A young woman went to her mother and told her about how hard her life was. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.
The daughter then asked, ‘What does it mean, mother?’
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg went in fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water and added flavour and aroma.
‘Which are you?’ she asked her daughter. ‘When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
As single working moms we face a lot of adversity.
Are you the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity have wilted and become soft and weak? I know I used to be a carrot. I admit it! And I see a lot of other single moms being carrots… For me, I went into the divorce strong, sure of myself and idealistic. However, after many years of fighting in maintenance court and high court to try get my ex to pay maintenance for his four sons I became weak and felt defeated. I saw myself as a victim of an unjust justice system where women and children are not protected.
Or are you an egg that started off fragile and became hardened? Does your shell look the same, but on the inside you are hard and tough with a bitter spirit and hardened heart?
There are many single moms that have become hard boiled eggs. I remember once having an interaction with the family doctor that had treated my sons and I for many years. He said something about my husband and I told him that I was divorced. He was so surprised and told me that I “don’t look like a divorced woman”. I was curious and asked him what a divorced woman looks like. He said: “Bitter”. He told me that he treats a lot of single moms and that he can see they are divorced without even having to ask because firstly, they always bring it up, and secondly the bitterness is sculpted into their faces, their posture, their tone and their whole demeanour.
Wouldn’t you prefer to be a coffee bean? I know I did, and that was a turning point for me. The bean actually changes the hot water- the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour of the coffee bean. You become the person you were meant to be and add flavour and aroma to the world.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, how can you elevate yourself to a higher level? How can you become “better” instead of “bitter”? That is why I started Single Mom Superwoman. I believe that single moms can be happy and successful, with ease and grace rather than stress and struggle.
May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!
+27 82 305 5755