There was no breakfast in bed for me this morning. No flowers, no fuss, no secret wrapping or whispered instructions. And then my little man announced "oh by the way mum, I forgot to tell you about the Mother's day stall at school on Friday." I won't lie, my heart sank a little.
It shouldn't be about the gifts, but I felt a pang of sadness and a reminder of the realities of single mum-hood. Sometime it feels hard.
Mumming without a partner can be lonely, there's much family life to miss out on. And without family of your own its' even harder, especially not having a mum.
I've been disconnected from mine for so long I almost forget she exists. It's not her that I miss, but I do miss the idea of the loving mother I've never had. Even just having a connection to the woman who birthed me would be something.
Times like these can be bittersweet.
Not everyone fits the ideal family mould. There's a lot of myths around motherhood and family life and those myths can push us out onto the fringe where we're vulnerable to feeling less than.
We're reminded of what we don't have. And deep down our human hearts crave the fantasy of being part of a loving, happy family, valued and celebrated.
I pushed my disappointment to the side as my little guy snuggled in close and wrapped his body around me. And as I sank into his warmth he whispered "Mumma I love you." His skin felt so soft and comforting, like a plush velvet blanket on a cold winters night.
And his little eyes sparkled. His arms and hands held me tight as though I were his whole world and my heart instantly lightened.
And my trusted soul stirred me back awake.
"This is the real gift of motherhood" it whispered.
And then he remembered he'd made me something special at school and excitedly ran down to fetch it. He proudly handed me the bag. First a beautiful card and inside he'd written so neatly and carefully. "Mum I really took my time, normally I just write fast but I really slowed down and made it as good as I could."
And also a beautiful laminated A4 picture of a tree (my passion) and in each leaf a little handwritten reason why he loved me.
And the most gorgeous painted plant pot. Splashed with bright colour, crooked lines and "I love you" painted on the side. Along with a little packet of seeds and a message, "thank you for helping me grow."
Such a beautiful gift, made with love.
I was grateful to shake myself away from this story that I'm alone and not treasured. It's a cold place to be, and it feeds into the deeper story I carried for so long about being abandoned, deprived and unloved.
These stories can wound us deeply. They feel so real when we tell them. And we think we have so much evidence around us to support their 'truth.' And that leaves us feeling so hopeless that life will never be different for us.
But they are just stories. Stories that mask a deeper truth, a greater learning and growth that in overcoming our hurts we triumph and master our life in ways that connect us back to truth and love and that we're all one.
Being part of a family can seem like its the ultimate in life and whilst it plays an incredibly important role in our journey its not always in the way we think. The problem is that we're conditioned to believing that if our lives don't fit a certain pattern or picture that somehow we're being robbed of true happiness.
We're conditioned to believe that broken, lost families mean broken lost people and that can make life seem unbearable.
But the truth is that life is a rich meld of every experience ever had and happiness is not reliant on expereince. It's not determined by what we have or don't have.
It is our connection to life that is our source of happiness and how happy we are depends on how connected we are. And every story we tell about not being enough, or loved, or valued or special disconnects us further from the joy of simply being alive.
And this is our mission to discover this joy. And our children help us along the way. And that's what to be celebrated.
To realise that happiness exists and can be felt regardless of the relationships we have or don't have and that we can always find celebration for love whether we are in a family of 10 or 1 or none.
Sadness is always a gift because it's shows us that we're believing something that isn't true.
Today I'm just enjoying being with my boy, being his mum, feeling his love and my own. I'm treasuring my home made gifts and feeling grateful to my soul for continually putting things in my path that keep awakening me to what's real in this life.
Love is all. It's what matters most and there's no gift in the world, no matter how expensive, no breakfast no matter how superbly put together is a substitute for love.
Because that's where love is coming from. One heart to another.
If you're on your own today, if you're a single mumma or a mumma who's missing her child or who's courageously journeyed through the grief of loss and you're aching to feel the love, let yourself surrender to what this life has brought. There is no fighting what is.
And in the space of surrender you'll find a powerful connection to your soul and a trust in your heart that love still exists within you. Love never dies and connection can never be broken.
There are no guarantees; life promises us nothing. We're here to experience the good, the bad and the ugly, as we label it. But it's all just experience. And we can't control life because every soul has it's own journey and agenda and as human beings we're beholden to being the physical expression of that agenda.
Sending much love to all mums today; Happy Mothers Day! And especially to the single mummas, I know the challenges you face, please always remember that you're doing an incredible job. Never forget how powerful a role you're playing.
I know it can be lonely, but being solo for now doesn't define you, You have great strength and courage to move through life just as you are. Keep lettting go of the stories that you should be where you're not, or that you're missing out on life, you aren't. Because life is now. And if you're in it, you're already blessed.
And if you have or have had a child to journey through it with, you're doubly blessed!
Dawn Lee is a Personal, Professional and Spiritual Intelligence coach™ and besotted mumma, with a passion for melding psychology, coaching and spirituality. Dawn's expertise is working with smart, intuitive, professionals to create clarity and heart-centred, soul-aligned synergy in personal and professional relationships. Her mission is to help shine a light of awareness in the world and connect others back to their soul and find their truest, happiest selves.