Our lives are filled with relationships. We have relationships with parents, siblings, romantic partners, friends, and our children. We have relationships with co-workers, neighbors, exes with whom we share children and their families. And we have relationships with ourselves.

And there’s one thing all of these relationships have in common.

Relationships are hard. Even the best relationships require understanding, dedication, and hard work. We’re taught to read, to do math, and even how to have sex in school (remember the banana and the condom?). But nowhere, not in school or at home, are we ever taught how to have relationships.

We’re not given a user’s manual, or a how-to guide, that tells us what a healthy, happy relationship should look like. When you think about it, that makes sense. There are so many kinds of relationships, and what makes one person, couple, or family thrive could make another miserable.

But without a guide, our only way to understand relationships is to look at the examples set by others around us. Our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and our friends’ parents as we grow up. Other teens as we begin navigating the world of dating, self-exploration, and friendship. Other young, married couples with families as we start our own families.

We only get a partial view of these relationships, though. We see what they want us to see, and we never see what goes on behind closed doors.

And none of those people are us. We are individuals, with our own unique desires and needs. We can’t just rely on what we see of others’ relationships to form our own. We need to know ourselves. We must to know what we want and need.

So how do we do that?

Do you know who you are, at a soul level? Or do you sometimes feel like you’re a stranger to yourself?

It’s time to dig deep and get to know yourself in a way you never have before. The better you know yourself, the better your relationships will be.

It’s time to make yourself a priority, set healthy solid boundaries, and put yourself first. That’s one of the keys to happier, healthier, easier relationships.

You are more than a mom, a spouse, a grandma, a daughter. You are not defined by the roles you play or the expectations of others. You don’t have to live up to the demands of another person or society in general.

You don’t have to follow a path laid out by anyone else. Forge your own path through the wilderness of relationships. You need only dive inside yourself and learn what it is you want.

Your worth isn’t found in other people, in achievements, or in being able to toe the line of being the perfect woman that others describe. Your identity is separate from that of your children, your significant other, your parents, and everyone else in your life. Your identity is more than labels, more than roles, more than what other people see. And yet, every label, every role, every relationship you’ve ever had has contributed in some way to who you are today and who you will be tomorrow.

Being a single parent isn’t easy. Whether you came to be a single parent through divorce, losing your spouse, or by choice, it often comes with the weight of feeling as though you’ve failed somehow. That divorce makes you a failure. That you should have somehow been able to save your spouse. That being unable or unwilling to find a partner to have a child with makes you a failure.

Raising a child on your own, or co-parenting with an ex, comes with its own set of issues. You feel like you must always be available for your children. You miss them when they’re not with you, but when they are, you find yourself wishing for a break sometimes.

And if, like me, you were raised in a two-parent household, navigating the waters of single parenthood can feel confusing and overwhelming. You know you’re singlehandedly doing a job meant for two, and that’s exhausting, stressful, and contributes to that feeling of failure mentioned above.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

I want to help you shed your old ways and reframe your perspective of yourself. I want to help you reclaim your time, your assets, and your identity for yourself. I want to show you this is not selfish – it’s smart.

I want you to be a whole woman, offering the truth of who you are to your relationships. Let me be your guide as you come back to your essential self.