I have always been fascinated by people’s stories. I guess that is why I went into the business I am in. I remember how, when I was an adolescent in the no-cell-phone and just- before-the-cordless era, I sat in my mother’s closet with the long curly cord just under the closed door as I “counseled” my friends. I loved listening to their stories, and I still love to listen, as daily I welcome patients/clients into my office in Maine.
Of course what came so naturally has also undergone much refinement and training. I have had to learn how to listen for the clinical substance, and I still study the ways to respond that have the most potential to help and to heal. But no one can “teach” the sense of privilege and fulfillment that I feel as daily I am honored to know the deepest hurts and harmonies of peoples lives. At this point, it will come as no surprise to many of you that I find some of the most incredible stories are those that belong to single mothers.
As I have interviewed single moms for my book, “Soul Mothers’ Wisdom/Seven Insights for the Single Mother,” I have come to realize that there exists a broad range of single mothers that includes divorcees, widows, remarried women who still have single mom responsibilities, women who have adopted alone, and even some who are married to men away at wars, or unavailable because of other circumstances.
All of these women have incredible stories full of wisdom, struggle and strength. Take for example, the story of the woman who travelled several times to Romania to work in an orphanage, later return to adopt the child with whom she had bonded, a child with many emotional and behavioral issues. This amazing woman dedicated her life to raising this child. Although her story is not one of the stories in the book, there are many stories of strong, incredibly resilient woman, and many excerpts of my story as well.
My hope is that the book will serve as a support, as a beacon of hope, for single mother out there–there are millions–who need to believe in themselves, who need to know that this difficult job is blessed and a blessing, and who need to know they are not alone. It is my goal that single mothers ( or any mothers) who read “Soul Mothers’ Wisdom,” will see the wisdom in themselves, and discover new ways to transcend the stresses that come with single parenting. I hope they will find their own inner strength to be a well of inspiration from which they can draw.
Single mothers have incredible stories of fulfillment, satisfaction, and serenity within the struggles. Through the seventeen years that I brought up my daughters as a single mother, there were times when I was dating or in a relationship, but always I was aware that the parenting buck stopped with me, most particularly after my children’s father died when they were very young.
What I needed during those years were the voices and stories of other women who were doing this incredible thing called single mothering. I was hungry for their stories. I wanted to understand what they did, and how they did it. How did they think about their situations, and how were they succeeding. Since those years I have heard tens, maybe 100’s” of stories. Some of the moms’ stories and lots of their wisdom are in the book. I hope you will find the inspiration, encouragement, support and ideas that I longed for in those single mother days, and uncover the soul’s wisdom that lives inside of you.
I hope you will write and tell me something about your story. As ever, I would be so grateful to hear them. Whatever they are, your stories are incredible.