Looking back at everything I got through this week to give me more guilt-free confidence for the next.  Kind of like my own skewed version of a gratitude journal.

This week I survived:

A week of single-parenting.
(a.k.a. Big Dude scolding me over the phone for losing my patience)
I actually did really good in the patience department this week. A calmer, more go-with-the-flow mom means a preschooler with fewer tantrums and an easier time all around. However, I am only human. And while I purposely practice cultivating patience, I tend to think I was at the end of the line on the day patience was being handed out and I got whatever was left. So, even though I breathed deeply and thought calm, tranquil thoughts, my once-a-night phone conversations with Big Dude went something like this:

Me (on phone with Big Dude):  I set up a new-
Little Dude (interrupting):  Mama!
Me:  Please wait, I’m on the phone… A new spreadsheet to keep track of-
LD:  Mama!
Me (ignoring him):  … your invoicing and posted it-
LD (now tugging at my shirt):  MAMA!!
Me:  WHAT!?!?
Big Dude (on the other end of the phone):  Patience, honey.
Me:  Patience?! Excuse me, mister, are you in Denver on our tenth anniversary with a king-sized bed all to yourself, enjoying steak dinners and bottles of wine with your colleagues, while I’m on day four of Operation Single Parent in which I bathe, clothe, feed, and wipe Little Dude’s butt all on my own? Yeah, that’s what I thought. You just leave the parenting choices to me.

Finding my power, losing it, and finding it again.
I had a profound experience with finding my own power this week. Something clicked inside and I felt myself come relax into who I am a little more.  But then I spent my tenth anniversary eating ice cream on the couch by myself, had another intense special event for my yogurt store and navigated a 4-year-old’s birthday party by myself with Little Dude, trying to keep my social awkwardness and insecurities at bay.

My power waned.

But the beauty of finding the power in the first place is knowing it’s there. I might have forgotten it for a few hours or a few days, but when I got my head on straight and pushed my anxiety out the door, the power and self-confidence were sitting on the couch, waiting for a conversation. I have to start carrying those guys with me. I need a bigger purse.

A grandparent experience for Little Dude.
Ever since my big falling out with my parents, Little Dude has continually said he misses his grandma & grandpa and wants to see them. I do my best to explain the situation, knowing there is something else behind his request besides wanting to see my parents (because his interaction with them consisted of here’s a toy and here’s the tv, don’t bother me for awhile. They were never involved, care-giving grandparents.)

This week, I was able to bring Little Dude with me to a night-time yoga class because it was being held at a friend’s house and her mom would be there to watch her daughter, so she would be able to watch Little Dude, too. I wasn’t sure how Little Dude would do, since he doesn’t know this family all that well. But, it turns out, he was in heaven. He loved the idea of spending time with a grandma- ANY grandma.

My mom guilt got turned down a few notches when I realized that it’s the idea of a grandma- the extended family and sense of belonging- that Little Dude has been missing, not particularly HIS grandma. This thought had crossed my mind before as I’ve watched him envy his schoolmates who get picked up by their grandparents or talk about spending time at a grandparent’s house. But the experience this week helped to confirm it. Now I just have to work on finding him some surrogate grandparental figures.

Guilt Goddess says: I think you did fabulous this week. Ups and downs are expected because (and i know this is a hard concept for you) nothing is ever completely perfect.

Me: Oh, don’t say that. I’ve got more single parenting coming up next week so I’m trying to hang in there.

Guilt Goddess: And you’ll do just fine. Remember your confidence and power. On second thought, go buy that bigger purse so that you can keep them with you.