Cari from Bubble Gum On My Shoe is back for another guest post! Her first installment plunged us into the early days of single parenting.
Today's topic is single parent self esteem. Take a gander at Cari's post below, then head over to her blog to get my take on the subject.
Take it away, Cari:
Single Parenting & Self Esteem: What I know and why it’s enough
Stories of divorce are rarely comforting or cheery or re-told without painful memories and wounds that are still fresh. I would be a liar if I said I hadn’t been there. Deep in despair, distraught, and singing my, why, why, why’s. But I’m not there anymore, and that’s the difference. I’m okay. Actually, I’m great! If you’re looking for the recipe, I am sorry; each person must find their own way.
But my, “hey I’m okay” singledom doesn’t come without pressure, heavy stares and judgment from those around me. Seems like it’s every one’s business to figure out just WHY I am still single. And why I don’t date, and why am I not putting myself out there, and why am I not on Match.com for Pete’s sake! All that pressure sure makes it seems like my top priority should be finding a man! Instead of people asking me about my dating life, I’d rather them ask about my kids, how I’m getting through the day to day, how’s my heart, am I happy.
When the opportunity to date presents itself, I go for it. But I have no desire to seek out a relationship right now. Just because I don’t have the desire to “put myself back out there” doesn’t mean I don’t want that. I desperately want a partner in my life. I get lonely; I get overwhelmed; I miss it. That being said I won’t let that consume me. All consuming emptiness breeds bitterness and bitterness breeds despair. Don’t despair single parents. Despair is often a slippery slope down the hill of regret. Despair makes you snatch up the man or woman that seems good enough, but why settle for that, when you might get great?
There is someone out there for me. There is someone out there for you. God is waiting for the most perfect opportunity in your life to give you that. Oftentimes when we want something so much, we are willing to overlook too much. I’m looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Right-Now. I’m not looking for a father figure for my kids; I’m not looking for someone to fill the void my ex left. I have to be comfortable with me, I have to love me, and I have to be okay with being alone and know that I will still have a great and fulfilling life. I do have a great and fulfilling life.
Just a small rant about Jerry McGuire’s, “you complete me”: the man in your life should not complete you. You are complete, as flawed and scatterbrained and unorganized as you may or may not be you are enough, even in sweatpants and ponytails. I fear so many single parents look for someone to help carry the emotional burden of expectation they put upon themselves. They almost become dependent upon their significant other to be happy. You are enough. Let someone into your life who knows that, recognizes that, lifts you up and supports you.
You are enough.
Thanks for letting me invade your blog, Beard!