So often in the last few years I have been approached by women from various walks of life that admire my life from afar as a single mother. I don’t think they admire the life itself so much, but they certainly admire my relationship with my children and can feel the peace and harmony in our home.
They come to me for advice as their marriages and family deteriorate because the grass looks so much greener on this side, to them anyway. I don’t sense that it is the grass appearing greener that attracts them to it. Instead I think they crave that sense of self-worth. They want an identity outside of “the wife” or “the mom of ___.” They want to feel strong, independent, empowered, and like they have a voice. Most of the time, they just want to be heard, but, he just won’t listen. They just want a friend, someone to inspire them and motivate them. Someone that believes in the words that they speak.
Typically when I’m asked my opinion on the matter, what I tell them is this:
The grass isn’t greener. You see, when I jumped off the fence I landed on a pile of dirt. All I could see before the jump was all the pretty grass that others planted. That was their grass. It was up to me to plant the seeds, fertilize it, water it, grow it, and now I get to mow it.
There are still seasons of dryness, and during those times I’m lucky to even have a garden. But, the grass is at least growing. It is growing because it is meticulously cared for and nurtured. It was never just magically there, it took a lot of hard work. Sometimes I worked for hours upon hours to get one little patch, and at other times friends and family arrived to help me get the job done.
So although to the naked eye it seems greener now, you too will start with the same seed and pile of dirt that I once did. You will even find that dogs are still dogs, and will still pee and poop on it. You can build whatever you want on it, it’s a blank canvas! But it is up to you, and only you. You can only count on you, and it will be a long hard road. I am here if you need me no matter what you decide!
I urge them to find another way, and I urge them to find themselves. Some choose to take the advice they asked for, and some choose to ignore it and learn the hard way, just as I did. I do know, however, whatever they do decide that eventually they will see that they too, were guilty of admiring from afar something they didn’t plant. And that my friend, is a harsh lesson to learn. I highly recommend you try alternatives before taking that route, because whether you stay or go, at some point you will have to face yourself. And you can find yourself, right where you are. There is no need to make life more complicated.