Sometimes I just need a hug. Hugs from my princess are precious and amazingly embracing considering she just over three feet tall. But those are not the hugs that I am talking about this time. Sometimes I need a manly bear hug; one of those hugs that is all embracing, protective, reassuring, comforting, and makes me feel like a woman. An embrace that offers refuge from the world, and in that moment you have comfort and peace. I hate that I know sometimes I just need one. Makes me feel weak. I grew up with a loving dad that was involved with us as daughters, I got lots of hugs. I loved that when he hugged me, I felt secure. My weakness was protected. My dad is a really good hugger, but my dad isnt always available- life seems to get in the way. (Yea- I know... Im lucky- I have a really good dad!)
I know the problem is me. Single moms dont ask for help, and when it is readily offered, we rarely accept. It isnt because we have some sort of internal desire to look like a modern day martyr- or at least, for me, it is more that I hate being weak. I have associated accepting help as weakness. I spent the majority of my marriage weak. I now have control - and it is hard for me to give that up! Personal weakness is a huge fear of mine. However, despite being a leader or a follower, occasionally we all need some refuge. We battle daily the hardships and pressures life has to throw at us: financial pressures, career pressures, social pressures, familial pressures... the list is never ending. Especially as a solo mom, we are doing it all: housework, yardwork, repairs, working, cooking, parenting for two... there is no doubt that we wouldnt trade it for the world, but that is not to say that occasionally it is amazing when someone steps in with relief. It is just hard to accept the relief, for fear of loosing the control that we have worked so hard to gain and maintain. Maybe it would be nice if I didnt have the option and it just happened. Maybe I would resist it more without trust in place.
I look at a lot of the single moms that I know, and the blogs of those that I follow. I see that I tend to identify with the one that is afraid to let that guard down with a man again. Afraid to get hurt. As the line in Jerry McGuire goes, we have been to the puppet show and seen the strings. We come across hardened and jaded towards the opportunity of a man stepping in and baring some of our responsibility- let alone appear to be weak and in need of a hug! We are women- hear us roar! We appear to be incredibly independent without a need for a man. My independence is something that I do value, and at this point in my life- am not willing to throw it recklessly away for the idea of love. My independence and ability to see my daughter thrive of my own doing is a freedom I refuse to give up right now. That isnt to say that I dont miss being the weaker one occasionally. Its a difficult conundrum: Afraid to show weakness so we bare entire responsibility and wear ourselves thin "being strong"; and showing weakness because that is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable again, weak again, and that takes trust and surrendered of control.
I guess I just need to find a balance, as in all things in my life. I need to recognize that all men will not fail me. And some men are incredibly trust worthy... enough that I could be vulnerable and ask for one of those bear hugs I miss so much.