Being a Mom With No Family Support Is the Hardest Thing Ever

Motherhood is hard enough but it’s even more so when you don’t have family support. It used to be that the family “village” was always there for you when you had children, but times have changed. For me, my parents are much older, so they’re not available to me. If anything, they need me to check in on them. Many of my friends are also in this same boat — older parents that simply can’t be as helpful as they’d like to be. For others, some of their families are far away, absent or plain old dysfunctional.

There is no doubt that without those helpful family hands, having a baby and young children can feel like a huge hurdle. I’m talking to you, working mom with a sick baby and no PTO days left. I’m talking to you, mom with PPD and two kids under 2.

Here are some of the challenges that come about when your family village just can’t — or won’t — be there:

Dreaded Sick Days

Let’s face it — not many college-aged kids or really, anyone, wants to watch a sick kid. But when your kid is in day care or school and germ season hits, the sick days roll in and they don’t stop.

But you don’t have any more paid time off. If you’re lucky, you can work from home and no one in the office will gossip about you. If you’re not lucky, you’ll lose pay or have the whole office gossiping about you being out, again.

Read More: Being a Mom With No Family Support Is the Hardest Thing Ever

Hang Tough,

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

6 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently With My Former Mother-In-Law

I had a difficult relationship with my ex-husband’s mother. There were many things she did that hurt me, but looking back, there are things I could have done differently for my own sanity and for the sake of the relationship.

Today, she is usually very helpful to me and also, a great grandmother. Although we don’t live near each other, she is as supportive as she can be from afar. I know she truly loves my daughter. I feel (I hope) she appreciates how hard I try as a single mom to raise my daughter right, and sees that I attempt to keep a good relationship with her son. Does it always work out? No, it doesn’t, but I try my best.

People are shocked at the change in our relationship—for the better—since my divorce. I am sure it’s helped that I’m not her son’s wife anymore and that I’m the mother of her favorite grandchild (OK, technically that’s not proven). Whatever the reason for the change, I am grateful for it. We let the past stay in the past and have forged a good path for the future. I know, overall, we both want my daughter/her granddaughter to be happy.

Read More: 6 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently With My Former Mother-In-Law

Everything Looks Better In Hindsight,

Laura

Happy Mother’s Day to a Woman Who’s Like My Second Mom

My mom is still here with us — thank you, God — but she’s been having major health issues for quite some time.

For a while, it felt like maybe I had done something wrong. I wouldn’t hear from her. She would say she was tired. I would call and she wouldn’t answer the phone.

I took it personally. I didn’t understand what was going on.

But now I have answers about her health that I didn’t before. I know the fatigue and weight loss are all a part of her advanced lung disease. I know the lack of oxygen makes her tired. I know her memory isn’t as good as it once was. I know that if I want to talk to her, I have to call her.

Watching the one woman who meant everything and did everything for me her whole life get older has been hard. I miss all the time we used to spend together. I miss her sense of humor and our frank conversations. I miss being able to lean on her. I know I can’t lean on her now, as it would be unfair.

This is why I am so thankful for Joyce.

For many years, my mom worked with Joyce. I’d come into my mother’s office and get to talk to Joyce. She was always sweet, fun and had the cutest clothes. Joyce watched me grow up and become a mom myself. Over the years, she became a friend, and now, she’s like a surrogate mother to me.

I’m now a single mom living just 15 minutes away from her. Since we’re so close by, we see each other pretty regularly.

Read More: Happy Mother’s Day to a Woman Who’s Like My Second Mom

Happy Happy,

Laura

How to Handle Divorce Advice From Your Non-Divorced Friends

It’s not unusual to get bad advice from well, just about anyone. The worst, though, might be getting advice from someone who has no idea what you’re talking about. If you’re divorced, you know what I mean. Everyone has a piece of advice about how you should live, date, breathe and exist as a divorced person, even if they’re happily married. It’s like the hottest topic and everyone thinks he or she is a guru worthy of spitting out advice like Dr. Phil or Oprah. If you just recently separated, be prepared. The unsolicited advice is going to hit you like a bout of diarrhea after eating Pizza Hut. No disrespect to the “Hut,” but girlfriend is lactose intolerant and there is no hell worse than diarrhea, minus vomiting. That’s the worst.

So, batter up kids: the constant self-help and psychobabble is about to be unleashed because everyone knows how to handle your divorce better than you do. (Kidding).

Read More: How to Handle Divorce Advice From Your Non-Divorced Friends

Deep Breaths,

Laura

Mother’s Day When You’re Married Vs. When You’re Divorced

Mother’s Day when you’re married is very different from when you’re divorced. Of course, the day is really a celebration of motherhood and all we do each day— it’s not a celebration of marriage in any sense. But it feels very different “celebrating” the day as a single parent than it does when you are part of a nuclear family, in my opinion. It doesn’t take away from the special role we play as mothers, but it does feel like a whole other ball game.

WAKING UP TO A DAY “OFF” VS. WAKING UP TO ANOTHER DAY

When you’re married, your partner will usually (even the laziest of partners) try to pick up the slack so mom (you) can have a day off. Of course, you’ll most likely be picking up after everyone anyway—and doing a load of laundry or ten. But your partner will swing taking you to a meal or making you one. Maybe even tell you to put up your feet. The kids will be rallied a bit more to help with the coaxing of the other parent that hey—it’s Mother’s Day. You might want to do something, you know?

Read More: Mother’s Day When You’re Married Vs. When You’re Divorced

For All the Mommies,

Laura

 

Why Does My Partner Go From Hot to Cold & Back Again?

There is nothing more frustrating than having a partner rescind his or her warmth and love. Especially if in return, you get a cold front.

It’s like having a relationship with someone who exists in a room: the door opens and so does your partner and then, the door closes … and so does the access to your partner.

I’ve been down this road before where a love interest or partner would shut me out and let me in … I know how painful it can be to deal with. I know the questions that run in your mind and that maybe keep you up at night. I also know what it’s like to walk away from that person. At times, my ex-husband could be very cold.

Here are a few reasons that could explain your partner’s mood changes from cold to hot, and hot to cold.

Continue reading

The Man/Woman Who Push-Pulls Your Relationship: What You Need to Know

You have someone in your life, male or female, who comes close to you, and then drifts further away. This person approaches you on his or her terms, gets involved, and then runs for cover while you’re left feeling abandoned, doubtful of yourself and in pain.

Sound familiar?

Welcome to the push-pull cycle. Where the partner comes in, withdraws, comes in and withdraws again, all to your detriment.

Why the hell is this happening? Why does this man/woman do this? I bet you’ve said all of those things, more than fifty times in your own head.

In my twenties, I experienced this for a bit with a guy. I ended up cutting it off, and we became friends right away. Thank god. He was a much better friend, then a sexual partner and boyfriend, and I was happy to offer friendship. Years later, he kicks himself and says how beautiful I am and wonderful. We are still friends, years later! We’ve been there for each other through a lot. It’s pretty awesome.

Trust me– I see how he aged and how I aged. He regrets it. He was afraid I was too free-spirited for a committed relationship. It turns out I wasn’t, but at least we could be friends … and for 15 years!

If you are reading this page and landed here like me, you probably are the one who is being pushed and pulled away. You probably feel really bad about yourself, wondering why this person would do this to you. You probably feel down about yourself, wondering what you did wrong. You probably feel downright crazy.

Wipe your tears, get your sexiest outfit or– whip out your razors boys, and stop blaming yourself.

Learn what’s what with this push-pull character

Continue reading

Tips For Your First Date After Divorce

Going out on the first date after divorce or separation is quite a doozy for most people. Think of it as like a cocktail of emotions—a dash of excitement, a sprinkle of dread and a dousing of nerves—and voila—you’ve got the first date after divorce.

Of course, the situation is different for everyone. If you’re going out with an ex or an old friend, your “spidey senses” won’t be as tingling since the person is familiar. If you’re venturing out with an online date or app match, chances are your nerves are in overdrive because, let’s face it: the online experience is a kooky one.

You might even feel a little guilty that first date out, even though you shouldn’t. Guilt over moving on or guilt over being so excited about a date and maybe not caring at all about your ex.

Read More: Tips For Your First Date After Divorce

You’ve Got This,

Laura

How to Keep Your Divorce From Becoming Office Gossip

If you work in an office, you know how gossipy it gets. The office is its own microcosm with rules and a life all its own. People like to mind others’ business, and often, share it. What else is there to do when you’re in cubicle central? You could stay quiet but … many don’t.

And at the same time, our coworkers often see us at our best and worst, and when you’re getting a divorce there is a big chance you will be on your “worst,” on quite a few occasions. You can put on a happy face as much as possible and put your nose to the grindstone at work, but you’ll definitely have a few grouchy days. You may need to step into the bathroom, find a stall and cry for a few minutes. That’s normal.

Read More: How to Keep Your Divorce From Becoming Office Gossip

Keep The Chatter Down,

Laura