One would assume when they read the title of this post and knowing the author is a divorced single mom that she is talking about being single and not in a relationship. There is truth to that; it’s extremely difficult to go from being married for almost 18 years to being single again. There was so much to get used to – sleeping in bed alone, waking up alone, no other adult to talk to in the house, no one to bounce ideas off of or vent about work with, no one to celebrate successes with, no one to share household chores with and the list goes on and on.
For me, it was the little things …. I was used to calling my husband on the way home from work, finding out how his day was, what time he thought he would be home, etc. After the separation, I found myself picking up the phone out of habit and having to stop myself from calling him.
As a new single mom, I had to learn how to deal with co-parenting and following a parenting plan. We began with the girls going to his house every other weekend. The thought of having a weekend to myself sounded appealing and exciting but it wasn’t as great as I thought. All the times I had dreamed of having a weekend to myself and now it was here and I didn’t know what to do with myself. The quietness in the house was deafening. As a mom, I am always surrounded by people – at home with my kids, at work, at activities and running errands. Even growing up, I went from my parents’ house to college with roommates, then got married and had kids. The only time I had any alone time after having kids was in the car on the way to or from work.
When we first started the parenting plan schedule, I made sure to make plans with friends each time the girls were gone so I wouldn’t have to endure the quiet, lonely feeling I felt. Back then, I was scared of the quiet and alone time, so I wanted to fill my time with things to do so I wouldn’t have to spend my time reliving difficult or sad moments. After a few months of this, I realized that I needed to learn how to really be by myself and be ok with it, so I would force myself to stay home alone– I would try to make it as enjoyable as I could with things like takeout and a movie.
This year, during the week of Thanksgiving, the girls went on a trip with their dad for a week. I had been so busy for most of the year and I couldn’t wait to be on my own for a few days. I made plans each day, but I also made sure to have a lot of down time by myself that week. It had been quite a challenging year and I had a lot of pent up frustrations and emotions and I will admit that I cried every single day that I was alone. I know now that I needed to have those cry days and it was ok and I felt better afterward. I needed that quiet time to sort through my feelings and emotions and let everything go.
Slowly, over time, I have come to enjoy and appreciate my alone time. Sometimes, I drive in the car without listening to music or a podcast just to have a little peaceful moment or two. The quietness when the girls are gone is welcome, although I miss having them around, but I know that I need it to keep myself mentally at peace.
I also have learned that, although I hope I will be in a relationship again in the future, I would prefer to be single than be in a relationship that doesn’t work for me or where I’m not valued. This time alone has taught me that I’m a good person just the way I am and I deserve to be loved and valued, all things that I’m not sure I realized before.
I know it’s not always easy to live in the quiet and loneliness, but sometimes you have to do it so that you can work through all the feelings and emotions you’ve been ignoring. It’s tough and it’s not fun at all, but it’s necessary so you can get to the other side of things ….. better things.
You can follow Laxmi on her blog at https://onedesigirlsjourney.wordpress.com/.