A Prayer For The Hopeless

diana-simumpande-ABrC7X4_gLY-unsplashhttps://unsplash.com/@dianasimumpande

 

As I lay down to sleep, I don’t.

Sleep that is.

Some days, like this one, the pain is unbearable. I pray the Lord— the universe— the spirit— my soul to take and heal.

Although I believe it is not possible.

I’m grieving a great many things. The loss of someone who once was so much to me but is unhealthy and unable to be the same person to me or the people who love her. The loss of another person who didn’t live up to the contract he signed to our child. The loss of someone who was supposed to be working for my best interest. The loss of someone else who did not support me or care about me or want to be there. Abandonment a better word.

If I die before I wake Lord, take away the COVID. Life is so difficult for everyone. Seeing my child be isolated and seeing others so isolated. Being isolated myself. Being unable to see my elderly parents regularly. The constant arguing between people. Who is right and who is wrong. What is right? What is wrong?

Nothing feels safe or secure. It feels like I can rely on no one. No one and nothing is reliable besides myself. Forget my mortality it is also my sanity I question lasting.

As I lay myself down to sleep, I have a child growing at remarkable speeds. I wasn’t supposed to raise her alone. I wasn’t supposed to many things.

How much more I wonder, can I endure? Can we all endure?

Take my soul and heal it. I am not sure how much is left in me and all of us.

Amen,

L

 

 

Being a Single Mom Right Now Has Pushed Me to My Limits

Whichever way you slice it, no one has it easy during this unprecedented time in the world. No one is jumping around for joy. Everyone is bogged down with stress and anxiety, and we’re all dealing with the changes the best we can. But I have to admit that as a single mom, this current health crisis has pushed me to the limit.

There are now limits I never thought I’d see before. There are people celebrating how excited they are to have their spouse home and their busy, independent teenagers. I get this. But then there’s me: acting as head teacher, cook, cleaning lady, employee of the month, and mom of the year, 24/7 — with no way to tap out.

Read More: Being a Single Mom Right Now Has Pushed Me to My Limits

Hang Tough,

Laura

12 Days of Christmas, Single Mom Style

ira-ostafijchuk-q3zAX_kt0z4-unsplash

Photo by Ira Ostafijchuk on Unsplash

I tend to listen to holiday music ad nausem because I miss singing in choir; this season always reminds me of numerous years of concerts I either sang or sang and played an instrument in over the years. But, as I “race” to get stuff done– and try to remember hiding the elves for my daughter, and oh can’t forget Hanukkah too, it all blurs by. This is when I wish I had four hands instead of two, but part of being a single mom is learning how to be more than one person. Guess what? I still haven’t quite learned because it’s just not possible.

It had me making up my own little 12 days of Christmas song– if only.

Continue reading

Giving Up Things You Need & Love: Life As a Single Parent

sergei-gavrilov-gbd6PqRqGms-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Sergei Gavrilov on Unsplash

Sometimes we hit hard patches in life and we have to give up things we love. At the tail end of this year, I got hit with something that cost me financially a lot to handle– but I had to handle it. I couldn’t walk away or retreat from the matter and I ended up doing the right thing. But as a single parent, it was a financial hit I didn’t need as I already had endured enough the past six years. Not to mention the holidays– as much as I try to watch my funds and stick to a budget– it still costs– even with me being mindful.

So, after tallying up what I will need to pay for the next month or so, it hit me I may have to give up some things I love and some I even need in order to keep going, which really hurts. No one truly knows the financial sacrifices involved when you are a single parent– unless you are one as well.

My most favorite thing and really my one source of consistent artistic and physical joy, is dance.

Continue reading

Gratitude: This Single Mom Sees Wins & Rewards Everywhere– Despite Hardship

After a very difficult few weeks– and a few still upcoming, I was pretty spent. Tired, lack of appetite and a bit quiet.

Yet, as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hannukah and the New Year approaches, I remain pretty grateful even despite.

I didn’t find love or create as much work as I wanted to in 2019. I didn’t do as much financially as I wanted to in terms of debt management or savings.

But I did pay down quite a bit. I did make some huge strides financially. I learned a whole new skill (tap dancing and jazz). I improved my turns (ballet) and form at the barre. I wrote and found new clients and did my final pieces for former clients. I just got word from another writer about forming a long-distance writing group. I may do two recitals in 2020.

And I got closer to my child.

This past weekend, I got so many hugs from her– and I could see the results of the care I provide and protection I give for her. More often than not, I put myself aside to make things work for her. I am one person with a lot of responsibility so sometimes, I cannot do as much as I would like– but I am still one person who really cares.

Continue reading

5 Things I Won’t Ever Apologize for as a Single Mom

I’ve said sorry more times than I care to admit. I’ve apologized for so many things.

I’ve apologized …

  • For stuff I’ve actually done
  • Crap I thought about doing
  • Things I wanted to do
  • For things I worried I might do
  • For things I’ve never even done
  • For my existence

Women are raised to apologize and be “good” all the time. Couple that with some insecurities and, bam, you’ve got a walking, talking apology machine.

But each day, week, month, and year, I get a bit stronger and a bit more sure of myself. And I’m tired of saying “sorry,” “my apologies,” “I didn’t mean to,” and a whole bunch of other phrases that all make me put my metaphorical tail between my legs.

Read More: 5 Things I Won’t Ever Apologize for as a Single Mom

NOT Sorry,

Laura

How To Put Your Kid Ahead Of Your Ego With The Custody Schedule

Making a custody schedule is about as fun as stubbing your toe on a Lego or getting food poisoning. However, if you’re divorcing with kids you’ve got to make a schedule that works, which means rolling up your sleeves with your ex and potentially, a mediator or lawyers if needed (hopefully not) and putting it in writing.

The hardest part of all of this is putting your kids before yourself.

It shouldn’t be. I mean, a custody schedule is all about the children, but it’s not uncommon for divorcing parents to let their egos get in the way when making a schedule for their kids.

The bottom line is, of course, you and your ex need to consider your own personal needs and work schedules, but the kids’ needs have to come first.

Here are a few tips to keep your ego in check and put your kids first:

Read More: How To Put Your Kid Ahead Of Your Ego With The Custody Schedule

Put Them First,

Laura

How to Handle Questions About Your Single Parent Status During Interviews

Being a working single parent is tough.

Trying to find a job as a single parent is tougher—especially if you’re an unemployed single parent.

Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt, wrinkles, and stress-inducing memories to boot.

Even if you’re working already, hunting for a new role and going through the interview process is nerve-wracking.

As a writer, interviewers could look up my work and know I was a single parent. If the

company doesn’t know that you’re a parent and in particular, a single parent, I would

recommend to not share that information unless someone asks you if you have children.

Legally, they shouldn’t at all—and you don’t have to answer. It’s up to you.

While I’d like to tell all of you that your single parent status won’t come up during

interviews thanks to proper HR protocol, that’s not the case. I’ve had many interviews

where hiring managers, potential coworkers and other staff have asked me either

pointed questions or direct questions. In some cases, I had great responses prepared

because I had been “down that road” before but in other cases, I either balked or got

frustrated.

Read More: How to Handle Questions About Your Single Parent Status During Interviews

You’ve Got This!

Laura

I Never Thought Being a Single Parent Would Be So Hard Financially

In today’s world, kids are expensive.

Actually, everything is expensive and in my home state, it’s doubly so. When my ex and I started talking about divorce, I knew it would be financially hard. I lived on my own before getting married, and I knew it would be a costly endeavor, especially with a kid. It definitely was discouraging, but I knew we had to make the call. Even if I ended up struggling for eternity, this marriage was ending.

I never believed that I would struggle for eternity (and still don’t). If you asked me five years ago when we separated what my financial long-term plan was, I’d tell you it was to pay off debts, save and live. Are those bad goals? Nope, they’re fine — but they weren’t concrete or specific enough.

I talked to a financial planner thanks to the amazing organization, Savvy Ladies. I budgeted. In fact, I still tweak my budget often and track my spending daily. I even budgeted for emergencies and stuff that might happen along the way while I planned out my “financial life” as a single parent.

 

Read More:  I Never Thought Being a Single Parent Would Be So Hard Financially

 

Hang Tight,

Laura

6 Lessons Learned After Being Divorced for Three Years

Very shortly, it will be 3 years since my divorce date and over 5 years since I have been separated from my ex-husband. As it gets close to that date each year which also is right next to our wedding anniversary ironically, I always reflect on the trials, wins, and growth I’ve made in that time. In some ways, I always find myself a bit short of where I want to be, and in other ways, I always find that I’ve surpassed my expectations. Now that it’s almost three years out, here’s what I’ve learned, where I’ve been, and where I’m headed.

1. DOING THE RIGHT THING ALWAYS PAYS OFF

There were many times when it came to my ex or things involving him where friends would say I was “too nice” or going out of my way.
This isn’t to say that I always did the right thing each time, but that overall, I usually tried to do the right thing.

I think it’s paid off. I think my daughter has learned a lot from my example, and I think it has helped bridge the gap and heal relationships between myself and my ex’s family. I think it’s helped to ensure that my daughter has a relationship with them as well. I even see some positive changes between my ex and me, so I’ll take them.

Read More: 6 Lessons Learned After Being Divorced for Three Years

Learning & Growing,

Laura