The Best Laid Plans

I didn’t want kids.
I said it.
I don’t deny it.

I was adamant that I would be childless for my whole life. It was my life plan. Being a parent is hard, I didn’t want hard. In truth, I was a selfish person when I was younger. It was all about me. You better believe I wasn’t going to be a single mom either. There was no way that was ever going to happen. I had plans for my life. Those plans were my hope to get out of a bad situation called my childhood.

So here I am.
I am a single divorced mom to three teenage boys.
What happened to those plans?
Where did they go?
How in the world is someone like me raising three boys?The Best Laid Plans

Let me start out by saying I adore my kids. I probably love them too much. The minute they were born, I couldn’t imagine my life without them. They are my life.

That being said, parenting is hard for me. It does not come naturally to me and I envy my friends who do it naturally and gracefully. At any given moment, I am questioning myself. Did I make the right decision? Was I too harsh? Do my kids really think I am a good parent? Maybe I should do this. Maybe I should do that. I constantly second guess what I am doing with my kids. It’s not because I think I am a bad mom. It’s because I never really had an example of the kind of mom I needed and wanted.

My mother did the best she could. I do not blame her even though my therapist did. I truly feel parents do the best they can with the tools they have. When you are a child and your mother can’t connect with you in any way, there will be trouble. On top of that, being a child who was adopted from Korea into an all white family, you have the potential for disaster. It was a disaster which led to my belief that I was one of those who would benefit from not having children.

Boy, I am glad that wasn’t the case. Every single day I thankful I am a mother.

Raising my kids, literally by myself, has been a test of perseverance, patience and endurance. I do have an ex-husband who chooses to not co-parent and that is okay. It’s taken me several years to understand, accept and come to terms with this. It just makes my life easier to realize he just won’t be the co-parent I need him to be. My parents passed away in a tragic accident in 2012. With their passing, I systemically lost my adopted brothers and extended family. They say it takes a village to raise kids. My village crashed and burned in a matter of 6 years.

The past six years has been hard. There were times I wanted to give up and disappear. However, I have three reasons why I can’t and won’t. My kids are the reason I am here to be perfectly truthful. It’s ironic. The very thing I didn’t want is the only reason I am here. If I didn’t have my kids, I don’t know how my life would look. Getting divorced, losing my parents suddenly and losing my family was not something I planned for. Being a mother to three boys was something I didn’t plan for either. My kids weren’t in my life plan. I didn’t think I could be a parent much less a parent on my own. But here I am doing the best I can with the tools I have.

I am thankful that my plans went astray. I am glad that I am a single divorced mom to three amazing teenage boys.

Sarah Heil-Brenny

Sarah Heil-Brenny is a single divorced mom of three teenage boys who lives in a suburb of the Twin Cities. Pack leader of two dogs with a combined weight of 9 pounds. She is often found knitting in inappropriate places, watching way too much Netflix, posting too many pictures on Instagram, and munching on anything gummy. Sarah pretends she is an extrovert but she is a closeted introvert who adores spending an obscene amount of time by herself and a few awesome friends. She is an adolescent psychotherapist who has a private practice. Photojournalism was a passion that turned into a business but really it’s because she can fly her drone. She does this all the while going to school for her PhD in Social Work. Someday she hopes she can just sit, relax and not stress about her yarn stash. Until then, she lives her chaotic life. Welcome to it.

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