Me and the kids leaving my Granddad’s barber shop where I took Ayden to get his weekly haircut…nothing out of the ordinary about that right? Everything seemed to be going just the same as any other day.
One of my Aunts walked to the parking lot with us, as we talked about getting together and taking the kids for pizza when both our schedules permit. Normally I make all three of my kids hold hands, while I also hold one of their hands as we walk to the car, but on this particular day last week Ayden was the only one holding my hand, as Ireland and Marley walked about three steps ahead of us. I heard no cars running and none cranking up, and there were no cars backing up or pulling in, so I felt that it was fine for the girls to walk a couple steps ahead. We only had a few more steps until we made it to the car. Then suddenly, I see a car that was parked beside me instantly backing out, and by this time Marley was standing directly behind that car and with Ireland adjacent to her, and I all I could do was scream Marley’s name. She and Ireland both turned around and looked at me and I ran to grab them both. By this time, the driver suddenly stopped, in which I still don’t even think they realized that there were children behind their car because when I looked into their vehicle, the driver’s head was down as if they were distracted by their phone.
At this point, I wanted to cry, scream, cuss, and drop to my knees and thank God all at one time. My emotions were all over the place. All I could envision was my babies getting hit by someone who was not even paying attention. By this time, I had all three of my kids by the wrist together in one of my hands. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I was on the verge of tears. I kept asking Marley and Ireland if they were ok and they kept saying “yes”, but deep down inside I WAS THE ONE WHO WAS NOT OK. I felt like the worst parent in the world. I replayed what I could have done different to prevent it; I replayed the whole event in my head repeatedly. I thank God over and over for stopping that driver, because I know for a fact that that was only God that stopped that car. This incident has now been almost a week ago, and I am still replaying all of this in my head as if its permanently recorded in my mind. My kids mean the absolute world to me and I am their protector, their guiding light, and the person who is there to catch them when they fall, and in this very moment I feel that I had failed them. I am supposed to be the one who is there to prevent the bad from happening, and I failed them.
In those moments that you feel like you have failed your kids, there is nothing that anyone can say or do that would make you feel better. Mother’s guilt is real; it hurts, it worries, and it has the power to hold on to you for dear life if you let it. As a single mom, it can be hard when it seems like you have a million things to do in one day and there’s not enough time in the day to do them, and not enough of you to be in so many places at one time.
At the end of the day, I’m only one person, and I can only do so much at one time. My patience and my time are spread thin, but my love for all of my kids has been, and will always be equal. The key to motherhood, whether you’re doing it alone or you have help, is to always FORGIVE YOURSELF. You’re doing the very best that you can, and although it may not seem like it, you’ve got to know this, and find peace in this. This motherhood thing is a life-long journey; no mom is perfect, and we can’t get it right all the time. Just give it your all and keep your faith in God.