Athletes Like Us

By Reba

Reba_Athletes_MAIN GRAPHIC
It would be deemed a “season-ending injury” even for the most powerful of athletes. A press conference would be called by the coaching staff to discuss how this injury could have happened. Contracts would be reviewed to see if the team owners could continue to pay the exorbitant salary. The whole team would see their hopes for the playoffs go down the drain.

But, for athletes like us this is not the case.

A single mom twisting her ankle in a small land mine that a destructive Jack Russell Terrier dug while mowing does not qualify for the extremes aforementioned. It was painful. I cried. I may have used several four-letter words I’ve been known to resort to at any given moment. I may have seen my whole life flash before my eyes on a highlight reel.

The whirlwind of anxiety that followed was immeasurable. Who would finish mowing for me? How would I drive? Would physical therapy be involved? How would my daughter get to and from various practices and her church activities? How would I make it to the gym everyday…if I were actually going to the gym everyday?

Athletes like us don’t have the option of a day off from parenting.

Prior to my divorce I never gave much thought to the daily workings of being a single parent. Frankly, I never thought I would ever become one. Even though my children have long since left the needy toddler stage there’s still loads of parenting and juggling to be done. When you add more than one child to the scenario the plot thickens. Try being in two places at one time. You will definitely have someone mad at you at all times.

Athletes like us come in all shapes and forms.

Some parents are single for a mere seven and seven hitch. Some parents are widowed. Some parents have been single parents since day one of the birth of their child. Some parents were abandoned by a spouse and left to pick up those remains, plus raise healthy and independent children. Whatever the true reason for living a life of single parenting, it can feel isolating if you don’t reach out to your friends and family for support.

Athletes like us are not very popular. There are no MVP awards in the parenting division.

Single parenting will not win a popularity contest with your children……If you’re doing it right. You are the soul source of the anguish they feel when they hear the word “NO.” When they hear the words “do you think I am made of money,” don’t expect a supportive answer. Don’t look for a round of applause when you have to break it to your child that we cannot have an Alpaca even if Planning and Zoning would allow for it.

Through the years God has blessed me with friends who are literally founts of wisdom and clarity when it comes to raising children. He has opened my eyes recently to look around at the different types of single parents I encounter and use them as my guide when I’m feeling anxious. I see tenacious ladies on a daily basis who choose not fall prey to their thoughts of pity and angst. They choose to focus on their children and raise them to be who God intended them to be. While it’s easy to compare your family to those with a true nuclear unit, we have to avoid that trap at all costs. No one wins that game.

God chose athletes like us to play two positions on the team. Mom and Dad.

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; Not Lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

1Peter 5:2-3

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