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

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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

Why Single Parenthood Helped Me Face My Anxiety

I have never been a shy or introverted person. I was always comfortable being “me” even at a young age. Still, I have always been a sensitive soul and as I got older, I was anxious—a high energy, anxious, Type A sort of woman. When my ex and I separated, the anxiety ebbed and flowed. Sometimes, it was fine. There was a happiness and peace in finally deciding to divorce once and for all, as well as a joy in not being with the wrong person: i.e., not fighting every day and night anymore. But with separation and divorce, there came major uncertainty and with those changes and “new territory,” came anxiety.

Dating. Losing a home. Moving out on my own. Becoming financially independent. Navigating the divorce process. Sharing our child. Coparenting.

All of these things brought some very real fears and others, imagined. One of the greatest fears I would wager to bet most divorced people fear is failure.

Will I be able to make it on my own?

Did I make the right choice?

Will my daughter be fine?

Will I go broke?

Will I meet someone?

I want to tell you that two years later all my fears have subsided, but life has changed since we went our separate ways and in some ways, things are easier and other ways, things are much harder.

Single parenthood though, made me face my fears to the highest level.

Read More: Why Single Parenthood Helped Me Face My Anxiety

You Can Do It,

Laura

6 Ways to Relieve Stress as a Single Mom

Are you a stressed single parent? Welcome to the club! Adjusting to single motherhood definitely takes time but eventually, it’s simply the life you know and you’ll have a routine down pat. Still, women especially mothers, are known for biting off more than they can chew and not asking for enough help. This means that especially after a divorce, you could be feeling the burn mentally and physically, and no, I am not talking about voting for Bernie Sanders here. Some of you single moms may be laughing here when I say this but, there are ways to relieve your stress to bring you a happier and more peaceful life, post divorce. Things don’t always have to feel so difficult or challenging. Take my tips and find yourself feeling more at ease in your daily life after divorce!

Read More: 6 Ways to Relieve Stress as a Single Mom

Take a Deep Breath,

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

I Entered My Marriage a Girl and Left My Marriage a Woman

March is known for coming in like a lion, and out like a lamb.

A contradiction of weather with its storms, snow, rain, wind and then subsequently, sunny and balmy days, March is a confused month — unable to settle into one steady pattern until finally, the month is over. It’s like an all-night bender: as the party ends, the wind dies down and everyone goes home for the night.

When I walked outside and felt the balmy breeze of an almost April day and remembered how cold it was the other day, I reminded myself about March’s mercurial ways and fell upon that childhood saying.

And oddly enough, this saying reminded me of me. Almost exactly but:

I entered my marriage a kitten and exited my divorce, a lioness.

I entered my marriage a girl, and exited it a woman.

Read More: I Entered My Marriage a Girl and Left My Marriage a Woman

 

Meow No More,

Laura

Why Single Moms Should Date Single Dads

I am a lazy dater. By lazy, I mean I don’t put in the real effort required to make online dating work. As a single mom, I should cut myself some slack. I have a lot of other things on my plate and to be completely honest, I love how my life is going as of now. I love my friends, kid, work, and social life — OK, so some weekend nights, I’m stumped on whom to go out with if I am kid-free — so why complicate it with a man? Enough said.

But of course, the idea of romance and love still appeals to me. The idea of intense online dating? It does NOT appeal to me. The reality is if you want to succeed with online dating, you’ve got to go out with a plethora of frogs to meet any potential partner, and right now, I have taken a slight back seat to swiping left and right and mindlessly texting guys who I will probably never meet. When I get a match whom I am not crazy over, I decide to not meet him and, instead, go see friends.

Read More: Why Single Moms Should Date Single Dads

Give a Dad a Chance,

Laura