Less Than Perfect: I'm a Single Mom

11/19/2012 05:52 pm ET Updated Jan 19, 2013

Letting Go.

Learning to let go is a difficult accomplishment for most. Yep, I'm calling it an accomplishment, because it is one -- if you can do it. For me, it is definitely that. There are many things which present themselves to us along the way that would be better served by simply letting go.

-A fight with a spouse or family member
-Bitterness resultant of a failed marriage or relationship
-Hurt feelings from misunderstandings
-A less than successful business venture
...And so many more.

I have difficulty letting go of responsibility. Learning to delegate has never been my strong suit -- I fear that if I let go, the task or function may not get done correctly or maybe not at all. This is true for my work and at home with my family, and it definitely has to do with the responsibility I feel as a single mom. I have to prove that just because I failed at marriage doesn't mean I will fail at anything else. I feel the tremendous need to prove that -- even to myself.

I can admit it...

Since we all know that recognition is the first step in change, it is good that I know of and can admit this particular difficulty. Even letting my children do the dishes is hard for me. And not just because I don't think they will do it right. But also that it may indicate my failure as a mother. Mothers are supposed to do dishes. Mothers are supposed to do laundry. Mothers are supposed to tuck their children in at night. Mothers are supposed to be active in the PTA, and make fantastic cookies, and never disgrace themselves or their families. Mothers are to be good.

Do you see my dilemma?

I have learned to set my own self up for failure by having too high of expectations, even for "me." A single, working mom can not possibly be expected to be perfect at everything. I would never hold another woman in a similar situation to such high standards.

Letting go.

Work is no different. I know what I need to do. And I know what I need in order to accomplish what I need to do. My to-do list each week seems impossible. I will ask for help. I will ask for clarification and then, God wiling and the creek don't rise, I will delegate when necessary. If this feels like a a pledge -- maybe that is what it needs to be.

No one is perfect.

Perfecting oneself, one's life, one's practices.... these are all possible. But only if you are willing to let go. It's easy for me to say, but a little more difficult to do. It helps to remember that I really am doing the best I know how. Most single moms are...