Because of work, I only have between thirty-six and thirty-eight waking hours each week with Dori. Most of Dori’s life is lived without a parent present. I have the best of substitutes in wonderful grandparents and a good school, but I am convinced that I need to be with Dori as much as I can when I can. Making that commitment to Dori means letting go of other things I love.
This weekend I was officially uninvited to the Single Mother’s Christmas party at church. I completely understand. I have not been to the study for two months (Not since Dori started going to sleep at seven with NO PROBLEM AT ALL – I am so not messing with that). But it was awkward. You see, my sister attends the study regularly and the very sweet woman who runs the study just wanted to make sure I was not going to show up to the party where they will be presenting gifts. I did not know about and was not planning to attend the party. But just when I thought she was going to give me a we love you anyway and miss you speech, she asked me for a donation. I understand that many single moms have a really tough time but I am not really in a place to make donations right now.
And there it is, summarized in a single conversation, is my struggle with church. I am neither needy enough or able to offer enough to find my place. I do not need rescue, but I still struggle with keeping all my balls in the air. I am not not severely financially strapped, but I have been cutting back on a lot of things to pay for Dori’s school and support my parents, sister and brother. It is tough for me to stay in a small group because of Dori’s schedule, but I still long for the connection. I do not have the time or energy to teach Sunday school or lead Bible study, but I still want to be a vibrant part of the body of Christ. I have just really not found a place to fit.
I am going to try again after the holidays. Maybe keep Dori up for Wednesday services. Maybe teach Sunday school. Try another small group (I do not think it will be the single moms group – it’s really hard to come back from being uninvited to the Christmas party.) Maybe I can finally start the study I have been trying to do with my friend. I will keep trying because it is worth it. I need to take the time for this part of my life and do my best to still keep up Dori. I will likely fail but I will still try. It’s just part of being a strong single mom.