For two years I have attended a couples class alone. I have great relationships there and I feel comfortable connection with the women who are also in my stage of parenting. I enjoy the social aspects when we get together and our children (who also share classes) get to play and relate. The bonds are good and comfortable. But with lessons geared towared couples, sometimes I feel out of place or I get emotional and I've been sensing a need to forge relationships with others who are in a similar season of life as me.
But I still gag a little bit when I realize that I am a single mom. Ugh - I never wanted to be that and it conjures up negative connotations for me. I'm trying to reframe that mindset but it's taking some time. So, I was reluctant to try the 'single moms' class at church. Still, realizing that I really do need to meet and connect with others doing life the way I am, I decided to go.
Here's how it went
I had scouted out the location of the new class before, so I knew where I was headed and was one of the first to arrive. Single mothers are heros to get their brood out the door and to church at all, so I could relate to the fact that many were still getting the children to the right locations and arriving just in time for class.
It was a bit awkward. The class was small, so it was obvious that a new girl was in the room. I made some snap judgements about the others, then caught myself and stopped. I was pleasantly surprised with the poise and interaction of the members and I was glad to learn they were starting a new series. The series is based on the Boundaries book, so I related right away because of the big "aha" moments that came to me when I was introduced to the theories within. I had history with this and so I could contribute to the conversation a bit.
I didn't learn any details about the other moms present, but I was glad they were all in my decade of age. They were sharp, attractive and well-spoken women and I can only guess at the events which led them to single motherhood. I had the youngest children of any there, which I'm learning is fairly typical. And everyone always gives me sympathetic glances, which I guess means things will get easier as they grow older.
I'll go back with the hope of learning from these who seem to be 'making it.' I could sense wounds in many, but it seems that these ladies are living with purpose and joy and I want to do the same! I still don't like the label of the class, but I'm going to choose to participate - I just won't let the class title define me.
Oh, and after that class, I still went to my 'regular' class to chat and connect with my friends there. I'm not sure how it will work, but I'm not ready to lose the relationships that I've formed and want to nurture the friendships among our children. Time will tell and God will bless, I'm sure.