Tag Archives: single

All My Guilt Tucked In A Suitcase

All My Guilt Tucked In A Suitcase…

There are two sides to every story, two sides to every coin, and two sides to every single parent.

I constantly feel torn between the mother in me and the single woman in me.

How do I balance it?

Am I giving each side enough attention?

I am grateful that my kids have fathers in their lives that allows me to have a break, but there is still a tremendous amount of guilt for taking advantage of that time. I go on dates, I visit bars, and I attend concerts all while trailing behind me in a suitcase is my mom guilt. All tucked nice and neat are the little what ifs and should ofs of my life. I always tuck away my wish I would of thoughts into my guilt suitcase and carry it along with me, every shift at work, every date I go on, and every night when I fall asleep without little toes in my face.

l’ll always wonder what my children do when they are away from me, even though I know they are safe and happy at their dads, I still wonder. It’s a part of being a mom! I’ll always tuck away my wish I would of thoughts into my guilt suitcase and carry it along with me, every shift at work, every date I go on, and every night when I fall asleep without little toes in my face.

I’m a strong 27-year-old woman who’s succeeding in her career and raising 3 children, but there are days I still doubt myself, and doubt the balance of it all. I’ll be standing in the middle of a dance floor and flooding me are the thoughts of what are my kids doing right now and begin wondering why I’m even out to begin with.

On the other hand, there are days I’m standing in the middle of a pile of laundry and wishing for that mixed drink in a loud bar.

There’s no magic formula for being a single parent or trust me I would trade my guilt suitcase in for it. It’s a crazy ride, and I’m riding it with my hands up. I’m proud of how far I’ve come post-divorce but there are still days of struggle and doubt. I must force myself to take a step back and see what I’ve accomplished and see what happy and healthy kids I have and know that I am doing the best I can.

I’m their mother, their strong courageous mother, I’m also a vibrant beautiful 27 year old who needs a little fun every now and then.

~Serendipity

It’s Hard Being Alone

It’s hard to be alone.  How do you learn to not be lonely?  I was never alone right after my divorce. I would make plans every night that I did not have my kids. I got into a serious relationship that eventually ended.  After that ended, I went on numerous dates.  However, I was still never really alone. I would never plan a night to just be at home by myself.  That initial lonely feeling after divorce is something you can’t really explain.  I would dread not having plans or having a whole day by myself.

I knew that I needed to learn to be home alone and be ok with it.

There are so many emotions after divorce and sometimes you just don’t even know what you are suppose to do.   When I was home alone, it was deathly quiet.  I missed my kids incredibly.  I did not even know what to do when I was home alone. I had been married for 13 years and I had 3 kids, there was no time to just sit and be alone.  Plus, I was a stay at home mom for over 8 years, so I was used to being with them pretty much every minute of the day..so this intensified the lonely feeling.   The constant chatter of kids to nothing.  When I have my kids my life is crazy busy and loud, and then they leave and it’s so quiet.

So where do I start…  I had not fully watched adult TV in years, I mean I had watched numerous kids programs..but definitely not adult tv.  I felt like I really had no hobbies or anything that I really liked to do.   So, after my break up I was over, I would start walking or running at night after work.  It was the best thing for me to occupy my time and not go crazy being alone.  Going from a marriage of 13 years to a serious relationship soon after, I probably had some things to work through.. Haha you would think.. So I would walk or run or do something active.

I would clean and organize, ya I know sounds crazy.  But cleaning and organizing are things I like to do. I would organize my house.. There is a lot of organizing that can be done with 3 kids.  I would save all my projects for the week so I could do them in the evening.  I made lots of lists… I’m a list person.. But seriously can you spend the rest of your life cleaning and organizing.

I would always have music on… I love music.  No kids means you can listen to whatever you want…It honestly felt like heaven.

I am pretty sure I would also talk to myself a lot, I would work through things, and it seemed to help.  We are all a little crazy.  I think we all feel a little lost after divorce and it does take time to find your place.  I knew I needed to learn to be alone if I ever wanted to be content with myself. I knew I needed this time to figure out my areas of my life… emotions from the divorce and my breakup that I didn’t let go of yet.  Ya, that could probably take a lifetime.  But it worked… the time alone got me to put a lot of my past behind me.

And then the funny thing happened, I started to enjoy my time home alone.  The more time that past, the more I enjoy my time alone and the more I was content with myself.  Honestly, now I love the days I have to myself..I love when I have nothing to do. I say no to plans and will make time to just be by myself.  I do not feel guilty for saying “no” because I honestly love being content with myself and doing things by myself.

Snarky Divorced Gal

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

Just Ask The Girl Out

Just ask the girl out…

And just like that it hit me… I was having a couple drinks with my friend and venting about a guy that had just been texting me hi over the last month and not asked me out. Texting and online dating is crazy: crazy good, crazy scary, and crazy frustrating.

I hope that texting has not ruined dating for us all. Yes, texting is great. You get to learn about a person without actually leaving your couch. You could be in a relationship and never even met in person. We have all heard the catfish stores, seen the movie… and yes, the thought goes through my head every time. And if you are just starting on an online dating site, yes we will hear and see it all.

Once you weed out the booty calls, one liners, the just plain crazy’s, and the ones that just copy & paste their message to the top 50, you might be left with someone who you are interested in. And I do believe that there can be really good matches on dating websites. So now what? When you do get off the site and exchange numbers. I have had both good and bad experiences with this.

Once you exchange phone numbers there is probably some interest to meet. I usually do not give out my phone number until I feel comfortable or have had some communication. If you want to ask a girl out, ask her out. Be direct. Don’t say, “ we should go out sometime”. We all have kids, sports, activities, jobs, lives, etc. If you want to ask me out, maybe old fashion, but I still believe that the guy should make the first move. But that’s just me…

If you have exchanged numbers and are now texting, then take the time to ask that person out on a date, coffee, or a drink. Take it to the next step. And be direct, ask for the date and time, not just sometime or next week. If the dates that you suggested don’t work, then mentioned to touch next week. If dating and possibly having a relationship is important than ask the girl to do something. Do not wimp out, take the initiative and do it. Just do it, do it, do it…Don’t waste months texting back and forth and never meeting…

Even over 40, It’s scary and no one knows if they are going to say “yes” and no one likes rejection. At this age, I still act like a shy teenager wondering if he will ask me out. However, I feel that spending weeks or months texting leads to nothing.

I believe in the saying, “shit or get off the pot”. I have gone on many dates, where the person acted completely different in real life, than via text. They were very open and talkative by text, but didn’t say a word in person. We did not have any connection in person and there was lots of dead air. Probably the worst on a date.

If you are actually interested in meeting someone and possibly turning this into a relationship than go for the date! That way you can see if you have a connection, maybe you will and maybe out won’t…Make the move!!

Snarky divorced gal (www.snarkydivorcedgal.com)

How Do You Do It All?

I get asked all the time how I do it.  “It” referring to working full time, taking care of a household, and raising four boys each with a different personality. I used to struggle and question my parenting style; for example do I parent like I was raised or do I parent like society says I should parent.

Then not so long ago I had an ephiany. I realized I need to keep doing what I’m doing. When my two younger boys, ages 12 and 14, are at each other’s throats, I try and remain calm and ask them what happened. Most of the time they talk and yell over each other and in the end I’m the one yelling.  That is okay because after some self reflection I tell myself I will try and do better the next time.

The truth is there is a combination of things that go into how I parent, work full time and take care of my household.  First of all, I pray for patience, patience, and more patience. Second, I do my self care routine. My routine consists of putting my kids to bed and watching TV or getting on social media.  I also like to go to the tanner or go for walks with friends. I realized long ago self care is not selfish. I know I cannot be there for my job or my kids if I’m a hot mess. Humor is also a very important piece of my daily routine.  I laugh at myself several times a day. Like when I’m looking for my phone while it is in my hand or when I am shopping and jump when I see my reflection in a mirror and say excuse me thinking it was another person.

I have to remember I am human and I am not perfect.  Mistakes are made daily and that is okay, because I am blessed beyond measure and I get to wake up every day and try again.  If I can tell myself at the end of the day that I put everything I had into being the best that I can be I know my kids will turn out okay.

 

Yours Truly,

Anne Smith- A Working & Single Mother

The Fixer Of Broken Boys Part 14: Here’s Where The Story Begins

If you’ve been following along with my story, I seem to know how to pick them. Some would say I pick them, fix them, and send them on their way..

A fixer of broken boys.

Others would say I’m broken.

For the record I’m not a fan of that word. Broken.

Or victim.

Or unlucky.

I absolutely can not tolerate people who hold their past as excuses to be horrible.

“you don’t understand… this happened…”

Actually I do and then some.

Here’s the truth. Without all theses chapters I would not have the love of my life. She’s eleven. She’s perfect and while I am not… perfect, she makes me feel like I am about eighty percent of the time.

I considered wrapping this up neatly. Giving you the happy ending I teased in an earlier chapter. But that’s not the truth. Life is messy. Things have been hard. Dating as a single Mom is no joke. Dating as a single Mom who has been through some stuff,well… I recognize I can be a challenge. For a moment I want to acknowledge that some of this is hard to read, it’s hard to write…but it’s mine and you know what?

I’m here. I have walls. I hold my breath. I don’t always see what others do. But I’m here. My feet are planted firmly and I’m determined to show my daughter that you can be loved for who you are. That even when not so great stuff happens you can get through it. You can. Maybe the path there may not be very straight but it CAN be done.

Which leads me to my now…

I’m treading lightly here because it’s so incredibly precious to me. As I’m wrapping up my forties a switch has been turned on. I have finally realized it is ok to want hand holding, mushy, compromise, quiet days, ruckus nights,if someone loves you they won’t  judge what you want or who you are, but rather rebel yell for you.

They will go to Target when they’d rather be at a record store.

They will ask about your daughter.

They will ask you about your day.

Text you in the morning.

Send you a song

Let you send them a Dad joke

Hold your hand

Remind you they are there for you and keep doing so even when you try to push them away.

I’m crying as I type this because… let’s just say what’s mine is mine is mine and if I tell you it’s less mine… but it’s mine.

It’s messy and it may not work for you, but isn’t that life?

Life is messy! Who wants perfect? I will take messy and happy any day.

I’m finding out I don’t need to fix broken boys anymore…

The boys weren’t broken and neither was I. I just didn’t see who I was. I finally do.

I am a Mom. A friend A sister. An aunt. A daughter. A teacher. A shoe hoarder. A nerd. A pink haired, tattooed middle aged punk lady who still crushes on Henry Rollins. And that is more than ok… it’s kinda perfect.

~~Caprise

Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

Single Motherhood…Our Own Version of Special Forces Training for Excellence

Special Forces training in any branch of the Military is well-known as some of the toughest training and conditioning that exists…you must be optimally fit, quick to respond, ready for anything, tougher than nails, able to react in a split second and have the ability to solve problems instantaneously…you also must be able to endure physical pain, emotional discomfort and you must never, ever give up—there is no escape, no turning back, no “I don’t want to”—you have a mission and you must complete it or die trying. Period.

If you have never enlisted in the Military yet you crave this kind of training for excellence you will be happy to know there is another way to receive it…become a single mother.  I promise you that being a single mother will give you the training for excellence that you crave.  The drill is similar to what I described above, however in this situation the training never stops—the classroom is your life and the lessons never ending…

When you are ultimately responsible for another human being there are a lot of behaviors that you can no longer entertain…there is no “I don’t feel like it”, no “I can’t do it”, no “someone else will take care of it”, no “it’s not my problem”.  You have TO DO EVERYTHING, it’s all your problem and nobody cares if you “feel” like it or not…none of that even shows up on the screen.

No matter if you are sick, tired, lazy, angry, or sad you still have to take care of another human being…you have to see that they are clean, fed, safe, stable, happy and well-adjusted—even if you are not…

You are not allowed the grace of going to bed and pulling the covers over your head when life is looking shitty because someone is coming in your room, looking under the covers and asking you where their dinner is…

You may only have complete emotional meltdowns after your child is asleep and then you may only do it QUIETLY…there will be no crying loudly or howling in despair and it is really best if you lock yourself in the bathroom just in case the child awakens…not a good plan for your small person to see their beloved mother on her knees weeping in the living room—this could cause nightmares…and that just means you won’t sleep either…

As a single mother whose ex-husband lives in another state (which was/is me), you will enjoy the fact that someone will be talking to you from 6am until approx. 8:30pm, on weekdays there will be a reprieve caused by school, however on the weekends (when my son was little) the talking was non-stop from sun-up to sun-down…and I was filled with glee each Saturday and Sunday morning when I was joined in my bed by my son, Otter, Bunny, Kitty and Blue Covers…further enthralled when I was informed that I was TAKING UP TOO MUCH ROOM in my OWN bed.

There is no escape, no break, no quitting…there is only putting one foot in front of the other and doing the same thing over and over and over again…laundry, cleaning—constant cleaning, feeding, cooking, listening, explaining, yelling, crying, bathing, paying bills, working, taking care of the car, emptying trash, buying clothes, food shopping, changing shower heads and toilet seats, changing air filters, putting together toys, solving problems, teaching things, disciplining, etc, etc, etc

The list is endless…trust me.  And all of it must be done with a cheerful heart because ultimately it is the path I chose.  I chose not to live in a circumstance that was sucking the life out of me, I chose not to take child support or alimony because I wanted to move to another state and I wanted my ex to have travel money, I chose to raise this child as I saw fit and I chose not to give up who I was just to have someone to lean on…all of it my choice.  My choice is difficult, it is a hard road to hoe…some days much more difficult than others; however I have no regrets, not one…never have.

This training and situation is not for everyone—certainly not for the faint of heart…and sometimes it is scary…

Like the Special Forces, the single mother must be ready for anything, able to act or react in a split second depending on the circumstance at hand.  You must be physically tough and emotionally non-reactive and you must be able to solve a wide variety of problems, some of them involving legos and superheroes.  You must be able to endure picking up bugs and worms and must not run screaming when you see blood, you must carry Kleenex and anti-bacterial wipes and have emergency snack foods in your car at all times…band-aids too—you need band-aids.

The ultimate good news here is that this training will enable you to do ANYTHING…people are constantly asking me “how do you do all that you do?”—  My answer…I JUST DO IT…If I stopped to think about how I can do what needs to be done, nothing would get accomplished…you just DO IT, it doesn’t matter if you are tired, sick, overwhelmed, cranky, mad, sad…you just do it. 

How I feel on any given day doesn’t matter—no one else is here to run this company, or parent my son, or when he was younger pack lunch,  make breakfast, and drive him to school…there was just me and I just DID it.

You have to create your life the way you want it, in every moment you have the choice to be enthusiastic or fowl, productive or lazy, angry or forgiving…there is no one else running your movie…it is just you, so make the best of it.

-have a great Sunday…just keep doing the next thing.  XO, Noelle

 

 

 

Every Mom Is A Warrior

Every mom is a warrior. We push ourselves through physical exhaustion ,financial instability and constant juggling .Who amongst us has not arrived at work with a with a mega To-Do list to tackle in your breaks , on the last of the weeks fuel but still presenting a veneer of control and competency. Every Mom is a hardworking star however for the single Mom it’s a race because at the end of the day its just you.

Our identity revolves around our children.The guilt of thinking that you have somehow let your babies down, by not being able to provide a stable second parent .That flash of jealousy when you see a happy, two parent family in the park . The loneliness of a Father’s Day stall at school when you don’t have a Dad . A single parent takes all this and tries in return to fix it all.

We must beware however not to make the mistake of disappearing as a person . It is easy to give your all, to throw yourself into the all encompassing chores of single Parenting . Instead of feeling even more guilt for taking me time we need to look at the bigger picture. The life story not the chapter.

There is another life waiting . One day these precious children will be backing out your driveway ready to embrace new adventures and you will be left standing there , no longer the keeper of lunchboxes , school timetables and sport socks . Your Wifi will finally be free but you find yourself wondering what you even watch.

The Single parent should strive against this ,challenging, I grant you, but try do something for yourself . Painting , sport , an online course , anything to build your own personal identity . It is not selfish . It is single parenting en pointe”.Give your adult children the gift of not feeling guilty to leave you behind , gift them with the feeling that you are happy . Be the parent of whose life their child is proud of .It may not be an easy life but it can be an empowering one , your chance to break the mold and be a warrior.

Toni.

Don’t Let Dating Burn You Out

I have been divorced for almost 6 years and single for over two, if you get what I mean. After my last relationship I took a yearlong break from men, and what I literally mean by that is no dates, no random sex, the celibate life (well, except for some self-care, don’t judge, a woman has needs!!!)

People always say work on yourself, when you are happy alone, you’ll be ready to be with someone. So after the year, I was calm and happy so I decided to jump back in.

As a divorced woman with children and a full time job, is no lie that time is very limited. Since most my friends are married and none of them are jumping to introduce me to anyone, I had to turn into dating apps to find that special someone.

I have tried virtually every app out there, which I can compare and contrast for you next time. I honestly had to sit down last night to figure out how many first dates I have gone on, and how many turned into a second or third. I have to sadly report that my batting average is pretty low and for sure none have turned into a relationship.

I’ve tried dating older, my age, good looking, not so good looking, being flexible with my “must haves”. The end result is the same, I’ve struck out and I’m out.

So, I have decided to go back to my single “semi” celibate life. Call me a quitter, but a player needs to be able to know when to retire.

So for all of you still looking for “the one”, I give you some pointers so you don’t get burned out like I did:

Set a time to look at the apps – Looking at these apps can literally turn into a full time job ugh. Looking at profiles, messaging people, etc. It can also become addicting. Set a time to just do that once a day and then stop and live.

Date more than one guy at a time – I know for some of us that seems weird, but the truth is, until you are exclusive, men are probably doing the same. Also, this helps not to become so obsessed with one person and know that there are other interested men out there, he is got competition 😉

Do not be result oriented – This is a really hard one for me. I’m a successful career woman and I got there by setting goals and working towards them.  Dating does not work that way, trust me. So just meet these people and have fun and don’t fantasize about the future. If you start
putting milestones on your dating, you will not enjoy the experience.

Next time I will follow my own advice as I do believe dating can be fun, however for now I am going to bench myself for this season, perhaps I am not ready to retire after all.

See you in the trenches,

Mythologywoman

An Omission Turned Admission

I was sitting on my living room floor folding laundry. Miles of piles of tipping laundry and unmatched socks sat in front of me. The kids were playing independently and the house was otherwise quiet.

Just me and my thoughts. A dangerous thing.

And suddenly I felt sick. Literally, physically sick. It occurred to me, the omission I keep making.

I will allow myself to feel this for a fleeting moment. I need to, so that I can continue to heal. This is just the beginning. I know this. I resent this.

I am so angry.

I am so sad.

And I am so lonely.

I catch myself looking at everyone’s left hand. The ring finger of even the 70-year old in the grocery store checkout line is not excluded.

Are you married? Are you happy? Does it feel good to sleep next to someone every night? Is it nice to have someone to call when your day is shit? How does it feel to hug someone tightly when you cry or even better, when you have the best news to celebrate? Do you feel a sense of security knowing they will be there day after day, night after night?

I hate everyone’s happiness. I hate the people who have someone to go home to. I hate all of your wedding rings and I hate all of your family pictures. I hate all of your smiles and I hate all of your photos of flower bouquets and sandy beach vacations.  I hate your Facebook questions about an anniversary dinner spot to reserve, or whether you should have another baby.

My wedding dress sits in a box in my attic. My rings, were so beautiful, and they sit in a safe that isn’t even in my own house. My wedding albums sit on a shelf. My dream of another child dashed.

There are two photos of him still in the house that just feel like too much energy to change out of the frame. His mail still comes to the house. I want to burn it.

I want to just sit and cry until I can’t anymore. Especially when people who don’t know, who will never know, hear that I am getting divorced and optimistically say “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that it didn’t work out.”

Didn’t work out?

It didn’t work out?

You must be f#%@*ing kidding me, right?

I gave everything to this man, and then some. A thankless, unselfish kind of love he will never, ever find again. And I got screwed, sideways, backwards and up the street. I was emotionally abused, abandoned, and ignored.

In return I have two, beautiful, healthy, awesome children.

I learned I have the strength of a warrior and an infinite capacity to love through hurt, betrayal, and loneliness.

But as I told him, so many times, I am not unbreakable. There is an end to my ability to bear the weight.

I am grieving the loss of what I thought my life would be. I am grieving the loss of love, a husband, and even a father to my children. I am grieving failure.

I gave it my all and I failed. I don’t fail. I don’t quit. And at this, this most important thing, I couldn’t fix it. Singular effort in a dual partnership just does not cut it.

A few months ago, he made a point of it to hurt me and tell me: “You were not good enough.”

It hurt to hear him say it, and his intent behind it. I know this is not true. But it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sting. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get replayed in my head in the quiet of the night. In the quiet of folding laundry on a Tuesday afternoon.

There is still an indentation on my ring finger. I find myself reaching to spin my rings less and less. But my finger still feels naked, and so do I. My flaws feel exposed, my emotions feel heightened, my hurt feels raw and misunderstood. My trust and my belief in people…broken. I am sorry in advance that I will not believe you will follow through. I will always wait for you to be the one to break my heart.

I feel like I will never be as important to someone again, as he was to me. I grieve the idea that there is a possibility that I will never be loved that way that I love. That is real, that is honest, and that is heartbreaking. It may not be true, but right now, it is the truest statement I can make about what it feels like inside.

Everything hurts. And no one, not anything but time, will make it better. Please hide all the clocks and wake me when it’s over.

-Jessica: Awesome Single Mama

Single Moms Are Rock Stars

The other day I realized that single moms are rock stars, but not in the “we can do it” way that I usually mean this. Single moms live like rock stars, and we need to take care of ourselves like rock stars.

I was listening to a radio interview of a rock star when this came to me. Admittedly, this musician was not a guy from an ‘80s hard rock band. If so, the interview might have been about trashing hotel rooms. Instead, the singer was a 30ish woman who was a solo artist. She talked about how much she loved singing and writing songs and sharing them with her audience.

Then she shared how challenging touring was. She was in a different city every couple of days. Tour deadlines must be met, yet there were inevitable delays or lost luggage at just the wrong time. She stayed up late to perform, and often got up early the next morning to head to the airport. And no matter what happened, the show must go on.

Then she talked about how she loved her fans and how that made it totally worth it. And she shared how she did it. She explained that she would go to bed as early as she could when she was on tour. She would stay hydrated. She would bring her vitamins with her and do her best to eat healthy food. She would work out at the hotel gym. She would put in earplugs and read a book on the plane to have a little time to herself.

When she was describing this, it hit me. This is like being a single mom.

We are solo artists. We have a job (mothering) that we love, but it is not easy. It includes late nights often followed by early mornings. There are delays and sick kids and misplaced backpacks at just the wrong times. And no matter what happens, our show must go on.

So recognize that you are a rock star, and treat yourself like one:

● Get the sleep you need.

● Stay hydrated and eat healthy food.

● Exercise. It will help you to have the energy you need to perform.

● Create a little space (yes, just for yourself!) and read a book.

And if you think the rock star analogy is far fetched, just think about the rest of your band for a moment. A toddler can trash a living room as well as Guns N’ Roses ever trashed a hotel room. You and I both know it.

Rock on, Single Mom!

Liz Possible ​is a Writer and Single Mom Extraordinaire. She lives in Minnesota with her two teenage daughters and their cats, Beau and Phoebe. “Possible” is her attitude, not her legal name — but then you knew that. Follow Liz at her blog at www.lizpossible.com and her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/MySingleMomLife/