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

4 Perspectives to Embrace When Supporting Your Kids After Divorce

Our children are bystanders in the divorce process. Theyoverave no control in the matter and can often just sit or stand by and watch as their families change, drastically. Depending on the age of the child and the child’s individual personality, some kids will roll with divorce more easily than others. Not to mention, a child will fare better and come out happy despite divorce if the two parents are both active parents who for the most part, get along. This doesn’t mean you and your former spouse have to be “BFF’s,” but that the more you get along, the easier it is in general.

Keeping this in mind that our children are bystanders and the “audience” of the whole divorce debacle, how can we minimize the negative impacts a divorce can bring? Because our kids aren’t part of a passive audience: the divorce changes their lives in many ways.

Whether you’re separating, newly divorced or an old seasoned “pro” at divorce, keep in mind these 4 perspectives when parenting children after divorce.

Read More: 4 Perspectives to Embrace When Supporting Your Kids After Divorce

Support Them,

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

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, 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.

Read More:Broke Single Parent Holiday

You’re Rich In Love,

Laura

The 1 Thing to Never Say to Your Child After Divorce

I learned something very important in court parenting class. Something I didn’t expect.

I was sitting in a large nondescript room that looked something like a school cafeteria or a VFW, about to listen to a court parenting class. They offered cheap snacks like peanuts and granola bars, along with water bottles. I grabbed some snacks and looked around. As I scanned the crowd I saw newly separated people with the mark of divorce on their faces. The exhaustion, fear and defeat showed on almost everyone. I had already been separated for 2 years at this point so it wasn’t new to me. Yet as “old” as it was to me, sitting in that class taught me a lot.

I learned a lot about what the court deals with in regards to children and divorce. I learned a lot about what the court expects from me and other divorced parents.

But the one thing that stuck with me was when the court social worker told us we should never call our “ex” our “ex” in front of our children or to other people we are speaking to in front of the kids.

“Ex has a bad connotation. Ex is something that is no longer part of you. Ex is the past. But to your kids, your “ex” is their father or mother. A good person. A part of them. Their present and future.”

Read More: The 1 Thing to Never Say to Your Child After Divorce

One Small Habit to Make,

Laura

How to make the most of a long weekend alone without the kids— Divorce Style

In all truth, ever since splitting from my former husband, the hardest times for me have been holidays…and summer weekends alone. It’s easy to understand why adjusting to sharing holidays has been hard. Thankfully, my ex and I split almost every single holiday day in half since we live close. But why have I found summer weekends alone to be hard in particular? Well, I suppose it’s one thing to be alone on a frigid cold winter night. Is everyone else going out and having a good time? Most likely not. Most likely they’re Netflixing and “chilling” or literally watching Netflix alone like any other single gal home at night on a Saturday in January. But in the summer there are a lot of family vacations, hot summer romances, trips away…and as a single person who hasn’t been too impressed yet with the dating pool, the nights I found myself struggling to find something to do felt pretty awkward and sad in the past. I was, in theory, supposed to have “fun” on my free nights and be out like everyone else, so why wasn’t I? I mean, I was having fun sometimes, but it was hard to find other single people ready to go out. It seemed like more of a chore to find something to do than I had expected, but most of my friends were home with their partners, like other married folks.

 

Read More: How to make the most of a long weekend alone without the kids— Divorce Style

Enjoy It,

Laura

 

 

Why Divorce Made Me a Better Mom

I know there are plenty of naysayers on divorce. No one said it was an easy choice or that it is “easy” for kids. It’s a hard choice and can be tough on kids. It doesn’t mean, however, that a divorce has to ruin you and your kids’ lives forever. Can it temporarily and intermittently be stressful? The answer would be yes, but like many women who chose to divorce, for a long time I felt as if I were a terrible mom and parent for deciding, along with my ex, to split. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel for my daughter’s sake until finally, there we both were, standing in the light. The relief flooded me.

You could call me a glass-half-full kind of lady but as hard as the divorce was, it has also made me a better person, a better woman, a better future partner and a better mother. It has pushed me to limits that I realized were not limits. Divorce placed me in the hardest of situations and each time, I got myself out of the slippery knot a bit stronger, a bit smarter, a bit more positive, and a lot more confident. Divorce made me:

Read More: Why Divorce Made Me a Better Mom

It Can Make You a Better Parent, If You Let It!

Laura

16 Struggles of Being a Divorced Mom

Being a divorced mom has its pluses and minuses. There are times when the idea of being married again makes you want to jump a bridge. You are grateful for your single-mom life postdivorce. Then there are other days when you just want a partner right then and there and you wish you could hire a helping squad and have a friend pick your best match out of thin air! Parenting after divorce certainly has its rough terrain and learning curve. It’s almost as if you’re learning to reparent again and acquire a new way of viewing just about every single thing in your life. So it takes a little humor and a lot of chutzpah (that’s balls and guts for those of you who don’t speak Yiddish) to get through and make your life even more amazing as a divorced mom!

1. Where Is Everything?

When you’re a divorced mom, nothing stays at your house. It somehow always ends up at the other house. You will swear you bought your kid X amount of clothes and new sneakers, but somehow they’re either at your ex’s house or somewhere in purgatory.

 

Read More: 16 Struggles of Being a Divorced Mom

Pros & Cons,

Laura

5 Reasons I Love Being a Single Parent

Being a single parent isn’t easy, but neither is rocket science, finding a guy who knows the difference between “your” and “you’re,” or surviving an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhousewithout wanting to strangle yourself to death. But even though single motherhood may have its cons and downfalls, there are so many wonderful things to embrace about being a single mom.

More of the Love

No kidding! Even though my child’s father is an active parent, when my daughter is with me, I get every inch of that love! Our bond is so very tight, and we have gotten the chance to develop a close relationship, because when it’s “Mommy time,” it’s “Mommy time,” and that means all of the kisses and hugs, too. How can anyone not cherish that?

Read More: 5 Reasons I Love Being a Single Parent

Love the Life You’re In,

Laura

Why You Don’t Need a Partner (Dad or Mom) to Complete a Family

When you tell someone you’re a single mom, whether it’s because of divorce or having a no-show parent, you always get the face. You know what I’m talking about — the face of pity.

It’s nice to know that people genuinely care and want things to be good for you. Most of the times, it’s not that someone wants to make you feel bad for being a single mother, but that they want things to be assumedly easier for you. And for the most part, people are in love with love — the ideas of couples and happy marriages.

The reality is your life may be absolutely dreamy and wonderful as a single parent, or perhaps it may be hard, lonely, and tough. I am hoping it’s not the latter. Either way, after talking to numerous single parents, there is a common theme I get from many parents just like me: they feel they’re missing out or that their family is incomplete because they’re lacking another partner. A dad. A mom. That somehow, their family is “wrong” and not valid or real because it doesn’t consist of two married or partnered parents raising a child under one roof.

This is just myth, farce, and a flat-out lie!

You don’t need a dad or another mom or partner to be a legitimate family!

Read More: Why You Don’t Need a Partner (Dad or Mom) to Complete a Family

You Are Great On Your Own,

Laura