Monday, February 27, 2012
Single?Mormon?Mother?:Moments of Motherhood 2/27/12
I am Single (Divorced). I am Mormon (Active). I am a Mother (of 3 boys).
But what does it mean to be this label?
Being a single mother in the Mormon faith is kinda tough. (Being single at all is tough.)
Mormon (culture) fosters & supports families.
One of the basic beliefs of our faith is that Families can be Forever.
Families at church typically look like this: Father, Mother, Child, Child, Child, Child, Child & baby.
But what about the dynamic that's just one parent & children?
How do you fit in to the picture when your husband isn't your husband anymore & you no longer have a Priesthood holder at the helm to connect you to the ward & its community?
(I think its different for single fathers because the Relief Society sisters are always on top of that.)
I also think its different for single mothers in other faiths because their faiths aren't as focused on Priesthood (which in inherently male only).
Our Home Teachers are one resource that connects me to our ward & other members. There was so much going on in the Elders Quorums that I missed out on because my sons were too young yet to be there.
Now that Sim is old enough, he is active within his Quorums and so keeps me informed about whats going on. My two younger boys follow up with their brother & others in church. The space where their father should be & isn't - still resonates with me. But not so much for the boys.
A new & wonderful friend of mine asked me a month or so ago how long I had been a single mother. I answered without really thinking,"Nearly all of my adult life." In reflection, I think her question had more to do with how long had I ceased to be legally married than it had to do with being a mother.
I don't mind the Single Mother status as much as I mind the Mormon part of it.
(I know several of my friends are reading this and shaking their heads because hullo! over analyzing much or what?)
But what does it mean to BE a Mormon Single Mother?
I was reading http://www.singlemormonmoms.com/being-a-single-mom-is-hard-work/2011/04/11/. Excellent points about how going from co-parenting to single parenting is scary & tough & transitory for everyone parents & children & those connected to them.
I gotta say, being a single mother isn't scary to me. Even when I was married & co-parenting with my now Ex-Husband being a mother wasn't scary. I just did it.
Being a MORMON single mother does scare me.
Because what if I'm not Mormon enough? Married Mormon Mother's aim high - stratospherically high. They work. They raise a family. They make Wonder Woman look like a wimp.
I, most certainly am not obsessed with collecting all the callings I can possibly collect, nor am I neurotic about being punctual to every meeting. And ask anyone who knows me, overdone & over blown cricut cutter multi-dimensional neon hued 3 fold presentation poster boards are not my thing.
Being a good Mormon Single Mother does mean doing double duty as mother & father for my children. It means getting up early to make sure the boys are ready for Sunday, it means watching them & holding them & propping them up as they each embark on their priesthood duties.
It means letting go so they can learn to lift others up by being of service to each other and others around them. It means reminding them of their many blessings so that they can bless themselves by helping themselves.
I would guess it means to me that I have to lead by example & not by my mouth. Kids have eyes. (or at least mine do). They watch me & they record me in their hearts. (Let's not re-play the CrazyMom scene in the car when said children couldn't find slippers/backpacks/homework after already being reminded a gazillion times or the scene where PsychoMom took over after one of the children sprung a last minute party for 15 boys at the movies with popcorn & sodas. Thank God for the gift & miracle of Repentance)
Perhaps, when God reviews my life the work I've done as their Mother will put me on the right side of the line ( and watch the clips where I've taught them to pray, to serve & to love!) and He'll tell me it doesn't matter if I was single or not, or Mormon or not but that I was the Mother for these children that He sent me to be.
( *smiles *)
With Love & delicious mothering~