Break Free From Society’s Expectation’s This Holiday Season
We all know that the holidays can be incredibly taxing.
Society places these unconventional standards on us as mothers, leaving many to feel like they simply can’t measure up. It’s easy to get caught up in this commercialized holiday, forgetting about what really matters. While it’s true that making memories with your loved ones are more important than the gifts they’ll receive, not everyone’s holiday goes as planned.
For those with broken families, the idea of the holidays can be stressful having to divide up the holiday with an ex. I myself am a single parent, and have joint custody with my ex. Being single with two children, leaves me eager to ditch the gifts and replace them with experiences.
Memories are all your child will have left when you’re gone. When they’re adults, they won’t remember what you bought them when they were younger, they’ll remember how you made them feel. I often get depressed during the holiday’s seeing seemingly perfect families celebrate the holidays.
I yearn to have a two parent home, one where my children can have a bit of stability with some normalcy in their lives. But sometimes challenges are placed in our lives to make us stronger, sometimes we don’t get what we want because what we need is still yet to come. Sometimes what we want, isn’t always what we need.
I used to dwell on this fact, until I realized that you can’t control another person, relationships don’t work if they are one sided. Sometimes you have to let go of the ones you love, and let them figure it out for themselves. There is pain in letting go, but it hurts more holding on.
All these realizations come flooding into the mind of a single mother during the holidays because it’s easy to get caught up comparing your life to those who live the lives you aspire to have. The reality is we are all on different paths, no one’s life comes without struggle and pain, because we are all human. If we lived our lives without pain, there would be no happiness.
We must create our own happiness, a realization I had after experiencing pain from failed relationships resulting in children. When children are involved, the failed relationship becomes that much more painful. What I learned from my break-ups, was that I had to stop searching for happiness in others. No one was responsible for my happiness but me.
I had to learn how to love myself again, after losing myself in the ones that I loved. As mothers, it’s essential we focus on loving ourselves, because it’s the longest relationship we will ever have. When you focus on your joys, your children will see that, and it will in turn bring joy into their lives.
While I’ve had my ups and downs, I keep things in perspective, knowing there’s always someone who has it worse. This holiday season pay it forward. You may not have a lot to give, but some have nothing at all.
Sometimes all someone needs is a helping hand. Volunteering, donating, teaching your kids the holiday spirit without spending a dime. Sometimes you need time to heal your heart, and memories to heal your soul.
So this holiday season, no matter what boat you’re in, embrace your loved ones, make memories with your children, and be thankful for this life you’ve been given.
I’m a 28 yr. old USAF veteran single mother of two. I have my AA in communications, and am pursuing my BA in journalism at Sac State. I write for The State Hornet, and am a co-leader for No Excuse Mom. They say it takes a village, sometimes all that entails is a group of women committed to bettering themselves through a healthy lifestyle. After all, health starts at home.