I see you there. You stand with your shoulders hunched just a little bit more than the rest of the ladies at ballet. They talk of husbands and the quirks that drive them crazy while you try to train all your focus on your daughter, spinning in the midst of the slick floor because if you listen too closely, your tender heart might shatter at the reminder of what your daughter doesn't get. You're reminded at every school play, every daddy-daughter function, every father's day that your family doesn't look like you intended it to.
Oh, yes, you're still a family, but in your six year old heart and in your sixteen year old heart and in your twenty-six year old heart you never imagined it this way; that your road of blessing, this road of motherhood would be one walked alone.
Put your shoulders back. Hold your head high for you are tenacious and a force with which to be reckoned. Every day you fight off the desire to wallow in your sadness and instead do what has to be done. Sure, the only marvel in your house might be on a pair of little boys' underwear, but you are a superhero. You, the mother who chases away monsters and can't remember the last time she slept in a bed by herself because someone always needs their wonderwoman to chase away the bad dreams.
You are beautiful. The dark circles and the body that no longer resembles that of your peers are only badges of honor to the life-changing, world-altering work you do every day. I know that sweeping up the can of Pringles and then giving baths to multiple children hardly seems earth-shattering, but upon your foundation of faithfully serving your children, they will learn how to faithfully serve others.
Mother, you are enough. You are doing well. You are changing lives. Please, please don't give in to the lie that your children are doomed because you are a single mom. Don't. Instead look at all the ways that God gets to fill in the gaps.
Don't give up.
Don't give in.
This post is linked up over at Mother Letters, a collection of letters to mothers from mothers.