I’m about 9 years into this single parent life and, let me tell you, I wouldn’t change this experience for anything. Truth. Last night at bedtime my boy confirmed this for the umpteenth time – he said, “Mom, I really love how my life is turning out. I’m glad it’s just us and the cats.” Snuggling with him in his cozy, peaceful room I thought, “Me too, my love, me too”. It’s easy to doubt the life you provide for your kids, but to know that it has all worked out for the greater good at this point feels wonderful.
That being said, I still remember the feelings of insecurity over the years, feeling judged, feeling less-than, or that I was doing this whole motherhood thing wrong and would have to live with my “mistakes” as a heavy burden carried around for a lifetime. Not so, my friend, not so.
For my single parent friends out there, no matter how you got to the place where you are right now, you have an OPPORTUNITY to live an extraordinary life with your kids. It’s completely up to you how things will turn out because we all have the power to shift how we think and feel about everything that happens in our lives – both the big stuff AND the little things. And yes, it can take some practice and some learned skills. Perhaps a lot of practice and a lot of learned skills. But my friend, it’s doable. No matter how crappy your situation feels at any given moment, it’s merely a “moment in time” that can (and WILL) shift if you want it to.
So now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I have some small tidbits from my own experience that I would like to share – whether you find comfort, camaraderie or even a wee niggling of inspiration regarding your single parenting future.
Know that you’re not alone, no matter how alone you might feel.
There are many of us out there who are either living the same experience you are or have lived through it and have come out the other side feeling incredibly empowered, happy and at peace. Feeling alone is normal and it will ebb and flow depending on how things are going in your day-to-day life. Finding people for support such as trusted compassionate friends & family or even online groups can make a world of difference on those days you feel like you’re struggling or when you don’t feel like you have your crown on quite straight.
It’s not only “okay” to be a single parent, but to continue being single for as long as you like!
I have watched many women jump into another relationship right after break-up or divorce (and yes, it has worked out for some – I’m not here to judge) BUT, please know that there’s nothing wrong with taking all the time you need to reconnect with yourself, discover new routines and create traditions with your kids. In fact, I’ve found that it’s a very healthy and valuable thing to do. Finding happiness alone and loving yourself for who you are alone will only benefit you in any future relationship you might have. So take your time!
A healthy, stable, loving and supportive environment is more important than two parents living under the same roof.
My son’s Dad and I are great friends now despite having had some rocky patches. Yes, it does take two to make co-parenting work successfully, but even if the “other party” is not cooperating, you can still provide a lot (if not all) of the above yourself for your kids. This has been my focal point as a single parent over the years and I know it’s the reason why my boy feels the way he does about his life. As far as I’m concerned, nothing matters more than a “safe place to fall” … nothing.
You have an opportunity to create the life you truly want as a single parent.
Perhaps your dreams of a “fairytale” married/partnered life were temporarily axed with your break-up, but hey, there’s still a lot of life yet to live and anything can happen! Maybe you’ll be like me and prefer being the sole parent under your own roof. Perhaps you’ll attract the perfect relationship in due time and live an even more fulfilling life. No one knows … so don’t sweat it. In the meantime, do what you can to create the comfortable home and lifestyle that YOU want. You’re the captain of your own ship now!
This life we live is a journey and each of us has a unique story.
So life didn’t turn out how you expected – now what? Another chapter (or an entire best-selling book series!) is unfolding. Learn to appreciate the ups and downs. They are both merely moments in time. So when you find yourself enjoying the ups – make the most of them! Experiencing some downs? Let yourself be sad, scared, disappointed, hurt or angry. Just don’t set up camp there. Feel the feelings and then reach for something that feels better. Yes, it takes some effort but you’ll get better at it with practice. Remember that the downs allow you to truly appreciate and love when things ARE working out! Allow your story to unfold. One day you might help or inspire someone in the same position with YOUR unique experience.
I could say so much more but I’ll leave the rest for future posts. Thank you for reading. I am really looking forward to connecting with other single moms in Victoria through this fabulous Victoria Moms Blog! Please leave me a comment if you have any suggestions for future posts or if you just want to say “hi!”. Enjoy the rest of your day … and take care, Mama.
About the Author
Monica was born and raised in Victoria and has called the Westshore home for the past 13 years. She lives in a cozy 1940’s house on a quarter acre lot where she grows an abundance of organic fruit, veggies and herbs. When she’s not watching her 11 year old ninja at Taekwondo, you can find her nose deep in text books (or at the gym!) as she finishes the last of her Personal Training Certification. Monica is looking forward to sharing about her life as a self-employed single parent.