His first birthday is quickly approaching and I didn’t savor every moment of what was supposed to be the most precious time.

Instead I was in survival mode.

My world turned upside down just a few short sleepless months after he was born. Instead of walks in the park as a family or posing for precious portraits as a new family of four, I was flooded with the responsibility to keep my kids’ worlds as normal as possible in the midst of divorce papers, lawyers, tears, lots of tears, uncertainty, moving, arrangements to share the kids, and not a single remaining fragment of normal. And not to mention juggling a busy energetic 4-year-old with a newborn, oh and hormones, the crazy ones.

I had just paused my very personally rewarding career to stay at home with the kids shortly before the news, so this past year has been a lot of finding out who I am, what my purpose is and where my worth comes from. I have found myself wishing the clock would tick faster and the pages on the calendar would flip sooner. I didn’t post those cute month by month pictures of my little guy or write in his baby book.

I don’t love being a mom every single day. I was not prepared for the enormous weight of being a single mom.

Most of my days are spent surviving BUT I always find the necessary energy to show my kids that I am OK. That we are OK. We laugh, we play, I smother them with love, we talk about missing daddy and look forward to their visits with him. The tears and lamenting are reserved for the hours I sit in the quiet house after the kids are in bed. I focus on co-parenting with respect and dignity.

“We will be a family forever” is my motto when all this seems impossible and I want to just scream.

Emerging from what seemed like an impossible reality to adjust to, I am focused on what I am thankful for. I count my blessings. I stop to look into my kids’ eyes and I take mental pictures of their sweet smiles to make them last. I make up for rushing through the hard days by holding them tight. I hold their tiny hands in mine, savor their sweet smell, adore their every laugh. I invest in my 4-year-old to make sure she can express her feelings, sometimes they are ugly and uncomfortable, but therapeutic I hope. And when I am up at night holding a sleepless baby, or nursing him as the sun rises, I now wish I could stop the clock as he seems to be getting too big for my arms to hold.

I wish I could turn the pages of the calendar backwards to have a second chance at savoring every single moment that was supposed to be precious. I know regrets won’t take me far so I will focus on the now and the every moment forthcoming.

Marian Taylor

Marian is a mom to a courageously spirited 7-year-old daughter and a sweet as pie 3 year old son. She paused her career as a pediatric oncology nurse to briefly raise her babies, then dove into the world of hospice nursing. Marian began her journey as a single mom after 10 years of marriage. She loves to paint and be crafty. Her faith in Jesus is her focus and allows her to put each foot in front of the other every day.