Hold up

by mssinglemama on July 15, 2009

There have been a few comments to my latest post from single mothers who are now unable to relate to my story, once feeling a connection that is now lost because I have fallen in love.

As Fame Jane put it, “I’ve been reading your blog since last summer (though I just started posting) and I used to feel like I had so much in common with you and your other readers – like we could all relate to each other so much, and now I’m starting not to feel that connection as much. It seems like the blog is becoming less about the struggles of singlemomhood, and more about a love story.”

She goes on to say she is happy for us, “it’s wonderful, absolutely wonderful and I am so happy for you. I’ve decided to use your story as one of hope and inspiration.”

That’s fantastic and my goal in all of this is exactly that, to hopefully inspire single moms or just make you all smile or laugh. I just really hope none of you think John Bear, Benjamin and I are sitting on a big, fat pile of roses making merry and galloping off into the sunset. Maybe I have been writing too much about all of the good stuff and not focusing enough on the real trials and tribulations of falling in love as a single mom. I can’t tell you everything but I can tell you that this shit has never been easy and it still isn’t. Being a single mother for three years and then suddenly bringing a man into the picture again is definitely not simple. Anyone who tells you it is has got to be selling you a bill of goods or sucking down happy pills every day.

I am still a single mother. And while John Bear is lessening my load, helping around the house and touching my soul in ways I never thought possible, he is new to our world and ours to his. You can’t take a childless guy and instantly expect everything to be absolutely perfect or expect not to feel significant growing pains.

I have been pouring my heart and soul out to all of you for two years and to hear that some how I am losing a connection with some of you because I am entering a real relationship, perhaps the first one I’ve ever had breaks my heart into a million pieces. We are at different stages of our single motherhood, I am sure of that.

I too remember swallowing a bitter taste when hearing about other single mothers finding someone again. But before I met John that bitter taste completely disappeared and I found myself nothing but happy for other fallen single moms like Kristen, Mommy Pie, Morgan and Tracy. That, I believe, is the secret to finding someone yourself. If you truly do want someone to love you, you have to love yourself first and be happy for those around you, recognizing that they are no happier than you are even though they may have an extra body to share their happiness with. You also have to believe it is possible, to open your heart.

This is now a love story, yes. But it is the love story of a single mom which is far from your average love story – that I can guarantee you. I can also promise you that when you do bring a man into your single mom life you’ll be reading through my blog’s archives to figure out how John Bear and I navigate this road together because it’s not easy.

I love you all, and so appreciate hearing your concerns I just wanted to respond as best I could in hopes that you all do not feel betrayed by my gushy, mushy love posts as of late. Also, please remember that I was completely content when I met John and I wasn’t looking for him or for a man to save me. As I told him on our first date, “if it happens, it happens.”

Please, remember that and find that peace within yourselves as well. Stop waiting for a Prince Charming – be your own Prince, love yourself, treat yourself like the Princess you are and then one day he’ll show up. But when he does, you will still be a single mother – as I am. Having a sweet, adoring boyfriend is great but it also takes effort. No one ever said relationships were easy, especially for single mamas. It also takes time – a lot of time – before one can truly say, I am no longer a single mother.

My secret project, coming very soon now, is devoted entirely to all of you for this very reason. I don’t want to lose any of you and if I do, there’s something I want you to have before you go – to help you navigate the single mom dating life, where ever it may lead you. We’re all in this together and no one can wish it away or make it all go away, not even the perfect guy.

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{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

Krisi July 15, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Alaina, I am so freakin thrilled for you and have loved following your story, because it is how real life happens and is supposed to be! Your priorities are dead-on where they should be, and anyone who resents your happiness is just messed up. I think there are people who think they are supposed to live this single-mom-martyr-nothing-good-happens-to-me kind of stereotypical life. THEY ARE MISSING OUT. You are a role model for all of us, and an inspiration to me. Best wishes, and don’t let us down!

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Kim July 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

I read you for you, not who you are in love with, or anything like that ! I think you are a great writer and I enjoy everything you write, and even though I’m not a single mom, I was a stepmom and now a widow, and I think I relate to you on other levels.

Keep writing, I’ll keep reading !!!!!

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Deanna Leigh July 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

You are an inspiration and I love reading about your NEW love story…but, as a woman on the same path of love recovery a part of me can’t help but be a smidge jealous. But as a human it’s just one of those great character flaws we deal with, and I think that’s all it is…we all want what you have found.

Be happy and keep sharing, it’s inspiring to know that even a woman who has lost love and found the beauty of a kiddo can find a man to love and love her back.

Thank you for sharing with us.

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alyssa July 15, 2009 at 8:55 pm

I’m no single mama, I’m a 14 year old self proclaimed blog junkie. For me, seeing your trial and errors in the love field, your good and bad times with Benjamin, your struggles, your complete honesty with us, your acceptance with your life and now finding love is an inspiration. You deserve it.

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east coast mama July 15, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I am a so happy for you, and I love reading your blog.

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Jenny S. July 15, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Alana – I am not a single mom. I am a happily married woman in my 40′s with no kids. I read your blog because you inspire me – despite the fact that we are two very different women at two very different places in our lives. I enjoy what you write and the honesty you write with. You’ve had a hell of a ride so far, and I admire how you have handled the ups and the downs. Life is not easy – that is something everyone has in common with each other. We are all just blundering along trying to figure things out and make our lives the best they can be. And sometimes it’s easier to do that than at other times. I appreciate all you have been through thus far and I am cheering you on to find your happily ever after. So – with a man / without a man (and I really like your John Bear) – I will continue to follow your story.

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jen July 15, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Maybe it’s a bit of sour grapes with the lost connection bit. Try not to take it to heart too much.

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Nydia July 15, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I’ve been reading you sporadically for almost a year now and I feel much more connected to you now than I had at the beginning. I too am in a relationship and have been a single mom for three years at the time of meeting my current guy … I know all too well how not easy it is … Single-mom’s need to support each other thru it all … I have issues so deep rooted that I hope it doesn’t hinder our growth … my cynicism toward men prevent me from removing myself from between my little boy and bf … I hope to take some of your pixie dust and use it to grow my relationship to it’s full potential … and hopefully the end result includes a complete and happy family of three (or more but that’s another fairly scary story lol … baby steps baby steps) … You’re love story is infectious — and you’re happy and how can’t anyone not feel connected to THAT?!

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MindyMom July 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Being in a good place in your life and in love with a good man is inspirational to most of us single moms. I don’t think it means you – or we – can’t relate any longer though. I’ve been a single mom for seven years and I’ve had two long-term relationships during that time that ultimately did not work out. I’m not implying yours wont but falling in (and out) of love as a single mom is all part of it.

And this is so true;

“Stop waiting for a Prince Charming – be your own Prince, love yourself, treat yourself like the Princess you are and then one day he’ll show up.”

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Jami July 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Alaina, dude. You keep writing about what is on your heart. Being a single mom doesn’t stop when you start dating someone. It doesn’t even stop if you get remarried, honestly. Because, at your core, you FOUGHT HARD and scrapped and made shit happen when there was no one else to do it — having a man come into your life, even if he sweeps you off your feet, doesn’t change your journey.

I’m part of a private single mother’s message board. It was a spinoff from a regular mother’s message board. There are a bunch of folks that are still there at the board, happily sharing about their lives and up the ups and downs, and they’ve remarried. We don’t want them to go anywhere just because a piece of paper declares that they are part of a different demographic. They’re like family. We all lean on each other.

This is the same thing.

So you keep on posting. Keep in sharing about whatever it is that pops into your pretty head. :)

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Melanie July 15, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Hi,
I’m a sporadic reader at best, but I thought I’d chime in here. I love the love story. I love that you’re falling in love.

I think there have been times that I would not have wanted to read about that. For certain. I wanted rah-rah single moms rock, we need nobody. Encouragement to help get through the days where I needed to be superwoman and felt like a soggy wet mouse that had just falling in someone’s tea. A love story would’ve hurt too much to read, because while I wanted to hear about how amazing singleness is and how strong I was, all I wanted was to crawl into someone’s arms. I would’ve been happy for you … and brokenhearted for myself.

However.

This blog is about your journey, as over-used as that phrase is. A very real part of being a single person, mom or not, is that sometimes you do luck out and find Mr.Wonderful. It doesn’t make you less of a single parent at all. It doesn’t make this less of a single parent blog. To ask you to not write about this would be foolish and selfish. To comply? Insane.

Good on you for finding your Bear. I’d love to hear more about making things work, about how hard it is for you and your son to fit him into your lives, and how hard it is for him to do it too. But I also understand, those things are hard to write about.

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T July 15, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Go girl. We are ALL in different stages. Sometimes readers stick around because we’re right there… together. They may move on but others will join you because they are right there with you too!

Keep on doing what you do. Be you! Demonstrate what you are.

We’ll be reading and cheering you on from here.

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Melissa July 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm

I read this blog, because I see you and your story as an inspiration. Something to maybe look forward to at the end of this difficult journey. I am so happy that you found someone that is right for you and Benjamin. I love that you are so completely honest and that you can show us both your good and your bad.

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The Dumbest Smart Girl You Know July 15, 2009 at 9:49 pm

You ARE an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story–your SELF. It’s wonderful to hear that you and Benjamin and John Bear are doing so well! And I’m not going anywhere, lady!

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Jason July 15, 2009 at 11:54 pm

I started reading your blog 8 months ago, when I started dating a single mom. I wanted to see another perspective to help me understand my own surroundings. I’ve learned more than you can imagine by reading all the things you’ve had to say here.

I understand when you say you are still a single mom. I am very close with my girlfriend’s daughter, but for right now, she is the parent in many, many ways and I fully respect that. What’s happening in your life now might be one of the most “single mom” things you could be doing. I’m so happy for you.

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MommaSunshine July 16, 2009 at 3:49 am

I think it’s important for people to remember that we are ALL at different stages in both life, and our singlemommyhood. It’s not about finding the perfect man – I’ve never sensed your blog was about that – it’s about finding our happiness…in whatever form that may be. I think it’s wonderful that you’re coming into your own (and no, I’m not just saying that because I’ve found love as well! heh).

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famejane July 16, 2009 at 4:26 am

Alaina, thanks so much for this post. I honestly wouldn’t have expected it and I’m sorry if my comments in part stirred this up, but maybe it was necessary. I am a cheerleader for you and like I said in my post yesterday, you ARE and inspiration to me and I DO love the love story.

To Krisi, I don’t think that was a respectful or fair comment to suggest that anyone who has any twinge of sadness or negative emotion or any kind is “messed up”. Wow, how unfair. We are all human and we are not perfect. This blog doesn’t seem to be the type of blog where one reader would call another “messed up” for being honest about what’s in your heart. I think you need to check yourself on that. And the same to Jen: It’s not “sour grapes”. Come on. Is this blog only about total love and support and gushiness? I have been reading it for a year and I hoped that it would be a safe place for people like me and others to express their honest feelings and emotions without being attacked. For those of you who recognize these emotions are human nature, thank you. It doesn’t mean we don’t love and support each other, and it doesn’t mean that we’re not happy for Alaina.

Thank you Alaina for not simply glossing over this issue. I think it is one that needed to be addressed as part of this “journey”. Especially, thank you for being honest about your previous feelings of sadness when you saw someone else find someone and be happy. Krisi, would you have called Alaina “messed up” then?

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Laura July 16, 2009 at 4:58 am

I’m happily married and a mom of a 21 month old daughter. I read your blog because you are open, honest and funny. I appreciate your willingness to share your real life. That means the good, bad and otherwise. Sorry someone made it all about your status, but I doubt the rest of us feel that way. To boil it down to simply “she has a boyfriend now, we can no longer relate” is too simplistic and immature. I think parenthood, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, neighbors, coworkers… all of the relationships in our lives are complicated and we can all learn from each other, no matter what phase we are in at the time. So, keep on doing your thing and thank you.

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famejane July 16, 2009 at 5:20 am

With all due respect Laura, the whole premise of Alaina’s blog was based on her “status” as a single mom. Please, someone help me understand the attacks from readers such as “messed up”, “sour grapes” “too simplistic and immature”.

Why is it necessary? It seems like you all feel you need to defend Alaina and the blog. I don’t think either need any defense. It think they speak for themselves and they do it very well.

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Amanda July 16, 2009 at 5:33 am

I love your story and your blog, keep up the great work! I love everything you talk about it and how honest you are with yourself and others. I really commend what you do, you are an inspiration of being a better person, single mother or not (though that adds an amazing element!)

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mssinglemama July 16, 2009 at 5:39 am

To Fame Jane’s point – there is nothing messed up or wrong about not being able to relate anymore. I too would have felt the same way about a year ago. I just wanted to bring this out into the open and address it head on, because my single mama readers are so near and dear to my heart and always will be.

This blog definitely isn’t all gushy all of the time (at least I hope not).

Fame Jane – sorry to tie you into this, everyone realize she was just honestly expressing her feelings. But Jane, I don’t think these are attacks, at least they better not be.

No attacking anyone. Please.

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arscuore July 16, 2009 at 5:59 am

I dunno. I think if Alaina’s blog makes you feel sad, you have to ask yourself why. I mean, becoming a single mom is a process, and we have to grow and challenge ourselves. If something I read triggers an emotion, I want to find out why. I just left my divorce yahoo group because I had outgrown it, and after being on the online dating scene for almost a year, I’m ready to ditch that, too. Not because I’m frustrated, but because I think I just want to “be”, and revel in this newfound contentment.

I find her posts really insightful and inspiring on many levels, and even though I’m a single mama with no man in her life, I can still relate because we’ve fought (and are still fighting) the same fights. She writes from the heart, and I “get” her, regardless of what she writes about.

As for the attacks, I just don’t think people have taken the time to read the original post/comments. People are very protective of Alaina, as you may have seen in some previous posts, so nobody should take it personally.

And if you want to feel connected, check out the forum! It’s priceless!

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mom23inmd July 16, 2009 at 6:41 am

I want to come to famejane’s defense. Soooo many people are trying to find fault in her honesty … which is really shocking to me! I will admit that I too feel disconnected to Alaina since she fell in love … not out of jealousy, or out of being messed up or sad or whatever other words you all want to use to attack. It’s just that now she is using her free time differently than I use mine, she now has a support that I still don’t have, and quite honestly, I just can’t relate. I am VERY happy for her, and I hope that we all find that kind of love someday. But let’s face it, I can’t even run out for a gallon of milk without strapping three kids into carseats and schlepping them out, and Alaina isn’t there anymore. Meeting the family and going on trips together and all that stuff just isn’t in my universe right now.

Alaina, I honestly feel through your post that you feel the need to defend your single mama status. Yes, you are still single. But as a marketer, I see that you are at a fork in the road in terms of the “core proposition” upon which your blog is based. It started as a blog about “we are all in this together”, but now you are moving to another stage, so I think your proposition needs to change. That’s not bad, but I think everyone sees the writing on the wall … you and John are in love, and you aren’t likely to be a struggling single mama anymore. Some people will continue to read because they feel a connection to YOU, and your situation doesn’t matter.

I think that trying to position this as an advice/learning blog for those of us who haven’t yet moved on to long-term relationships is a really bad idea … it comes off as condescending. Statistically, many of us will not move on to what you’ve found. Telling people that you just have to stop focusing on it and it will come is the equivalent of when I was experiencing infertility, and people said that it would happen if I stopped trying so hard.

Anyway, I’m not trying to be hurtful, just telling you my observations.

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mssinglemama July 16, 2009 at 6:59 am

Mom23Ind – You’re right. I am perhaps a bit defensive about all of this, after all I still feel very much like a single mother. I have had boyfriends before in the past three years, John is around but not for every moment. I still have to hire a sitter for our date nights and deal with Benjamin’s father returning us early. I can run to the store but still have yet to really take advantage of that at all because I don’t want to introduce them too quickly.

It has only been three months.

I really appreciate your opinion but even as a marketer I have no doubt in this blog’s growth, regardless of my status. I think we all know it is a blog about more than that now, which is why I started the Single Moms Forum. Whether the single moms stay or not is up to them, and I can totally respect that. I just wanted to make it very clear that falling in love as a single mom is not easy. Like Jason says, what I am going through now sometimes makes me feel even more like a single mom than I ever have.

And tell me more about these statistics please? Want to know which ones you are citing. And thank you so, so much for your input.

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Michelle July 16, 2009 at 6:59 am

I can totally see where FameJane is coming from. I do love this blog now that I have found it. You all have no idea how glad I am to have found it, and other moms to relate to. I however do not relate to the specific posts of a new relationship. I am completely happy for Alaina and her son, and I wish her all the best. Does that mean that I cannot be sad that I don’t have that? No, it simply means that it makes me sad. I too wish that I could have someone, besides myself and my son, love me that much. I don’t have that in my life, and sadly have never had it. Therefore, I cannot relate to it. That does not mean I wish any badness to Alaina, it does not mean I don’t relate to the other posts in the blog and in the forum. We will all lead a different life, single mom or not. Not everything that is posted will ring true with everyone. It is the overall story of mommyhood that we are here to read, the love story is just a bonus. Even if it does make me a little sad and wistful.

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mssinglemama July 16, 2009 at 7:01 am

And again, I think Fame Jane is totally entitled to her opinion she’s also a huge fan of this blog and was responding to another comment in that thread. So no harsh words toward her please.

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krzykryn July 16, 2009 at 7:04 am

Look I have been a single mom for 14 years. I have had loves and lost them. You try to find the one you love and sometimes they are not the “one”. So you have found love and it is great and wonderful! Something we all want to find! So why not write about it! It may last forever and it may not. It is something all single moms go through! I say write about your life and if people dont like it they dont have to read about it.
I am on my second boyfriend of this year and Who Knows What Will Happen!
I dont let guys move in with me I maintain my single mother status, making all decisions. But I love it when there is a guy around cause they do help lighten the load. I hope to find my true love someday.

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Alexis July 16, 2009 at 7:15 am

I have been reading you for over 2 years now and have related to all your posts in one way or another. I haven’t found love yet (with a grown man that is) since my little sweetie has been born, but I know someday I will. I still feel I relate to you because it’s about what you write and how you write it. If I hadn’t found your blog, I could possibly still be stuck in the singlemommy blues….which is something I’m proud to say I’m not! I truly am so happy for you and love reading about your love, so please keep it comin- whatever it is.
Alexis
PS- Again, I love my leaves!

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Denoument July 16, 2009 at 7:18 am

I does seem as through the story arc of this blog has played itself out, a bit like a Shakespearean play: Tragedies end in death; comedies end in marriage. ;-)

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mom23inmd July 16, 2009 at 7:21 am

According to Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005, released by the U.S. Census Bureau in August, 2007, there are approximately 13.6 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.2 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today).

So what’s the “average” single parent really like? According to the U.S. Census Bureau…

She is a Mother:
Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers, and
16% of custodial parents are fathers

She is Divorced or Separated:
Of the mothers who are custodial parents:
44% are currently divorced or separated
33% have never been married
22% are married (In most cases, these numbers represent women who have remarried.)
1% were widowed

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Desiree C. July 16, 2009 at 7:23 am

Alright.
From personal experience, Ive found myself feeling guilty every time I do something without my daughter. If I go out with friends, I feel guilty. If a guy asks me out on a Saturday breakfast date, I feel guilty. If I want to go to the movies, go to the store, work late.
I have not fallen in love since I became a single mom. And I’m pretty sure it would make me feel ridiculously guilty to share my heart and my time with someone other than my kid. And it would be insane and stupid to feel that way.

Please don’t feel guilty because you have fallen in love!!!!

Love is a precious thing, that we all long for, in all ways possible. Your son deserves a happy mom. All of our sons and daughters deserve happy moms. We ought to teach them that happiness can be found and recoveries are possible, because it will give them strength and faith.

¡enhorabuena! (which is a word in Spanish to congratulate for your circumstances and also, your timing).

God bless!

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Melissa July 16, 2009 at 7:24 am

I have been following your blog for about a year now. While our road to single parenthood is different our stories are not. I think what so many people get out of your blog is a sense of belonging. After work, laundry, dinner, dishes, playtime then bath time I really don’t have the time to go out and buy decorations for my pity party. So I can come to you Ms Single Mama to read about your struggles and forget about my own, if only for a minute. Yes, your life is starting to change and god I hope it does; this isn’t the life any of us dreamed about. I may not have my very own John Bear, but you give me hope that he is out there.
It’s not a perfect life but it’s my life!

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kristen July 16, 2009 at 7:34 am

I too am finding it a little harder to relate now that you are in a relationship. But that doesn’t mean I’m not reading. It is important to keep in mind that to a lot of us, you are a character, like someone in a novel. We don’t know you personally, only the persona you present on line. That might be hard to manage because you are a real person too! Try not to be too defensive.

Personally, I am sticking around to see where the story goes. And I generally prefer happy endings.

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Cott July 16, 2009 at 7:47 am

I think that everyone reads blogs for different reasons and with varying degrees of relatability.. I’m a 24 year old child of a single mother. I read *your* blog because, not only do I just like a good story, but because I find it interesting to consider my mother’s own experience in light of your struggles and the challenges you face. It has shed a lot of light on what she was probably going through when I was a little kid. My mom has been in a committed relationship for the last fifteen years or so, and I think that your experiences with dating and relationships are just evidence of the way people’s lives shift and adapt. It’s part of the story. And even if you wind up remarried with nine thousand kids and a life that doesn’t wholly resemble the one that you had with your son for the last three years, you will still once upon a time have been a single mother and you’ll still have that experience inside of you.

In my opinion!

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jen_k_ July 16, 2009 at 7:56 am

Regardless of how long you’ve been a single mom, whether you’ve fallen in and out of love, are a confirmed singleton or you are now in coupled-up bliss, we all have this single mom soul, don’t we? DON’T WE?

I’m cynical about love right now. I admit. But I also know my thoughts and feelings fuel how life shakes out for me. I know my cynicism is a self-imposed road block, but one, on a deeper level, I know I need the safety of right now.

So even if I can’t personally relate to you coupled-up mamas right now, I need you. Desperately. In so many ways. I need to raise my son to be a good man and a good father, and I can’t do it alone. When I feel hollow and feel like I can’t conjure up the warmth of love, I channel your love stories — I draw on your energy. I worry that he only sees the hurt and struggle of love, and I want him to know the beauty of it too. I need you for this right now.

So please, I’m talking to all of you — PLEASE keep telling your stories no matter where you are on your path. You add a richness and perspective to love and life that I can’t possibly know on my own. When I clasp on my necklace each morning, I think of you all with such love. And I’m grateful.

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Ashley July 16, 2009 at 8:41 am

I don’t feel this way at all, and I want you to know that. I have felt like this before about others who aren’t single moms because I get jealous that they have it so easy with their dating and being able to go and do whenever they want….and because you can only take so much reading illicit entries about someone else’s sex life, but you’re NOT like that and you are a single mom and things AREN’T always easy and care-free. Your story so closely matches what mine could someday be and because of that it’s inspiring to read about you and John Bear and Benjamin and how you’re handling things.

It’s not a reason to be jealous, it’s a reason to celebrate and be happy for one of our own. Your blogging on your relationship with John Bear, for me, opens my eyes to the way something could be but also lets me bear in mind some of the challenges and decisions I’ll face someday when I find a man of my own.

Keep on writing. I’m happy for you and I appreciate that you’re sharing ALL of your experiences with us.

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Glenda July 16, 2009 at 8:42 am

Alaina, I’ve been reading and following your blog since I found you on Storked! and later on Matt’s. I’ve never posted a comment, but today felt like I had to. I’m not a single mom. Married w/ 2 young adults. As a young mother, my hubby was in the military and I felt like a single mom many of times when he was deployed. In my family there are a few single mama’s, so I can relate to them too. As women…as mothers… we can all relate. I enjoy reading your posts and love your writing style. I enjoy the pictures you share of Benjamin, and definitely enjoy reading about your journey of love. All the ups and downs that have made you a stronger women. I’m so happy for you that you and John are in love. Everyone deserves true love and true happiness. Keep doing what you’re doing! You’re an inspiration to all the single mama’s out there! XX

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TorontoMama July 16, 2009 at 8:48 am

NEVER, ever feel guilty for having found a good man. Or for wanting a man. We are all human. And anyone who says they wouldn’t like an adoring significant other in their life is dreaming!
Being a single mom means providing everything for your child. You are the universe to him and it is your duty, as a mom, but more importantly as a ROLE MODEL, to find joy and happiness in your life. Unless you want him to see you as a martyr, and I don’t think everyone wants that.

We are ALL very happy for you. I know you have provided me with so much insight and inspiration as I entered the dating world. And now that I may have found someone, I keep thinking about your posts and believe it or not, they have served as a great guide.

Love ya! :)

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Brenda July 16, 2009 at 8:55 am

Your words are so very true! I’m so glad that you’re sharing your story because it truly gives me hope that I may be as lucky someday!

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Kati July 16, 2009 at 9:05 am

Alaina, I just want to tell you that when I found your blog a year or so ago it made me finally feel ok with being a single mom. You made me feel like I could do anything and that I didnt need a man to accomplish the things I wanted to. Thru your blog I found so many other single mother blogs that are amazing and between all of you I became ok with who I was and what I was doing.

Gosh, that sounds cheesy huh?

Anyways, after I found myself I found love. I think that is what has to happen. I still read your blog daily and follow you on Twitter (and John Bear because yall crack me up). Keep it up!

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Erin July 16, 2009 at 9:06 am

I’m no single mom, I’m an engaged 25-year-old female dreaming of motherhood. I read your blog because, simply, you inspire me. I’d like to think that if I were to ever become a single mom that I would be as good a mom to my kid(s) as you are to your adorable son. I admire your openess and honesty with us blog readers and will continue to keep reading, John Bear or no John Bear. Hugs to you and your little boy.

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Sheila July 16, 2009 at 9:16 am

In my opinion, you’re writing this blog from your heart, from your experiences, touching on subjects that so many people can relate to, not only single parents. Even though I can’t relate to being in a relationship, I do appreciate your honesty, candor, and you and the people who comment here give me lots of food for thought, which is never a bad thing.

While not all of us are in loving relationships, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn from what you’re going through, and I do appreciate the fact that you do share what you’re living.

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Lesli July 16, 2009 at 9:26 am

Alaina,
I think it’s so great that your readers can express themselves however they may feel–and I think some are maybe over-reacting to some of the comments. At any rate, what’s important to recognize is how many love you and support you whether you’re truly single or in a relationship. I think most all of us single mama’s out there hope for our own loving relationship at some point in our lives–and your story, along with Morgan’s and the other “formerly-single” mommies you mention–just serve as proof that no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve been through, that there is hope of moving on in a positive direction! Keep up the great work, Alaina!

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Hanna July 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

I don’t think anyone can predict how their lives, (or their blog) is going to turn out. My blog started as an economic vent about making it financially as a single mom. Once I achieved that goal, it turned into a custody battle blog. Now its about finding self esteem and the ability to become a whole human being, which may or may not end up as a love story.

Alaina, Tracy, Morgan, Kristin & Darcy didn’t predict their single mom status would be neverending, but I understand when you read something so much like your life and it takes an unexpected turn, you can’t help but say “HEY! Why didn’t that happen in MY life?”

Blogs are constant companions in our life, unlike TV or books or movies, they are changing and evolving, continually updating and progressing. If the story evolves in a way we can no longer relate to, then readers will move on. Its sad, because its your life they are leaving, but I don’t think there’s anyway to control that.

How do we separate real life and stories? How do we contain our delight or disgust when we have become so connected to it?

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above average joe July 16, 2009 at 9:32 am

All I have to say is congrats on your relationship and good luck.

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jeffra July 16, 2009 at 9:54 am

Wow, now you stepped in it! Did you know you were going to get such a large response?! As I’ve stated before, I am married with a young child. I love your blog. I find interest in all you write! Even if it doesn’t specifically apply to me, I gain insight through your experiences to understand your life and the life of other single parents so that I might be more sensitive to their needs and how I might be able to offer help in areas I might not be asked. Just remember, this is your blog and you write for YOU as it relates to what is most significant and current in Your life…that’s is what makes it authentic, real, and draws readers. Your readers will come and go, just like friends..not all friends are lifelong and some are only in our lives for a season. There is no guarantee you would retain readers if you only spoke about the one facet of your life “single mommyhood” anyway! Cheers to you and John Bear!

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Megan July 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

I just stumbled across your blog a few days ago and am enjoying reading everything. I’ve recently become a single mom (7 months ago) and now reading that you have found love gives me hope. I’m not ready for a relationship right now, but from your blog I have learned that single mom’s can still have love.

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Lori July 16, 2009 at 10:50 am

I think it’s great you’re falling in love. I’ll keep reading for this journey = )

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Lesha July 16, 2009 at 11:18 am

Alaina, I am a fairly new reader and a fairly new single mom and even as I’m traveling the uphill, hard part I NEED to read about the good parts. The parts I am looking forward to to keep me moving in that direction. Dating and finding love again, and doing with a child, are things I am looking forward to AND dreading, and I’m so glad to read about both the good and bad that you’re going through.

I’m sure I’ll have days when I don’t want to hear about anyone happiness, but realistically those are the days I don’t turn on my computer anyway…

Thank you for the glimpse into your life and for your blog AND for the new forums.

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carrie July 16, 2009 at 11:20 am

Here’s my take. I am not a single mom, but just a single girl so I read your blog for that aspect. Yes, it is getting a little ‘old’ always reading about your new found relationship. But hell, its your blog..write about what you want! I will admit I do visit a little less and less, but its mostly because it is not as relate able anymore. I am extremely confident in myself, and have no problems being a single girl, and I am so happy for you, but the reasons I read you before just aren’t there anymore. But, for every single mom/single lady you lose, you will probably gain a single but now in a new relationship person? So really, I just think your audience will shift. I will still visit and read, but probably not as often. There just isn’t as much interest for me anymore.

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melissa July 16, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Alaina,
Do not listen to those happiness squashing comments!! Let them have their say, as that is kinda the point of a blog, right? Everyone’s perspective is different, opinions will vary, but the bottom line is THIS IS YOUR PLACE TO WRITE!! Not everyone will agree on every topic, but that’s why I read this blog. Its a great way to learn what the rest of the single mom world thinks and does. I don’t think anyone is intentionally squishing your mojo, but that they just simply want what you have. You ARE still a single momma and even years from now when you are happily married with two point three kids and a dog and a happy house with a picket fence, you will still be, somewhere in your heart, a single momma. The experience will not go away, the memories will always be in your heart. The reality is, chances are pretty good that we all will find happiness sometime in the future. Even if we can’t relate NOW, we will someday. I relate to what’s happening now in your life because its what i imagine will happen in mine someday, too. Bottom line is people will love you or they won’t. Don’t let them get you down. We all know as single moms we have enough to worry about. Worry about pleasing yourself, your son and your man. The rest is out of your hands! I love you and will read you as long as you write…..even after midnight when the glass slipper falls off and you ride home in a pumpkin, you will still be you, and YOU is what we all like to read about! Happy thoughts!!

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Amanda July 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I’ll admit, I can’t totally relate to what you have going on right now.

Doesn’t mean I won’t in the future.

I take comfort in knowing I have a reference of some kind for when I am in the same place you are right now. And if I feel that way, other single mothers do too. Hopefully that’s something you can take comfort in.

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Jen July 16, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Don’t change anything!!! I think it has been a great evolving story. Aren’t we supposed to continue to evolve as we move through this thing we call life? I think, if anything, that you provide inspiration to single moms.

Having been in a blended family in the past, I KNOW that everything is not a bed of roses. I think you are doing a great job – and GOOD FOR YOU for finding someone who is willing to take on a relationship with someone with a child. Those guys are not easy to come by.

Reading your story, I have taken a good long look at myself and the walls that have built up over time. Thank you for the inspiration to begin tearing those f’n things down!

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Janet July 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I think it’s natural, when you’re wanting to find love, to feel a mixture of happiness and sadness when someone near you finds it. It’s all about the balance of the two!! I’m very happy for you, but still sometimes a bit sad that I’ve never had a relationship like you have. Doesn’t mean I’m not happy overall (I am), doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear your story (I do), and it definitely doesn’t mean I’ve given up hope (I haven’t!).

You’re a great writer, in large part because you write from the heart!

Okay, I didn’t mean for that to rhyme. :)

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Kristina July 16, 2009 at 5:49 pm

I’m a single mama and am dating a childless man (long distance too… ugh). I, for one, am looking forward to reading about how you and Bear come together and how you do navigate it. Your post about the dark side…. really hit home with me. It’s also fun to hear how having a man around for your son is so different. Since I have a daughter, the whole man/boy/transformer thing isn’t an issue for me.

What do you do if your guy is enthusiastic about parenting, but may overstep? How do you handle differences in discipline styles? What about gift giving (loved hearing about the Transformer staying in the car)? How do you all handle each other’s families? How do you deal with the battle scars from previous relationships and make this one the one that lasts? These are all questions I have in my own life and I suspect I’ll hear about lots of it from you over the next few months/years!

An excerpt from one of my favorite quotes….
“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers…”

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Jen July 16, 2009 at 7:47 pm

I think it’s a great thing that you have found someone to be happy with. As a married mom contemplating leaving her husband to be a single mom with 4 kids, it’s nice to know that it’s possible to find love again:) What would be worth the sacrifices? All the ones you have made in the past 3 years at least you know when the right one is here. I think it should give hope to women in our situation. Who wants to read about the single mom forever? Isn’t the whole point that you left your horrible husband to eventually find happiness and create a good family unit for your son?

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Barry July 17, 2009 at 6:35 am

Just felt the need to chime in here. While I am not a daily reader, I come by often enough to check in. Not only because she is a single parent, but what brings me back is her writing is , well, not just plain vanilla. There are plenty of blogs about single parents. Many sound the same. This one has some flair. I must admit, at first I was taken back, but soon learned Alaina was just being authentic. To continue this, she MUST write about her thoughts and life with her new Mr. Bear. Otherwise, this blog is no longer valid. Granted, it can’t be all about a love story, but I don’t think it is. It is the place she is in right now. Letting her readers inside her life. The reality is, as she moves into different chapters of her life, she will lose some who don’t relate. But, she will also gain new ones that pick up on the story.

As far as being a single mom. Alaina will ALWAYS be a single mom deep down. I wrote about this myself recently in a post I titled (When are you no longer a single parent). You may have another person in your life, but that doesn’t stop the tricky road. Actually, I think it often becomes even more tricky. Another family, sometimes other kids, custody issues don’t change, visitation doesn’t change, you still have the ex, I could go on.

I believe that anyone that is not living with their children’s other parent, is a single parent, even if not in the true sense of the meaning. Finding love and being “single” might not be the same. But, the parent issues never end.

Keep up the good work. Keep being authentic. Otherwise, you cease being Alaina.

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Single Mom in New England July 17, 2009 at 8:07 am

Hi Alaina, We all knew that you were bound to find love eventually – you are such a great person!! :) We held our breath through Mr. Man and the boyfriends before that. So we are all really happy for you.

But, you know how it feels when all your friends start pairing off, and you feel like you’re the last one left on the planet who hasn’t found a boyfriend? That’s how it’s feeling to me with all my Single Mom blogs (Mommy pie, Single Mom Seeking, Modern Single Momma to name a few). And when you find yourself alone, for better or worse, you tend to gravitate to others who are in the same boat as you. I think that’s all famejane was saying, and I happen to agree with her. I read your blog to hear about surviving the dating world as a single mom – because that’s WHERE I’M AT. Unfortunately, I’m not at the “Single Mom Navigating a New Relationship” stage (but someday I hope to be!) It doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading your blog, because I’m glad that you have found a wonderful man and I’ll be curious to see where it leads… but honestly I’ll probably not check in as often, and I will seek out new/other “Single Mom” blog writers that are at the same stage in life that I am. (And that’s true for the other aforementioned formerly-single mom blogs I read.)

Just wanted to chime in my 2 cents… also your comment, “I can’t tell you everything but I can tell you that this shit has never been easy and it still isn’t.” Well, here’s hoping that someday you CAN tell us everything- that’s why we’re here, excitedly reading your blog! :) Have a fantastic day!

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Hef July 17, 2009 at 11:24 am

Amazing things are happening for you right now. Run with it. Enjoy it. And PLEASE continue to spread the sunshine. You’re an inspiration.

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Tricia July 17, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Wow Alaina! I KNEW being away from your blog for a week or two was not a good thing for me! I totally relate to everything that you talk about still. Not because I’m at the point you are. Mainly because you’ve been in my own shoes before I walked in them and you have not only survived, you have THRIVED and have given me nothing but absolute hope. Hope for, you guessed it, MYSELF. And of course my beautiful children. But, I have never seen your blog as one which is looking for love, or I wouldn’t have kept coming back. I saw it as one about empowerment, taking your talents and caring nature back to the world of single moms out there and sharing the good, bad and ugly. The fact that falling in love again is definitely GOOD, does not for one moment make me think that that’s the end of the story and that they’re aren’t new challenges. I know it must be extremely hard to trust your heart again, (at least it will be for me) and especially hard to allow your children’s hearts to be vulnerable too. And that’s why I read you. You inspire, but you are real. That’s all people really need. To know that a tiny bit of their own struggles can be viewed through the eyes of someone who has walked before them and can give them hope.

I only hope that one day, I can use all the accumulated talents and skills from being a mother who chose to stay home and use them to help others. That would be enough for me in this life, to know that I could share my experience and hopefully touch someone else in the process.

I am so happy that there is a good man in your life. He is very lucky too. And Benjamin, will in the long run benefit from a mother who both believes in herself and in the magic of love.

Thank you, I will always be reading. And learning. :) I am many steps behind you, but your path is showing me some of the way. Mostly, that I need to believe in myself first. The rest will follow. :)

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Speedgirl July 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm

There is no false advertising here. Alaina is not married. She is still single and still a mamma. She is just dating a man who she really likes a lot. How can people say her story as a single mom is over? They have only been dating for a few months, people. I don’t remember her ever writing that John is over all the time, or helps with financial strains, or punishes Benjamin, or stays home from work to be with a sick little boy, or any other the other stressful things that happen in day-to-day life for us single moms. They have a long way to go on this journey. I too have felt that some posts are pretty gushy – but I truly believe that is just Alaina being honest about her feelings at the moment. Her life isn’t all butterflies and ponies – no one’s is! But she doesn’t want to focus on the negative now, so let her be happy for a while!
I read your blog, Alaina, mostly because it makes me think about what I would do if I were in your shoes. It helps me prepare for what awaits when I do start dating. (Because I know that I will some day!) Your relationships, especially those with Mr. Man and John, have solidified my belief that “Mr. Right” needs to fill that role for both me AND for my children, or he ain’t right enough!

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Single MOMa (Nica) July 18, 2009 at 4:13 pm

I like this post. It is honest and shows how much you care about your readers.

Although I don’t visit as much as I’d like; your new love story has given me hope and reminded me of what is possible. I like the fact that I don’t have a connection to every post anymore, because it feels like I am learning something new. I have to admit at first the sting of jealously did appear, but that just made me admit to myself that I still do want that kind of love. I have been a single mom to a boy for a little over 8yrs now, and meeting someone special to share our lives with is something I almost gave up on. Thank you for sharing your life with us, and renewing my faith in single moms finding love.
I am excited to read your eBook!

Blessings

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Danny July 18, 2009 at 4:20 pm

many thanks ive just read this blog today and hope to benefit a lot from it. Ive had my experiences painful for that matter and have not yet established relationship though i want my son to be happy, what do i do, pliz help

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Roxanne July 20, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I have to admit, I have shied away as of late, because it does sting a bit. It’s a very bitter taste when I notice someone’s wedding ring, or catch a glimpse of two people lovingly staring into each other’s eyes, holding hands, kissing. I miss it so much that it’s painful sometimes.

But you, like so many times, are absolutely right:
If you truly do want someone to love you, you have to love yourself first and be happy for those around you, recognizing that they are no happier than you are even though they may have an extra body to share their happiness with. You also have to believe it is possible, to open your heart.

This brought tears to my eyes because you’re so, so right. A wedding ring I notice on a stranger does not make them a better person than me. Two people kissing does not equal perfection, or anymore happiness than when my son kisses me. Sometimes I forget that. Thank you for reminding me.

And hey, I’m so happy for you. Honestly truly 100% happy for you.

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Laura July 21, 2009 at 9:13 am

My son is almost 9yrs old. I met my now husband when my son was almost 4. I was a single mom, working hard, not looking for anyone. All that mattered to me was that my son was healthy and happy. I was happy enough with myself that I didn’t “need’ a man in my life. I “dated” my husband for almost 2yrs before we got married. It’s not easy, and I believe that once you are a single mother for sometime, it gets even harder to date, because you are not only about you, but you and that precious cargo you cary. It’s tough, can get even tougher before it gets easier (if it ever does) but you can and will get through it all, as you say, it just takes work. I have been with my husband for almost 5 years, will be married for three, and it’s still work every day. For a single mother out there to say that you are not being fair, or that you aren’t a “single mom” any more, they are wrong in so many ways. Even though I am married to my husband, and I have another little one, I still look at my son, and think of myself as that single mother. It never goes away, just helps make you stronger, and hopefully happier!

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Laura July 21, 2009 at 9:14 am

By the way, forgot to say, that I am new to your blog, have gone back and read quite a bit, and I am loving it!!!!

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eliza July 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm

I don’t really get this. You’re still single. You’ve been dating this guy 3 months.
I’ve read your blog for awhile and I’m happily married with 3. Never been divorced. I wouldn’t worry about the naysayers.

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