I sat down in front of my therapist this week – more on that later- but one of the first things she said to me was, “Do you know how courageous it was for you to do that, to leave like that when your son was just 4-months-old? Good for you, kiddo!”
She calls me kiddo, which I think is kind of cool. I’m not even sure if I should call her a therapist – more like a Godsend. Back to my point. Becoming single mothers, whether by choice or force, is incredibly courageous and incredibly frightening at the same time.
This comment came in today from Almost Single to my post on “Should I Leave My Husband?“. She’s a soon to be single mom who isn’t quite sure how she will make it, something I know I felt when I first became a single mom. Just read this (should sound very familiar):
So how do you move on, become a single mama, when you’re not ready to let go? I admire your strength, and I know I’ve been strong enough thus far. But I wonder if what’s keeping me going is my nerves? Waiting for the other shoe to drop is definitely a means of keeping me on my toes. What happens when that energy wears out? Or, worse, what happens when that other shoe does drop, and it breaks me? I wonder if it’d be easier to just let go, but so far it’s been easier to just close my eyes to those moments you speak of and keep telling myself there’s hope. How pathetic, right? What a woman will do? Thank you so much for sharing so intimately, and for letting so many of us share back.
First, your nerves are keeping you going. I believe it is a physical thing, a mama bear thing. You just have to keep going. There isn’t any other choice. And those nerves, guts or what have you will keep you going for as long as you need them to… and you will only be broken if you believe you’ll be broken. First rule of single motherhood: don’t write yourself a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And, yes, at times – in those days or weeks when you feel you can’t go on – hope is the only thing we do have. But there’s nothing pathetic about that, nothing at all. Hope springs eternal, right?
Bring on the hope, baby!
Remember, I started this blog after one entire year of being a single mom, much of what you read here are the optimistic ramblings of a seasoned single mama. That first year is so dark, I rarely return, keeping most of it buried.
One memory I’ll never forget is looking at Benjamin while the rest of my world crumbled around me. There he was in his bath, gooing and gaaing – happy as a little bug, and then it hit me, “My world is falling apart, but he is fine. He is just fine. At least I have that, at least he is okay.” From that day on, in my darkest moments, I just looked at my smiling baby and felt like all was right.
I’m not sure how old your children are and I’m not saying divorce doesn’t hurt children, it does, but I’m sure the way the mama bear handles that divorce has a direct impact on how her children handle the divorce. So keep your chin up, for their sake, and then you’ll find your spirits rising too.
Everything will be okay. I promise.
Anyone else have advice for a newly single mom? If you have a second, share one of your first year memories – the worst, the best?