I am so happy you are here. It feels great to know you are not alone because as a single mom, we all know the greatest feeling we have is lonliness. I wrote this for you. I feel you. I know you. I am you. We both have different stories to how we got here but the fact of the matter is, we are here. I like to write things that I would want to hear myself. This blog post is just that. This is my therapy. I sure hope that it helps you in some kind of way by reading it as it did for me while I was writing it!
TAKE THE HELP.
If there is anything I have learned in the 9 years I have been a single mom is that you should never take for granted the ones that have helped you take care of your kids. TAKE THE HELP THAT IS OFFERED TO YOU! Whether it is family, friends, neighbors, your kid’s friend’s parents, etc. they are the real MVP’s (besides us of course). As a single mom, we feel like we can take on the world. We want to do it all. The fact of the matter is, if we don’t do it then who will?! This is how we are wired to think. I am the type that likes to take on everything as much as I possibly can (Type 8 personality). I will wear myself out before I ask for help. Asking for help has always felt like a weakness to me. This is a curse and a blessing and also why I have gray hair now. I am extremely independent. Most single moms are whether we want to be or not. It is something that comes along with the territory of single mom land. I have learned the hard way the negative effects that not taking the help that is offered to you can do to you physically, mentally and emotionally which leads me to my next topic, mental health.
GET THE HELP.
You and I both know we don’t have time to be sad. We don’t have time lay in bed and be depressed for days. As single moms, we learn to suppress our feelings and emotions because we simply DON’T HAVE TIME FOR IT. Suppressing our feelings and emotions will destroy us. This is a fact. Go to therapy. Don’t be ashamed. Go to your doctor and ask for him to put you on anxiety/depression medication. It will get you back on track for the time being and just get you through the day because sometimes that is our only goal, just getting through the day as sad as it sounds. Don’t be ashamed. We are only human and we were not made to do this alone. But guess what, we are doing it alone. We made this decision to make our kids and ourselves happier. If we are not happy with ourselves, guess who sees it? Our kids. They see our pain, they feel our pain and our pain will ultimately effect them whether we like it or not. I have honestly been an emotional wreck since I became pregnant for my daughter. The whirlwind that a quick marriage that ultimately ended in divorce and the guilt of what all of this would do to my son ate me alive. With everything that has happened, I have found it harder to control my emotions. I hate crying in front of anyone, especially my son. It makes be feel weak. Lately, I have been okay with crying. I have been okay with showing my son that it is okay to be emotional (he is actually very sensitive and emotional). I want him to know that life is hard, that it is okay to be emotional/vulnerable and that nothing in this life is permanent, especially feelings. Ultimately, if we didn’t know sadness, we wouldn’t know how great being happy felt. If there is anything I have learned in all of this, it is that God gives you what you need when you need it. I now realize both Wyatt and I needed Lou. I am comforted by the love I see that he has for her. She is lucky to have him as a Bubba and we can’t imagine our lives without her now.
CHANGE IS GOOD.
It is still crazy to think about how much my life has shifted. I NEVER would’ve imagined my life to be the way it is at 32 years old. Although I was a single mom, I still had a lot of goals for myself I wanted to achieve. I planned to move away and go to law school when my son graduated. I would only be 38 years old, still young-ish! Life can surely throw some damn curveballs. Law school may not be in the cards for me anymore, but you never know! If there is anything I have learned in life it is to NEVER say NEVER! I am now an author?! What?! Like, officially. I received my copyright in the mail for my first children’s book, “Rise & Shine, Sweet Child”. My illustrator is working on the art for my book as we speak. So…I guess there is no going back now! Ha! Writing a children’s book isn’t something that I just impulsively decided to do out of no where because I was “going through some shit”. I actually had the idea a couple of years ago randomly. It is weird how ideas can manifest into reality when you least expect it. I have my second book already written and a really cool idea for a book series. Stay tuned! Go after your dreams. It is not too late. A new life is starting. When one door closes, another one opens. Life is short and we aren’t here for long. My life’s complete 360 has actually been a blessing for me. We should learn to look at changes as blessings. Life will always shift in different directions. How we take on the shift determines our true success in life.
So easy right? WRONG. Happiness is a mindset. It is a choice. We can wake up and choose to be unhappy or we can wake and choose to be happy. It is as simple as that. Our environment effects our happiness greatly, as well as, comparison and she is a little bitch. How hard is it to not compare where you are in life to friends, random people you follow on social media, your family, etc.? I am guilty of this immensely. Why can’t I have the white picket fence life? Reality check is this … we have to dig deep and get the help we need in all areas of our well-being which include the physical, mental, and emotional parts. The fact of the matter is that if we aren’t happy with ourselves, we will not be happy with someone else. If we do not love ourselves, we will not be able to love someone else. Being happy is hard. Being at peace with the fact that we are doing life alone right now is hard. But, the silver lining is that it won’t always be with this way. It may seem like it will take forever to get the white picket fence life but I truly believe that God’s timing is the right timing. He has the perfect person already picked out for us. We have to trust in that. God never gives us more than we can handle and always gives us what we need when we are truly ready for it.
Yeah, I said it. It sounds strange but now is the time to get to know yourself. Now is the time to fall in love with yourself. We are going through a divorce or have gone through a divorce/break up which means we have gone through some shit! All of our shit is different. Some worse than others. We have to heal and we have do this alone. Only ourselves are invited to this healing party! Take a weekend trip, go on a retreat, just spend the weekend at home reading, reflecting, working out, meditating, or whatever it is that gives you peace. Being content with being alone is not easy. Companionship is something we naturally crave. Having someone telling you good morning, asking how your day is going, etc. although simple, is quite a good feeling and something we as humans seemingly need. We have to be okay with the fact that we do not have this right now. We have to be okay with the fact that we may not have this for a while. Whatever you do, DO NOT SETTLE. You are not ready and your kids are not ready. We have to be okay with the fact that life is not a damn Lifetime movie. Dating is tough. I was a single mom with one kid and that was rough. Now I am single mom with two kids. Like, don’t even want to think about it! I am looking at this divorce process (which honestly feels like it will be forever until it is over) as a time to find myself. I have faith that I will be confident in the direction that my life is heading after this is all over with and then I will be ready to date someone other than myself.
BE THE BIGGER PERSON.
The toughest part of being a single parent, but the most important. We must be the bigger person. Our children see, feel and sense everything. No matter their age, they can sense tension, hate, friction, etc. It is very difficult to fix a broken adult with childhood trauma. We have to raise our children in as stable of an environment as possible. This is crucial. The biggest thing I have learned personally is that a child loves to see his/her parents talk, laugh, joke, etc. It will take them some time to get used to the fact that you are no longer together, but as time goes by and they get older, they will understand it was for the best. The best thing you can do for your children is love their father/mother. Respect them, converse with them in a friendly manner, and NEVER say negative words about them. I only hope that you have a great ex, one who is loving, nurturing and most importantly present in your children’s lives. If you do, do not take this for granted. Push aside your own personal issues with them and respect them as the father/mother to your children especially if they are showing up! Not everyone is lucky enough to have this. Lastly, the best advice I can give is to pick your battles. Not everything is black and white. Things will always need changing and rearranging. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be. Just let it go.