with things turning out shitty because I was afraid that if I couldn’t do it all myself that I was a failure. What if I had let go of control? What if I had asked for help? I wouldn’t have been so rushed for time so I probably wouldn’t have gotten into a wreck and things would’ve gone so much better. Despite things going so horribly, I learned a very valuable lesson. It’s okay to not be able to do everything yourself and its okay to not be in control. Just let go and trust that you’re not alone.
It’s okay to not be in control. I know, I know. You think that you have to be in control to get things done but honestly, if you were in control of every little aspect of your life, you wouldn’t have time to enjoy your life! We spend more time worrying about things than getting things done. But what if you just quit worrying? What if you didn’t know exactly what was going to happen next? What if instead of chasing life, you let life come to you? You deserve to have things work out for you! But you can’t allow that until you trust that they will enough to let go.
It’s okay to need the help of others? I think as single mothers, we get used to doing things ourselves and we don’t pay enough attention to how we feel. I realize now that I felt that as long as I could do everything myself, that I would never have to worry about not being a good enough mother but in feeling that I drove myself into the ground. All that need for control and stubbornness built up and erupted into a chaotic day that I will never forget. That’s what it took for me to realize that I can’t do it all myself. I can’t be in control of everything. And there are two options from that realization. I can feel like a failure or a wiser woman ready to take on a new more relaxed way of living. Feeling like a failure is a just another way of trying to be in control but allowing myself to learn from that mess means I’m anything but a failure.
You deserve to have a joyful and exciting life that you love and the key word here is deserve because in deserving it means you don’t have to work for it. Just let go and trust that life will work out for you every day. I don’t always know how I’m going to get everything done but nowadays I spend more time thinking about all the things I love and somehow things just always seem to work out for me.