Some of us, we live happily ever after as man and wife. Some of us live with a man, or a woman, or multiple men or women. Some of us live with a lifelong friend, or a family member. Some of us live with our fur critters. Some of us live in co-dependent relationships and think everything is ok.
Whatever the relationship is, we want to feel love.
I myself, I based my worth on the love of others. I based my worth on my spouse of 16 years continuing to call me his wife. I based my worth on being the perfect mom, the mom who carefully attached the beautiful labels to all of their clothing, purchased them the best of the best, and washed their shoes so they didn’t go to school dirty. I based my worth on going above and beyond in my job to please anyone, and everyone, even when I was exhausted. I based my worth on everything, except what I have now learned is the most important to base my worth on. Myself.
In 2018 my life changed overnight, I was suddenly no longer his spouse, I could barely afford to feed my children, let alone buy the best of the best.
I could no longer give to my job, or my friends, or my family. There was nothing left, no cup to pour from and my tray was full. So if I had no spouse to love me, I couldn’t give what I thought meant everyone else would love me back, then what did I have left?
I had me. The lost mom. Sitting on my kitchen floor, night after night, wondering why me?
Why us? What did I do to deserve this? The hours I spent there are countless. There came a night though when I found myself on my ugly kitchen floor, green tiles and all, that I decided this life wasn’t for me anymore. This life, the life I worked hard for, but suddenly ended overnight, it wasn’t serving me anymore anyways. There had to be more then this kitchen floor for me. What did I have left though?
I had me. Myself. And I. Perhaps, I could be the change I so desperately wanted.
That is where my journey began. I decided it was time to smile, it was time to love life, or at least pretend to.
I was reminded one day about a conversation with a fellow hockey mom.
It was an ‘I wonder’. I wonder why single women suddenly become a different person after separation. Why are they suddenly into working out, or yoga? Why do they radiate beauty? Why do they smile more? Why do they have a desire to make change? Perhaps this is where I needed to start. Perhaps I needed to become the single mom that we all see change in. Why though? Why do they want this change? It was time to answer these questions.
I proudly have an answer for those questions now.
They suddenly become different people and want the change because we have lost our identity. For 16 years I was his spouse. I am Aden and Avalynn’s mom. I was never just Ashley. Sometimes the journey means finding yourself again, and often the journey begins with changing what we don’t love about ourselves, because that’s where we know to start.
My start, it began with finally accepting those invitations from the girls, I had longed to call my people, but had convinced myself I wasn’t worthy of having.
It began with forcing myself into the change room and staring at those god awful mirrors, insisting that I wear more than black shirts and jeans.
It began with running around my house at 10pm once the kids were finally in bed so I could let the tears flow, but not let the kitchen floor find me. It began with convincing myself that my hair cuts were more important than my dog’s groomer’s appointments. It began with opening up, with admitting that I needed help. That the rock I was hiding under needed to go. It began with a desire for change, a desire for more. I no longer was ok with the words Content, Satisfied, and Ok. I wanted to learn to dream, to know what the words Joy, Fulfilment, and Desire meant.
Who knew the journey of change and the journey for more, could throw me into self-care, self-love, self-expression, self-compassion, and a desire for more. Every. Single. Day. We should 100% just be ourselves, but if we lose ourselves along the way, how great is it when a different, improved version of yourself is what stares back at you when you manage to find who you are now. Sometimes it’s the hard path that has to get us there, but that’s where the beauty lays. In the hard path.
Single or not, the journey is yours to take.
The lost mom, she is found, and she dreams now. Let the lost mom be you too.