“Love everyone. Trust few. Paddle your own canoe.”
The back-to-school season has a unique and very clear way of reminding me of the responsibilities I shoulder as a solo mama. The adjustment of life from light and breezy summer to the weightiness of schedules, homework times, new clothes, new supplies makes me, well, pretty tired and definitely overwhelmed at moments. I have no idea what’s for dinner okay. You’re incredibly lucky I figured out lunch to be honest.
I’m sharing this to say to myself and other parents, I boldly declare it’s okay to admit that I’m tired of doing all the paddling. Acknowledging weariness is not a sign of defeat; it is an act of courage. And sanity.
Being tired doesn’t diminish our strength. In fact, our fatigue is a testament to the fierce dedication with which we’ve been navigating this river. It’s easy to believe that the exhaustion says I’m weak, but maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe it’s a sign and proof we our giving our all, every single day. Our determination to provide and nurture, even when the current feels relentless, is pretty amazing.
Amidst the chaos of schedules and to-do lists, don’t forget to nurture yourself. Just as a weary traveler needs rest and nourishment, we need moments of self-care to rejuvenate our spirits. It’s essential. Whether it’s stealing a few minutes for meditation, indulging in a favorite hobby, or enjoying a lone walk, these moments can help remind us that we are more than a paddler – we’re a person deserving of care and kindness too.
And while we are all in our canoes with beautiful but sometimes crazy children and feeling alone paddling, we are not alone. We are part of a vast sisterhood of solo mamas, making it work, keeping the canoe moving forward. Each paddle stroke, no matter how exhausting, is a mark of our courage.
The currents may get fierce, but you’ve already proven time and again that you’re more than capable of navigating them. Keep going. I’m with you out here too. Let’s laugh and row together.