" Strenght, Art, Children, College, Inocente, Kahlil Gibran "On Children, Mothers, Parenting, Single Parents, Wisdom

Mommy Angst


Yesterday I scrolled through my Facebook and stopped at a painting of a purple tree. A tree with lines and thick branches, reminding me of strength. Pink and blue limbs embraced tiny red hearts, while others unfurled their branches. These delicate curving lines seemed soft, almost frilly against the stoutness of the tree trunk.

Hearts tumbled from the limbs, cascading against a background of warmth. Other hearts lie under the branches. They seemed happy, perky, ready to bring forth their own seedlings. 

The drawing resonated with me at that particular moment. Yesterday was my youngest child’s birthday, and he will be leaving for college out of state in late August. 

These two life markers coupled with the image of the strong tree and delicate hearts hit me in the solar plexus. I am that tree. The mommy tree. The hearts are my children, held close, then released into the world. 

Although I haven’t been called mommy since my three kids turned eight or so, I felt transported back to ‘mommy’ status. My being filled with angst, a single mommy angst.  None of my other children left out of state for college and are still in my home.  

To further push me out of my comfort zone, today, my middle child, my daughter, wants to go with the youngest to Colorado to look for a job. Who knew that phlebotomists and medical assistants were oversaturated in our county. Well, they are and she can’t find a job here. 

Two of my three leaving. A double whammy of angst. I know this is something every parent goes through whenever one of their children leaves the home. Knowing that doesn’t make it easier. I’ve been a single parent for so long that I may not know what to do with my feelings, except to write. 

So it was serendipitous that I came upon this poem quite by chance. The words gave me another perspective. I felt understood. 

The wisdom of the poem helped me through the day. I hope to find more ways to help me go through the mommy angst as the weeks go by. 
Affirmations., Louise Hay, Single Parents, Wisdom, Working moms

Wisdom in a Box

Do you ever have those “what’s it all about Alfie?” days. You’re feeling slightly off, unbalanced, tired. 

About ten years ago I went through too many of those days. Single parenthood, hustling kids to school, careening to work, dealing with inmate and staff problems, repeat…you get the picture. 

Too many of those days took their toll, and I didn’t have the correct change. 

During one particularly stressful day I spent my lunch hour wandering through a bookstore–a micro vacation for me. And that’s when I found my wisdom in a box, a set of 64 colorful cards written by Louise Hay, metaphysical lecturer and author. 


The back of the box read “A Deck of 64 Affirmation Cards to Help You Develop Your Inner Wisdom.” A few colorful cards decorated the box. 

Hmm. Can one buy wisdom? I loved the crown in the center, the colors made me smile, so I decided it was worth a shot to purchase the box. A souvenier of my micro-vacation.

Sitting in my car I unwrapped my new little treasure, shuffled the cards, and pulled one out. 

“Okay, what do you want to tell me,” I said. 

“Really? ” was the first thing that came out of my mouth. “This is the way it’s supposed to be?”

And then I flipped the card over.

That imperceptible shift that turns the “Ugh” into an “Ah-ha” moment came. I was doing, because that’s what working mothers do. I wasn’t envisioning the garden motif in the card. I wasn’t cultivating a garden.

My picture had a blurry Ford Explorer passing a blurred elementary school, with three fuzzy kids at a school gate, and me in the drivers seat, putting on makeup, the dim job site in the distance.

Rereading the card led me to think about my attitude. I extended my micro-vacation in my car, for a few minutes, and asked myself: 

What can I do to enjoy my life, right now, as is? 

I thought about how life is but a brief moment. There is an ebb and flow, ups and downs. My kids will grow up in a flash, this particular time in my life will come to an end.

I came up with a couple of ways, primarily shifts in attitude, to “enjoy the process,” of my life. It’s okay to start small, as long as you start somewhere, I told myself.

The last line on the card echoed in my mind: I choose to enjoy the process. 

The feeling stayed with me for a couple of hours, and it made a difference. I repeated the quote often. It was a new beginning. 

Ten years later I still shuffle the cards, pick one up and reflect on its message. More often than not I find value and pertinence to whatever I’m doing that moment.  

You can find wisdom in many places: from a child, a book, a trial in your life, an event or from a colorful box at the bookstore. 

Where do you find wisdom?