8 Things I Want For Mother’s Day as a Single Mom

When people ask me what I’m doing for Mother’s Day, I usually roll my eyes (on the inside). Of course I’ll celebrate, but Mother’s Day isn’t usually a big celebration when you’re a single mom like I am. My answer is usually something like, “I’m doing what I do every other day — being a mom.”

I’ve been a single parent for four years now, so Mother’s Day doesn’t really have the same effect as it used to. I remember going to the boardwalk with my daughter on my first Mother’s Day after getting a divorce. People came in droves with their kids . . . and partners. I felt very out of place. No one was pointing and saying, “Look at the woman alone with her child on Mother’s Day,” but I still felt alone. I no longer had someone to plan Mother’s Day surprises for me or with my daughter, to take some of the parenting burden off my shoulders for the day, or to shower me with love and affection. It was just me. It is just me.

Our family of two is perfect, and if we end up adding more people along the way, that’s great too. I’ve come so far from the person I once was, and Mother’s Day no longer holds the same sad power over me. Sure, I’d love a day to relax, but I also know that, for now, that’s not how things are, and that’s OK. We don’t and can’t always get what we want, but that doesn’t mean that what we already have isn’t good enough. I cherish my relationship with my daughter, and because I’m a single parent, it means that much more to me. But I do still think about what I want, because no matter what your situation is, you always deserve to be celebrated. Keep reading for eight things I’ll wish for this Mother’s Day while still being perfectly content with what I have.

To All the Single Mom’s: YOU ROCK!
Laura
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How to Take Your Financial Challenges and Turn Them Into Life Goals

It is very hard to stare down financial hardships and see a light at the end of the tunnel, unless you make a plan. Truly, having no financial plan in general, is dangerous. Even if you are scraping by for now and can’t be strategic, you can take these financial challenges you are dealing with, and turn them into life goals that will help serve you. Here are a few ways you can turn your financial hardships into something fruitful!

CREDIT ISSUES

Do you have a bad credit score or maybe a lot of credit debt? This is a common issue after divorce. Perhaps your ex racked up debt or you racked up some yourself. Whatever the case is, take credit issues as a journey towards smarter spending.
Some tips I have learned from the advisors I met through Savvy Ladies:

Read More: How to Take Your Financial Challenges and Turn Them Into Life Goals

Challenge is On!

Laura

How Learning How to Ask for Help Made Me Stronger

First things, first: I am not so stubborn that if my arm is about to fall off, I won’t ask for help. I will ask for help…with certain things. Certain things are easier for me to ask than others, but overall, I find it hard to ask for something that I really need from people I care about.

Asking an employer or someone I hired to do something I can do. But asking people within my life and community for help is much harder. For example, there were quite a few times I probably should have gone to the food bank instead of using limited funds for food. Pride kept me from going…and also, I didn’t want people to know in my small town that I was not doing so well. I also felt my ex would be more punitive if he knew.
So, there were logical reasons to resist, but there were also damn good reasons I should have gone to the food bank. Either way, we ate and no one went hungry…but still, I noted my pride.

Applying for state health care was also something I truly abhorred. I felt terrible. How could this happen to me? Well, it did. Life happened. Medical bills. Ex fiascos. Lawyers. Childcare. Caring for my daughter. Unemployment stints.

Life happens. And when it happens to the best of us as it all does, you must know how to ask for help. Period.

Asking for help made me stronger because…

Read More: How Learning How to Ask for Help Made Me Stronger

Stronger,

Laura

Broke Single Parent Holiday

The buzz is on. Everyone is chatting about their awesome holiday vacations. The presents they’re buying for their spouses. The gift list they have made for their kiddos. The smashing New Year’s Eve reservations they’ve got in store. It sounds so thrilling and wonderful, but to you, it feels pretty god darn awful. This is the part in which your “Fa-la-la-la-la” is completely flat:

The part in which you realize you’re flat broke and there’s no awesome holiday getaway or hot spousal date or worse, an amazing list of gifts you’re dying to buy your kids.

Sure. Those things exist in your head but they’re not reality. Instead, you sit down and look at your budget. You look at how much money you have coming in and how much you can use to contribute towards the holidays, whether that be taking any days off or buying gifts for your children. You don’t feel so “Fa-la-la-la-la,” when you look at the bottom line that money is tight and that you’re going to be lucky if you can take vacation days because guess what? As a single parent, you probably used up quite a bit already.

It’s enough to make you Bah- humbug and honestly, feel inferior and sad that the holidays in your head aren’t living up to the ones you’ll have in reality. Does it suck? Sure, but is it the end of the world? No. No, damnit it’s not. Instead of feeling bad that you can’t make the holidays some huge smash, remember that your kids don’t need huge gifts and getaways to be happy. That being a broke single parent at the holidays is hard, but it’s not awful. Being a homeless single parent on the holidays IS awful. And even still—it doesn’t make you a bad parent. Being an unloving and unresponsive or absent parent makes you a bad parent. Not buying your kid every one of his or her whims and fancy does not qualify you as a bad parent. Having to work Christmas- New Year’s Eve vacation does not make you a bad parent.

Read More: Broke Single Parent Holiday

Jingle Bell Broke,

Laura

How to Face a Quiet House This Holiday Season

1. Less Pressure

You know how Sally kissed Harry on New Year’s Eve? Well, we would all like that to be us, but the reality is our life is not a movie or fairy tale, so what does that mean?

It means putting less pressure on yourself for the holidays to be some giant huge love fest of joy. Cut the pressure. It’s really just another day. Yes, you may not be spending it exactly as you wish, but the day will come…and go. Even for a two-day holiday like Christmas…it does pass.

Don’t put any pressure on yourself for it to be perfect. Plenty of people are having crappy and crappier holidays and they’re married with kids and some of them, are wealthy.

Yup. So chillax.

If you’re about to face a quiet house this holiday because the kids will be with your ex, join the club. There are many of us who have to share holidays with our exes…even if they don’t see the kids that much. Honestly, it’s a special kind of hell that not many people can understand or would volunteer for, but you can make it through and find comfort during the holidays. It takes perspective, support and patience with yourself to truly embrace the holiday time without your children. Here are a few things that I try in order to keep myself sane and happy during the holidays.

You Can Do It,
Laura

7 Things You Need To Know When Dating A Kickass Single Mom

If you are dating a kick-ass single mom, congratulations! If you are attempting to date a kick-ass single mom…well, sit back, because I’ve got some things you need to hear.

 

As a single mom who is pretty badass and also dating, I’d like to share one thing you need to know before messaging me or any other single mom online or in real life:

 

We’re not desperate.

 

I know, I know. You went on Craig’s List. You watched an XXX video. You “heard” single moms are desperate horn balls just dying (insert my eye roll right here folks) for some male attention.

 

Apparently, the word on the street is single moms are just dying for some “big hulking man” to come and make her life better. Well, that my friends is the first thing on this list that you need to know in order to date a kick-ass single mom:

 

1. NO, DARLING, I’M NOT DESPERATE FOR YOU TO SLEEP WITH ME

Sure, every human on this earth loves sex and loves company. Well, besides intentionally celibate people I suppose.

 

But kick-ass single moms are not dying for sex. And hey, there are tools for that sort of issue if it becomes hairy, and truthfully, there are many of us single moms out in the world. Many of us dating.

 

We are not desperate to get in the sack with you. We can be just as choosy as you are, man with the annoyingly pretentious abdominal photos and braggery of his fifty vacation spots. Stop buying into the myth and find someone who is foolish enough to stroke your ego, thanks.

Read More:  7 Things You Need To Know When Dating A Kickass Single Mom 

Strangeness of Mothers Day After Divorce

In the three years my marriage ended, I’ve made a bunch of new traditions with my daughter for each holiday. Whether it’s Easter or Hanukkah (yeah, we’re that kind of family) or any other holiday, we’ve got new traditions we’ve been establishing for the past few years so that overall, the holidays feel “normal” to me. Well, except for when my daughter is not with me. That’s still really hard.

But the one “holiday” that still feels a bit weird is Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day growing up meant Dad was supposed to do stuff so Mom could do whatever she wanted. It was a nuclear family event and granted, I have one child and growing up, I was the youngest of four. Now that we are all older with our own lives, Mother’s Day has become less of an event. And when people ask me what I am doing for Mother’s Day, a part of me laughs inside and thinks, “Exactly what I do every other damn day.”

There’s no one doing anything for me. From sunrise to sunset, when you are a single parent, you are a single parent no matter what Hallmark or the rest of your married and coupled friends are doing. I will be lucky if my ex even thinks to have my daughter make me a card.

The reality is, it’s just one day out of the year and it’s one day that someone decided we should all celebrate Mothers of the world…but really, does it matter?

Read More: Strangeness of Mothers Day After Divorce 

Happy Mothers Day to the Single Moms Doing it All!

Laura

Finding Treasure Among The Trash

My one-year divorce-aversary is coming up quickly.

It’s made me stop to think about the year and overall, it’s been a rough one.

Every time I thought I had things under control, life would pull the rug under me and laugh saying, “Not so fast, blondie.”

There were some moments in which I thought—I just can’t do this. Many moments. The feeling was overwhelming, but then suddenly, I turned a corner. Not that I don’t sometimes feel defeated about caring for myself and my daughter on my own…not that I don’t look at my bank account and think, “When does it get better?” because I do… a lot.

Not that I don’t think, when another issue comes up with my ex, “What now?”

But that I believe wholeheartedly that I will manage it. Somehow, I managed when I thought I couldn’t during numerous moments throughout this year. And honestly, out of the three years we have been done with our marriage, this one was the hardest by far—proving that no two divorce journeys are alike.

And here it is spring. A time of new growth. A time of warmer sun. A time of longer days.

And for the first time, I will be without my child for six whole nights.

Originally when we split, we shared her time 50/50, and it was challenging making a life for myself when she was gone with dad. Then as her dad started to take less and less and less time with her, suddenly, it was the two of us again, attached at the hip just like we had been when I was a stay-at home mom.

I’ve never been apart from my daughter for this long. I’ve never missed the chance to dye eggs or see the bunny in time for Easter. It’s this time of the year that I am most sentimental about missing my stay-at home days with her… she just turned six and I still remember those days…the ones rocking her in her chair, her nursing to sleep. The ones in which we hopped from park to park, drawing on the sidewalks, writing letters, and swinging on swings…climbing to the top and me wondering if she wasn’t going just a little too high…or not.

How quiet the house is going to be for six whole nights…getting used to that silence. Getting used to being alone with my own thoughts.

 

Read more: Finding Treasure Among The Trash

Diamond in the Rough,

Laura

My Interview For Fox News on Financial Education for Women

When I decided to get a divorce, I was terrified. I was financially dependent and desperately trying to grow my income. Three years later, with a lot of hard work and sweat…I am doing it, thanks to the help of an amazing organization called Savvy Ladies.

Please watch this video and share. It could help a woman who is struggling in silence.

Watch the interview here.

With Hope,

Laura

A Single Mom’s Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep…except for, I am still awake.

Awake thinking of the many things I meant to do, but couldn’t get done today.

Awake thinking of the things I said that I second guess—

In my mind, I go over these conversations with my child and wonder if something could have been said differently or if perhaps, there was something I might have missed in her words.

Or if perhaps, my strong love came through with each sentence, word and syllable

As she lays down to sleep,

I pray she doesn’t feel the difference between us and “them:”

As we walk our neighborhood on crisp days, she points to houses and says, “I want us to have our own home.”

As she lays down to sleep,

I hope she knows how amazing, creative, smart, strong and bright her light already is.

I sit and hope.

Hope that each day in every way,

my child knows I love her.

Read More: A Single Mom’s Prayer

 

Amen,

Laura