New Year New Leaf Contest

by mssinglemama on December 28, 2009

A challenge and contest for my fellow bloggers and readers.

First, watch the video…

P.S.

If you want to see entire video I teased in this video, it’s here.

Now get cracking on your entries because the prize is quite awesome, if I do say so myself.

The Prizes:

Click here to see what the grand prize is!!!! I have to post it on Facebook due to BlogHer advertising restrictions.

AND (For every single entry) 1 FREE copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating, Sex and Love, my eBook.

Single Mom Book

Contest details:

1. Watch the video to find out what you must do.

2. Enter the contest with a blog post, a Facebook discussion, a YouTube video, a Tweet or a comment. Every entry (even a Tweet) must link back to this post. To be sure I see your entry and your link, come back to this post and leave a comment with a link to your entry. I’ll be honest, the Tweet folks are unlikely to win the grand prize because the winning entry will have some substance. With that said, every entry (no matter how small) will win a free eBook.

3. Deadline is Midnight on December 31st, 2009.

4. Everyone can enter, single mom or not. This is a universal contest.

5. REMEMBER: Come back here and post a comment with a link to your entry (wherever it may be) or I will not see it, and be sure to leave an authentic e-mail address so I can e-mail you your free copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored.

Good luck!

I reserve the right to disqualify anyone who does not follow the above instructions

Related posts:

  1. My Kick Ass Christmas Contest!
  2. Smile (Brighter) Contest
  3. My Super Hero (a Contest)
  4. The Ultimate Single Mom Contest
  5. For My Single Mamas (a sexy contest)

{ 6 trackbacks }

Vulnerable | Semantically driven
December 29, 2009 at 4:23 pm
LOVE LOVE LOVE IN 2010 « The Queen Chimes In
December 30, 2009 at 11:21 pm
New Love
January 3, 2010 at 8:33 pm
Working Single Mom
January 7, 2010 at 5:33 am
New year. New job? | DatingWithaSecret.com
January 28, 2012 at 4:02 am
Where to find me. | DatingWithaSecret.com
August 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm

{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

carrie December 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm

I’m hoping to get out more! I recently moved to a new city 3,000 miles away from my home and family in my small town in Ohio. I know one person only, and am starting to feel lonely and question whether this was the best decision. I know deep down that it is, I just need to get out and prove it to myself that I can do this. I am single, not a mama though, but I want to find some companionship/friendship somewhere in this town.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Wonderful… and I think you’ll love Ms. Single Mama Uncensored because I write about trying to find companionship in my small town. Thanks for entering!

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Carmen December 28, 2009 at 5:59 pm

I’m a single mama from a 5 years old boy. My mum, who helped me go ahead with my baby, and gave me all the force to go on in the worst moments, has died three months ago.

And now, I feel lost.

In these Christmas holidays, I’m trying to get along with all the things because my kid needs a strong mama, a happy mama besides him (though I’m broken within).

This 2010 will be the first year I’ will be completely alone. I beg my mother, whenever she was now, that gives me a little bit of her courage. That’s all.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I lost my father 10 years ago, can’t imagine losing him now with my little man in the picture. Hang in there. And I’m sure she’ll get this message.

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Corinne December 28, 2009 at 6:39 pm

In this new year I am hoping to get out more. You see I am not a sigle mom, I am married to a great guy, a great guy who happens to be an alcoholic. Not a violent mean alcoholic, but one never-the-less. He works all day & attends AA meetings almost every night. I was laid off in November so I am home all day & usually all night, with my 2 year old daughter. I know he needs to do this in order to get better, but I feel alone sometimes & I feel I never get any “Me” time. I have a hard time being vulnerable with friends & relatives, so most of them dont know that my husband is an alcoholic. (my immediate family knows & are very supportive) Because of the alcoholism we decine many invitations to dinner or parties because my husband is trying to stay sober (2 months now) & he needs to relearn how to have fun w/out the alcohol. It is harder than you think. So most of my evenings are spent home taking care of my beautiful daughter praying that this time he is able to stay on the path to sobriety & that my sacrifices are not for nothing. So in this new year I would like get out more & be able to show my vulnerable side with people….I guess I am staring now.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thanks for taking your first step here… I am sending you bunches of virtual hugs and strength. Demand that me time though – sounds like you are the center of your daughter’s universe and she needs you to be relaxed and as stress-free as possible.

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junctionmama December 28, 2009 at 7:25 pm

My resolution for 2010…
I have been a single mom for over a year now, and the most important thing I learned since is not to be afraid to ask for help and to open up to others. I also learned that if I focus on positive energy, I will only attract good things in my life.

What’s the plan for 2010? I want to find a balance between taking care of my child and making sure that I also take care of myself. I know I will need to keep adapting as things change, as they always do, but I know I can reach a state of equilibrium. And that is my goal for 2010. Thanks for the contest Miss!

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Perfect! Good luck and thanks for entering!

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Amy December 28, 2009 at 7:53 pm

My goal this year is to become healthier. I am mom to 3 great kids who deserve to have a mom for as long as possible. They deserve to have a mother that QUITS SMOKING and takes better care of her body. This is something you accomplished this past year isn’t it Alaina? How did you manage?

I have tried the patch, gum, hypnotism, cold turkey, accupuncture, Wellbutrin and that new medication (forget the name, made me suicidal, seriously.)

This is the year I quit. FOR GOOD.

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Carol December 31, 2009 at 6:42 am

Having gone through the same thing six years ago, I know how hard it can be! Sometimes you just have to keep on quitting! Good luck!

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:09 pm

I quit cold turkey and motivated myself with a trip out to California. The looming cross-country plane flight made it mandatory that I quit and being out in the sun – changing the scenery for the second week of quitting made it much easier.

But there is no easy way, you just have to do it! And believe me, it is worth it… I’ll write more on my one year anniversary of quitting. It’s coming up in February.

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Jennifer December 28, 2009 at 8:44 pm

2010 – A New Decade, A New Opportunity, A Fresh Start.

God, do I need it. My divorce trial is set for January 5, 6. I’ve never even posted a blog entry on someone else’s blog which makes me feel vulnerable even as I type this. I’ve kept so much of my hellish ordeal to only a few very close friends and to my parents who listen to me vent daily. They’ve been my rock. I don’t want my daughter and I to live with them forever. I mean really, I’m 33 years old.

I’ve resolved, at least in my head, to get out and meet people in 2010, to re-kindle old friendships. I know it won’t be easy since I’m exhausted at the end of the workday and then have to go full force to feed my daughter dinner, play with her, bathe her, get her dressed and read to her and put her to sleep which can be a battle in and of itself – which by the way, I do all lovingly but am tired nonetheless. I know it will take a lot of effort to get out there; I’ll need to set weekly goals – like attending local events and signing up for classes on the weekends, reaching out to x # people at night via phone or email after my daughter rests her head. Somehow, I’ve learned to function on little sleep over the last year waking up to nurse in the middle of the night – why should I stop now?

I definitely want to be in another relationship someday. And, I know I am the only one who can change that. This may be my hardest resolution yet, but I’ll be damned if I don’t give it shot.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Yes! Good for you! Do it… give it a shot and keep your head high. It does get easier. Now that Benjamin is almost four it’s worlds easier than when he was a baby. You’re going to love my book too! Will be sending it soon. Thanks for entering!

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Satsuki December 28, 2009 at 10:21 pm
Laura December 29, 2009 at 6:05 am

I have two huge things to work on. The first is to become healthy. It seems like something everyone says, but for me, it’s serious. I never want to bring it up to people because it’s obvious that I need to change my habits, but I don’t do it well. I feel like if I talk about it then everyone will give me the, “It’s about time” speech and judge me for inevitable slips. I’m way too insecure to deal with the judgments of others. I hide that by pretending that it’s all OK. I need to just put it out there and trust that others will support me, not make fun of me.

My second thing is to be kinder to my husband. He’s wonderful, unconditionally supportive and loving. I love him and I tell him and show him I love him… I’m just mean when I get upset. I’m not violent or anything like that, I just say hurtful things and get so mad at him. I yell. I challenge him to equal my anger, but he won’t because he doesn’t go to that dark place I know too well. I’m lucky to have him… no, we’re lucky to have each other. I need to learn patience and kindness with him. I think he sees me with our daughter and wonders why I save the negative stuff for him.

Ug, that was hard to admit/write. In the end, I want to do these things because I need my daughter to have goods things in her life. That means healthy habits to live by. Not only exercising and eating well, but taking good care of all of her relationships. I want her to value herself, her family and friends. I want her to be happy.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:20 pm

What a huge step to write all of this here. I think if you take care of yourself you’ll be nicer to your husband… I know I am a much better girlfriend to John when I get some exercise in.

Thanks so much for entering and sharing this.

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Susan December 29, 2009 at 7:11 am

Wow…this is so hard to write, I just seperated from my 2nd husband, I have 1 child from my first..I wanted another child so so desperately, my 2nd husband decided he had enough trying (adoption, ivf, etc) and left because I still wanted it…it’s been so hard, we’ve been through so much and I’ve felt so lonely in my marriage, he got an apartment and changed his mailing address without even talking tome about it…Now 2 months later he wants to try and work things out, how do I go forward? and do I go forward? I wish someone had the answers for me…Anyway, I want to know I can do this alone, I just feel like such a failure. I’m hoping 2010 gets off to a better start….So I’m putting this out into the universe, 2010 is going to rock, I am going to be strong & figure it all out! xo Susan

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Oh wow. I don’t know what to say… how awful. Funny how people can leave us, break our hearts and then turn around promising to change. Doesn’t work that way.

Here’s to 2010! Good luck to you and thanks for entering Susan.

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Jax December 29, 2009 at 7:20 am

I am not a mom, but I started reading your blog about 8 months ago when I was doing research on being a single mother. I know it was around that time because my friend of almost 20 years just had her little girl Morgan.

Growing up I never wanted kids. But for some reason when I held Morgan, I wanted them. I wanted a little girl. I thought it was just a feeling I got because I was 25 and that’s just how I’m supposed to feel. But Morgan confirmed the feeling when a days later, she gave me the gift of being the very first person she smiled at. I was her first smile…that’s huge to me. From that day forward, I am one of 3 (mom, dad and myself) people she gets “falling off the couch” excited for. I find it amazing that she knows my voice. My friend says that she get more excited to see me than her. I just tell her it’s because I talk to her like a person and not a baby. Saying things like “hey girl!” instead of “aww…baby!” :)

I’m trying to do the whole “tweeting” for my organization so I made it so the tweets come to my phone. And up pops your tweet this morning! I go to your blog to see what the contest was and come to find out it’s about something I have been focusing on for a week now. Before you were even halfway through the video, I was crying.

Christmas was so hard this year. It was the 9th Christmas I spent alone. That would make it nine Christmas’s and 9 Thanksgivings…alone. The sad part is, I have a man in my life that “loves” me, but for some reason has never spent a holiday with me. We’ve been together for 6 years! Or course if he can drink, then he wants to hang out with me. I knew I was going to be alone on Christmas and I thought I was okay with it, I had work to do, I thought I would be fine. Nope! I was in bad all day crying my eyes out. The next morning I snapped out of it and said to myself, “what the heck and I doing? I’m done with this mess!” I got up! Got on my blackberry and just started typing away (I took the passive route so I wouldn’t hear any crap). Here is what I wrote:

“I’m done! I mean it’s time. I shouldn’t have to fight with someone to spend a holiday with me after 6 years. I should never have been alone for Thanksgiving or Christmas…after 6 years. Your family is the way they are towards me because of you. I shouldn’t feel this way. I shouldn’t have been alone at all. You always make up excuses. You only want to hang out with me when you can drink. I want to move on with my life. If you’re part of that great! If not, wonderful! I need someone that supports me and is on my side and by my side for everything. I can’t be in the same place anymore. I want my life to change. With or without you, I NEED MY LIFE TO CHANGE! With or without you, my life is going to change.”

When I was a kid, I wanted my 25th to be so great! But this last year has been horrible! My “best friend” showed herself to not really be my “best”. My best friend of 13 years showed me that no matter what I do for her (including dad’s illness and death, husband’s deployment, miscarriage, and mother’s illness), she will never do the same for me. She was the only person on the planet I trusted with everything and I just can’t believe that she turned into the person she did. I don’t know if it’s marriage that changed her or if she was just selfish from the start. I’m not saying I’m going to completely stop being friends with her, but she certainly no longer my #1.

I am a girl with no family. I don’t even know if dysfunctional is the word for my family, but I just have come to terms that I don’t have one. Well, I went to go see my mother after 7 years. I think that was the toughest thing for me to do. She looked so bad. She’s 52 and she looked so much older. Her hands looked like the hands of a 70 year old woman. Her life is complete crap at this point. No matter what the situation no one wants to see their parents in a bad place. I just cried for weeks after seeing her. The whole time I just asked myself, “What can I do?”

After weeks of thinking about it, I figured that I could at least help her pay off her debt of over $200K that her other children, get her retirement started and get her life insurance so her grandchildren will have some sort of college fund. I ask myself if I’m dumb for doing this, but the bottom line is…she raised me by herself and I at least owe her the satisfaction of an okay life. Even though I didn’t cause her mess, I should at least try and help her fix it.
I’m rambling and crying so I will try and cut this….

Days before Christmas, I kept asking myself “what is going on? Why are things so messed up?” I’m 26 years old, I have 2 companies, I’m starting a non-profit for young women, I donate to charities, I’m always there for people, etc. Then it hit me…there is not one person in the world that puts me in their top 10. I think of this guy as “husband” and my best friend as “sister” when the whole time I’m in a world of my own. That’s when I knew that my life had to change.

I have not one person to really talk to. I keep everything to myself. I don’t go out. I don’t talk on the phone. I have been in another world for a long time. I have been depressed for a long time. Thinking things no one should every think. I need to stop. I need to change that. I don’t know how, but it’s going to change. I can’t live like this anymore. I need real friends! If I decide to have another guy in my life, I need a real man! I can’t even remember why I started writing this, but it’s helped so much.

In the new year, I’m going to be selfish and think about myself because no one else is. I make a list of things to complete each year (i.e. 27 before 27), I’m actually going to complete it! I’m going to start going out and having fun. Stop being worried with everyone else; stop delaying my life…MY LIFE, not theirs. I’m going to stop being a victim of everyone else’s problems. I’m going to be selfish. I owe it to my selfish to be selfish. If I need to talk, I’ll start a journal. I need to change my life.

2010 is going to be a great year!

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I love this. Yes, I think it’s high time you start dating yourself. ; ) Have you read this post? http://mssinglemama.com/2009/02/04/would-you-date-yourself/

Thanks for entering and promise me you dump that guy. You’re right – you should never have to beg someone to spend a holiday with you.

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SueB. Ont. Canada December 29, 2009 at 7:25 am

I was in an abusive marriage for seventeen years, verbally at first, physically about ten years in, seperated when my youngest was seven. I met someone else when I moved back to my hometown, he turned out to be very verbally abusive after we moved in together, left out the part about him being an alcoholic, didn’t find that out either until after we moved in together, yeah he hid it very well. I’ve been single for almost five years. I thought I was ready to be in a relationship again until my brother-in-law went bolistic on me at Thanksgiving for having a conversation with someone else that he didn’t agree with, no, the conversation didn’t include him. I’ve since severed all ties with him and told my sister that I want nothing else to do with him, I just wish that she saw in him what the rest of us do, she’d be so much happier in her life. I still have hope that there is a nice guy out there somewhere, maybe we’ll find each other in 2010, I hope so.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:29 pm

There is! And awful about your brother in law. So none of his business! Sounds like you’re making the right decisions for yourself and your kids.

Thanks for entering!

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Heather December 29, 2009 at 8:20 am

I’m a single mom of two fiesty redheads (girl age 6 and boy age 9) and have been on my own since I caught my ex having an affair when I was 8 mths pregnant. We have a great relationship now, and he has a fab long-term girlfriend who is a wonderful step-mom and even grown to be a friend of mine. I find myself jealous of his happiness and stability and wish I wasn’t struggling alone STILL.

I do have many friends, and for that I am thankful! I have been in a relationship for nearly 4 yrs, but it isn’t what I truly want. After 2 yrs together, he left for a job in another state. We’ve kept it going, but I can’t move with him. I can’t take my kids away from their dad like that. BF won’t move because he loves his job. We had a fight recently where he admitted that he is never leaving his new company and that it will be up to me to move to him after the kids grow up. Do I want to wake up alone every morning for the next 12 yrs?

I guess in this new year I want to figure out WHAT I want…or maybe just have the guts to do what I know I need to do. I don’t want my kids to think that this is what a relationship looks like. I’m tired of being unhappy.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I think you just wrote the answer… read your comment again and I think it’s clear that you want happiness, stability and a good man.

Doesn’t sound like a bad plan! But you’ll have to start by kicking that one to the curb. I know that’s a lot harder than it sounds but sending you strength.

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Carol December 29, 2009 at 8:48 am

I love your blog! I also admire your ability to show your vulnerable side which can be very frightening for most people – myself included.

My Mom was diagnosed last year with frontal lobe dementia. It’s a scary disease that can progress rapidly or slowly – it totally depends on the person with the disease. With Mom, it seems to be moving slowly, but it is making her different. Last May, the day after Mother’s day we had to make the difficult choice of moving her to a nursing home. It was definitely the hardest thing I have ever done. I have two older sisters and a younger brother and felt it was important to stay strong for everyone. My Dad has been a rock through all of it but he has been hurting immensely and now finds himself alone. They had to get a legal separation in order for Mom to get enough pension money to pay for the care in the nursing home. Although it’s only on paper, their marriage was strong and loving and one to aspire to. To have it dissolved was heartbreaking!

Our Mom is slowly fading from us and has moments where she is confused and isn’t sure where she is. Her behaviors are strange – she has lost the ability to cry and laughs at the most inappropriate times. She doesn’t take care of her most basic needs and is often disheveled and unkempt. She was the rock of our family, she was the glue that bound us all together. No matter what was happening in my life, I could call my Mom and she would tell me it was going to be okay or say something to fix whatever was wrong. Or she would be so excited for any good news I had to share. She was a wonderful grandmother to all her grandkids and often took them for days at a time – doing all sorts of fun things with them. I have a 17 month old baby who will never know that grandmother. The one he knows can’t even pick him up as she is so unsteady on her feet. My eleven year old still loves his Nanny fiercely and is gentle and kind with her.

This year I resolve to let my family and my friends know how much I am hurting over the loss of the Mom that I knew. I need to grieve that loss so I can then accept the Mom that we have now. I know this disease is going to take her away bit by bit and I will need to grieve each time we lose a part of her. There is a lady in the nursing home with this same disease and she is no longer verbal and cannot feed herself. It shakes me to the very core each time I see her as I pray that is not our reality one day.

I am terrified about what we may have to face in the years to come and I hope I can lean on people around me a little more rather than try to be the one that they lean on. It’s going to be hard because I feel if I let down my guard even just a little, I will become a big soppy mess of emotion! Despite this, I will resolve to be vulnerable and show my need for support.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Yes, sounds like you’ll need all of the support you can get.

Thank you so much for entering and my best to your family.

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Allison December 29, 2009 at 9:56 am

My goal for 2010 may seem very simple to most people but I think it’s the biggest one yet for me. I am going to let go. I am going to stop being scared & hiding myself. I am recently re-married to a WONDERFUL man but I feel like he still doesn’t know the best of me. I am going to completely open every raw emotion there is left in me & get rid of it. He doesn’t even know that I still harbor this fear. Heck, I didn’t even really realize it until just recently. We need to trust our dishwashers… :)

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I love this. Thank you!

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kathy December 29, 2009 at 10:18 am

I am not a single mom. But I am a mom with challenges. I have Asperger’s as do my two sons. My Asperger’s has made it very difficult for me to be the kind of mother, heck, even the kind of person, I always dreamed of being. I cannot hold a job outside of the home ~ my husband has been doing that for all of us for the past twenty two years ( he is the best husband in the entire world and I and my children are SO lucky to have him).

The past few years I have been trying to think of ways that I can make money from home. I’ve tried a few things that didn’t work out, but I think I have finally found what might work. I want to write children’s book, I want to knit and sew beautiful, useful things. So, for 2010, my goal is to write more stories and try to get them published ~ and be willing to be rejected a ton. My goal is to make a few quilts and pinchusions and totebags and try selling them on Etsy or maybe a craft fair.

These ideas have been swirling around for quite a while, but I think I am finally ready to make them happen. And hopefully, hopefully, hopefully I can create something that will enable me to take some of the burden off of my husband’s shoulders and allow me to travel more with my children ~ travelling is when I feel fully, completely alive.

Oh, and thanks for the twitter link to the Bluegrass Romance Project. It has inspired me to plan our own mini – mission/adventures in 2010. I don’t think we will do 52, but definetly 12 or maybe even 24. :o )

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Do it! You can really do it, you can! Thanks for entering and keep us posted on how it goes.

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annie belle December 29, 2009 at 11:19 am

I miscarried on Christmas Eve. It was my first pregnancy, at 12 weeks, and though I will spend the early part of 2010 grieving the disappointment of this loss, I am also counting the blessings from the situation (knowing now, at 33, that I can get pregnant, knowing that my partner is supportive in both the highs and lows, and knowing that I do want a healthy child in 2010). In the first few months of the New Year, I plan to re-employ many of the lessons I learned in this first pregnancy – to slow down, to sacrifice what is necessary for a healthy child, and to do everything in my power to ensure our baby has the best start possible. Though we will likely not try to conceive until later in the year, I now have a proactive attitude toward prenatal health – exercise and a strong, balanced diet have new meaning for me. Here’s to happy, healthy families in 2010 and plenty of love to meet the needs of everyone’s situation.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Yes, here’s to healthy families. And to 2010 and slowing down. We are all moving too fast, I’m afraid. Thanks so much for sharing this and I’m so sorry for your loss. Absolutely awful.

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the silent k December 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm

I am not entering the contest, but I will share my post. I still might take it down. I published it privately then after reading this thought I would take the password off it.

thanks ms single mama. you’re an inspiration as always.

xo

here’s my post: http://blog.thesilentk.com/?p=1769

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Stac December 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

My first goal for 2010, is to stop being everyone’s doormat.

My mother controls me. I’ve spent years knowing this and wanting to end this. When I was a teen I thought as soon as I’m 18 I’ll break free….then I spend college thinking as soon as I’m done with school I’ll break free…then I did break free (sorta), I got pregnant and I kept my baby even though my mother spent 3 months screaming at me to do otherwise. But after awhile of the pressure of being the blacksheep of the family and receiving screaming phone calls and e-mails from my mother…I left my son’s father (because it was what my mom thought was best and I wasn’t strong enough to do otherwise) and moved home with my mother (he wanted to marry me and he still does). Where she then preceeded to take control of everything. I went back to doing what I was told to do. I changed what I was going to name him because I got sick of hearing how she didn’t like it. When my son was born, she’d yell at me to not hold him too much so not to spoil him, but then would hold him herself all the time. When I would try to talk to him or scold him, she’d talk over me like I wasn’t even in the room. Oh and I can’t forget the time she said she’d babysit and when I returned I found that she and my father gave him his first haircut without me there or my knowledge. When his father would come to visit, since it was her house, we were only allowed the use of the living room for 2 hours a week, because longer than that inconvinced her…and it couldn’t be on football sunday. Finally, his father gave up and left the state and our lives for 2 years (I’m not saying he’s right, but after what we put him through, i can’t really blame him) After living with mom for 3 years, i moved out (after a terrible screaming fight where she told me I was trash (not for the first time) and threw my phone against the wall). I thought great, I’m free at last…but I wasn’t strong enough and while I’m in my own home, pay my own bills, clean, cook, shop, etc without anyones help, she still has a hold on me. I’m never asked if I’m available, it’s just expected that I be at every single event, function, or whatnot she wants me at. And now my son’s father is back in our lives, he’s being the man he needs to be. He’s being helpful, he’s around all the time, and he still wants to marry me. I love him, I really do. I tried to not, but I can’t love anyone but him. When Mom finds out, well armeggeddon just might happen. She’s already hinted that she thinks I spend too much time with him, and that I shouldn’t go back. I didn’t deny, but I didn’t confirm either. I don’t know what to do. I know that our son is so happy with his father back, and I’m happy he’s back. I lost myself over the last few years and now that’s he’s back I know who I am (that’s not as bad as it sounds), he just reminds me of the person I use to be, the person I was happy as. I know that I want to marry him, and be a family…but I also know that in order to do so, I’m going to have to stand up to my mother…something I am not good at, at all. Too make it worse, it’s recently come out that’s she’s an alcoholic. She’s in AA, but I dont’ trust her, I don’t think she’s working the program right, and I’m suspicious that’s she’s playing us all, because lord knows she’s good at hiding it.

So in short, my 2010 resolution is to be my own person. To do what I think is right for MY family, and not to rollover and do as I’m told.

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TwinCitiesLynn December 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm

“but I wasn’t strong enough and while I’m in my own home, pay my own bills, clean, cook, shop, etc without anyones help, she still has a hold on me.” Honey, you are stronger than you realize. It will take time to break the pattern, but she cannot control you if you do not let her. Whenever she tries to tell you what to do, keep repeating to yourself ” I know what is best for me and my child”. Good luck to you this New Year, you CAN do it.

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Simon January 1, 2010 at 9:45 am

whoa, sounds like you are in a crazy place with your mom, but seems like you are strong.
I am a guy, and I follow Alaina a lot. You could say we’re online friends! My advice to you would simply be to choose. That’s it. Just choose. If you need motivation, from a guy’s perspective, no-one wants to marry someone who can’t stand up to their own mother and feel like she would be a third person in any marriage. You’re doing the right thing, but keep in the back of your mind, that he left once for that reason, and is clearly a good enough guy to come back for a second round. Your child needs their father in their life. You need to decide.
Good luck. Stay strong.

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Elisabeth January 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I cannot even imagine how hard it would be to break free from control like that. Looking long term you need to do what is best for you and your son, whether it with be with his father or not. (Although as a romantic I’m pulling for that relationship.)

Good luck. I really wish the best for you!

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Sounds like you may need to dump your mom. Sorry to be so harsh and blunt but just reading this made me so angry at her for putting you through this… and your man sounds like a keeper.

I vote you have a happy, healthy life without her in it… unless she can be civil to you and your family. Your family. Not hers.

xoxo Big hugs to you.

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Stac January 4, 2010 at 8:34 am

Thank you all for your words of support. It’s exactly what I needed this morning. Made me tear up, but in a good way. Happy New year everyone!

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Andrea December 29, 2009 at 2:08 pm

I posted a short response on my blog http://themitchellmethod.blogspot.com/2009/12/change.html
however, my journey really began before my blog did. I think beginning my Blog was when I truly allowed myself to be vulnerable and made the decision to let people in from the start. Previously I had worked it through on my own and fully processed my issues before letting people in. I am a single mom of the most amazing 2.5 year old. She is the reason I continue to strive for a better life and to be a better person. I was never married, but my ex and I had decided to spend our lives together. He was a a alcoholic and nearly died from drinking. I saw him through that and sat at his hospital bed for 2 weeks while he fought for his life. a year after that he was still sober and we were in love. We decided to have a child and we were planning a wedding. When I was 7 months pregnant I found out he was drinking again. He never truly stopped. I tried to “fix” it “fix” him and save my fantasy life, but it became a dangerous situation and the life of my child was at risk so eventually I left. I continue to carry a lot of heartache and shame for staying as long as I did. I was in complete denial. Eventually I crawled out of it and began to process through what had happened. I left last November and now a year later it seems a life time ago. I needed to ask for help and stop being so independent and make myself vulnerable. It was then that I truly started to heal. I needed to stop carrying this secret and shame and let it all be honest and raw. The Blog writing helps as does reading other Blogs like this one. I’m hoping that 2010 allows me to continue being strong and that I learn to let others into my life more. I want to date and trust again, but that is still the scariest thing. I’m going to be brave in 2010 and put myself out there again though. I keep reading the dating section of your blog over and over hoping it gives me strength and inspiration.

Thanks for writing – it really does help me read your entries.

Andrea

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jen December 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm
Theresa December 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm

In 2010 I intend to let go.
I intend to let go of a relationship that will never be the same as it used to be. My oldest 2 kids dad. I compare everyone to the relationship we had. I was young and so in love. After having our first child, moving to a new city and becoming pregnant with our 2nd child before the 1st was 1, was alot of change in 1 year. I felt smothered with no friends, being a first time mom with no support and staying at home with the kids when I was used to being completely independent and LOVED my career. I realized shortly after I told him to move out that it wasn’t him that I was mad at. When I finally, got the courage to let him know, he had already gotten involved with another woman and 6 yrs later has 2 children with her, but hasnt ever married her. My fantasizing about our perfect family together is negative. I have to let go so I can move on and be happy. So my kids can be happier.I have to figure out how to let go so I can show them how to let go of the fantasy of him coming back. My kids are 8 & 10 now.

I intend to let go of the negative self talk. It keeps me in this place. I AM good enough. Because of the negative feelings towards myself, I choose unavailable men.Every man I have dated in the 8 years that my ex and I have been apart has been either emotionally or physically unavailble. Looking back it has been a pattern.I deserve joy in my life. My baby( who is 7 months old) was planned by her father and I. We were planning on getting married and because I was 37 and he was 39 and we both wanted to add to our family, we got pregnant. His initial response was to show excitement. But the next few months when I needed him most he became more and more distant. He has nothing to do with any of us at this point and has only seen his daughter for 45 mins in her life when she was 10weeks old. I have huge abandonment and trust issues as it was but now… wow. So for 2010, I intend to let go and trust again. To let go and be vunerable again. I can not let love into my life if I don’t.
In 2010, I intend to let go of anyone and anything negative in my life. Stay focused on the positve( I have so many blessings) and really work on me so I can let someone in.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Go you! And wow – what a thing to admit and share here. Thank you.

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Sam December 29, 2009 at 9:20 pm

This year I want to…
Stop settling. I want to only have the best. I want to let go of taking whatever scraps and hand me downs are passed my way, taking whatever job I can get because it’s good money and a short commute, wearing clothes that don’t fit me and that I feel disheveled, ugly and fat in…a house, any house in a decent neighborhood to replace the scarlet letter of single-mama on my forehead with another stamp…the American dream..the stamp of homeowner.
I have worked very hard and come such a long way, but the endless compromises I have made are perhaps somewhat unnecessary? I think perhaps I do too many things because I think they are what I should be doing. As hard as it is to admit, I bought a house partly to combat the feelings of inadequacy I felt at being behind my friends in accomplishments. For a little while being able to say, “my house”, these two flats are mine, this driveway, these floors, these walls are mine. I am a landlady. I renovated the first floor flat (with the gracious help of family and friends.) It worked for awhile. It raised eyebrows for my young entrepeneurship instead of my young (perhaps miscalculated) single motherhood. They balanced eachother out in some weird way.
But in exchange I gave up a lot of time, sweat, blood and energy that if I had focused on what I truly want out of life…I might spend that energy differently. It’s not too late. It can always be sold, rented out, demolished by an act of god. The pride of homeownership is in me, but maybe there was nothing to be ashamed of in the first place, in my beautiful perfectly imperfect family. Maybe there was no need to balance it out in the first place. I know I can do this, be a homeowner & landlady. I have proven that, so now I have to choose, do I want to do this?
I have a lot of shame from being a single mother and I am trying to let that go and move on. I have felt that my son’s missing part of his brain is somehow my fault. It is not. That guilt is not helping anyone. I have spent five years hunting down the reason for his disability and I have finally found it, and it had nothing to do with my choices. I thought it would be some massive release, that the shame and gult of having a disabled child would just disappear overnight, once I could medically prove it was not my fault. The green tea, the couple of diet cokes, the beer or two before I knew, the 10 cigarettes I had while pregnant, after I should have known better didn’t cause his disability. The out of wedlock birth, my young age, my lack of a college degree did not cause his disability.
Neither did the 5 servings of vegetables I religiously ate, or the state of the art prenatal care I sought out and worked two jobs to pay for, or the fact that I chose life, or that I turned my life completely around at the news of my son’s impending arrival, none of those heroic things done through sheer strength, willpower , work and staying power, protected him from disability. Somehow my son and his disability and now mine, are meant to shape us into just who we are supposed to be. It is time to let go of this guilt and shame. If there even was a crime, I have paid tenfold. I am done.
I have so many good things that I have done, accomplished and am.
-I have supported my son by myself for 4.5 out of 5 years.
- I held my head as high as I could as I delivered newspapers to my former friends parents houses in the suburbs, because it allowed me enough money to be home with my beamish boy all day. (I never should have been ashamed in the first place for providing for my little family the best way I knew how.)
- I finished my bachelor’s degree paying my own way through for the last 2.5 years. Magna cum Laude. 3.68 GPA. Hard won. Skipped class to do work to pay the bills and skipped work to do schoolwork to pass the classes I worked so hard to pay for. Straight A’s till I realized that an “A” in class would never absolve my sins. (Perhaps I never really sinned to begin with? Just made choices a naive child would make and then did the best I could with what I had.)
-I bought a house in a neighborhood on the edge. On the verge of greatness I still hope. But on the edge nonetheless. I learned to hold my head up high even as tenants’ friends laughed, “you’re landlord is like…12.” Yup. And don’t you ever doubt that I have the strength of ten men. I learned to evict.
I picked better tenants the next time around, nah, great tenants. I learned to lay kitchen floor, wire bathroom light fixtures, regrade around the foundation to eliminate mold, paint, sand, make it someplace I could be proud living, proud to rent out. And even when the neighbors shot all my hopes to hell and drank forties on the porch and smoked a blunt at 4pm, and heckled me while I sweated in the sun. I planted bulbs and weeded and created beds in the front yard while watching my son, my gorgeous son make his way in the world with a sense of home. And a youthful naivety that allowed him to run his chubby legs and never notice the despair around him. This is our home. And when the neighbors fought loudly and cursed the very children they brought into this world, I held my ground. I planted new grass seed in my stubbornly shady yard, and sanded, and painted. I had the house renovated to energy efficient standards. I plant flowers in the porch planters. And I will buy a rocking chair and put it out front. Because this is my home for now…and when it’s a rental, it will not scream “Slumlords own this place.” Not while I own it.
- And I spent years researching my son’s disability. The possible causes, the possible treatments, the best doctors, clinics, hospitals in the world. And occasionally I bridge jumped naked with a stranger just to make sure I was still alive.
-And I found the cause and against all rational advice I followed a crazy far out medical plan and a gluten free, casein free, soy free, corn free (Well, what the hell is left you ask?) diet…and…it worked. My son has gone from very developmentally disabled and struggling in the world, to making amazing progress in less than 6 months, he is now reading at 5 years old. That’s not too shabby especially missing part of your brain.
-I took a massive leap this year to focus on our health. I took 10 months off from work this year, financial suicide, (I racked up more than a little debt in the process). But in the end, my reasons were solid. I found good medical treatment, slept a lot, took better care of myself and took stock of my life. I have healed emotionally in so many ways. Family drama is fading into the background. You make your choices and I’ll make mine.
- And I fought a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. And I won. And I am 90% better physically.
-And I found a job and I fought my shame and embarrassment ofM.S./Pparkinson’s like loss of muscle control to the point of not being able to walk or talk. And I got up every day for the last two months and said I am here and ready to work. Here is my exemplary work, despite being terrified and petrified and ashamed and twitching like a mofo, “Just pretend I’m like Will Smith Gettin’ Jiggy wit it.” And my work has appreciated my work, on its’ merits alone.
And I am here. I am here and I am 90% better physically, and my boy is recovering amazingly.
And I still have work to do. I deserve to be happy. I can make choices to make my life easier and it is not a copout to move closer to my job so that I can get an hour to myself instead of commuting in rush hour traffic. And it is not a copout to get a babysitter on Tuesday nights so that I can write my pain down and exorcise it from my soul so that I can show up tomorrow and be a better stronger, happier mama. I am allowed to be happy. I must be happy to show my beamish boy how. I must learn to carve a strong and courageous path to teach my boy that he is not disabled. That he has amazing gifts for this world and that they are more than enough to counteract whatever deficits the world may think he has.
That there was never anything wrong with us in the first place. So there is no reason to settle, to accept less than what we want.
So this year I plan to go for it, leap first, the net will appear. Take the time and space I need to be happy. My son needs to see his mama happy to know how to be happy. If I want him to be happy, I have to show him how, and part of that is in not compromising. I need a little more faith, in god, the universe myself…or something. There must be a great plan for us.
This year I will:
-Rip the band-aid off, speak my my truth in a respectful way and know that there is no shame in that, and in fact great things come from speaking the truth.
-Make space, make time for my friends, my music, my art whatever form that may take, no matter how simple, pathetic, or silly it seems.
-Love my boy just the way he is and yet still hold in my heart a vision of boundless possibilities for us both.
-And I will somehow enjoy life along the way and stop feeling guilty when I somehow manage to be happy.
This I will do. This I pray.
Thanks for the contest :) And the extra push to take stock and make a plan.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

You took my breath away. Thank you for sharing this… and you, my friend, are a hero.

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Dawn December 30, 2009 at 7:29 am

God I loved that video last year. The light you give to the atmosphere of single mamas continues to shine. You carry a mighty torch Alaina.

An angel of guiding light for so many, so many find comfort under your wings.

May it always be so :)

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Thank you Dawn. You’re so sweet… and so kind to me.

xoxo

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ExpatSingleMama December 30, 2009 at 7:43 am

So. . .most people who don’t know me very well think I’m fearless. I’m raising my two girls, ages 2 and 3, while living and working full time in a Muslim country. We are not Muslims. I went to Catholic school for 13 years in the Midwest! I tell everyone, including myself, that we choose to live and work overseas for many reasons, all of them politically correct: it’s a great cultural experience, the salary is tax free, I can raise my kids in a safer environment.

And those are all true.

But I usually omit the real reason why we’re here.

I’m hiding out, running away, scared as hell of the childhood I left behind and now that I’m divorced, of the future that seems so wide open to failure. I’m scared of a custody battle, scared of expensive childcare, scared of winter, scared of becoming obese and ignorant and war-mongering and every other stereotype that I get accused of on a regular basis simply because I’m an American.

I’m a mom now, and it’s time to stop running away so that my kids can get a sense of place, to know what it’s like to be HOME.

In 2010, after 6 years abroad, economy be damned, I’m going home.

And this time we’ll be staying.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Holy hell this is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it here and welcome back! If you come home to the midwest be sure to let me know so we can meet.

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KP December 30, 2009 at 8:24 am

In 2010, I want to surround myself with good people, nurture the good relationships, and say goodbye to toxic relationships. I want to make my family and friends a priority, and work on being a more positive person.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 4:03 pm

DO it. Promise?

xoxo

Thanks for entering

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Erin December 30, 2009 at 11:04 am

http://asinglemamaslife.blogspot.com/2009/12/hopes-and-dreams.html

Here is my post, linked to you! HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALAINA! I hope it will be an incredible one for us ALL. ;)

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Amanda December 30, 2009 at 2:46 pm

For 2010 I will stop letting other people’s negativity control my happiness.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Sounds like a fantastic idea… Thanks Amanda!

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Christina December 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm

In 2010 I’d like to challenge myself to try new things, stop being afraid of what I may or may not succeed at. Not settle for a mediocre job, and stop putting other people’s happiness before my own (I don’t have kids). I want to be more charitable to causes I believe in – and really learn to find my own happiness within myself.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Perfect! Could lead you to great things and great people by being more proactive in creating positive surroundings.

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Queen Pam December 30, 2009 at 11:26 pm

SOOOOOO here it is, my 2 cents. Hope it resonates with you or someone out in Blog-Land. Thanks for the idea Alaina. I will take this opportunity to say I am so happy that putting your video out brought happiness and joy in. I hope the same happens for all of us who are trying for the same. Cheers to a great 2010.
Sincerely, Pam
http://thequeenchimesin.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/love-love-love-in-2010/

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Rachel December 31, 2009 at 8:15 am

2009 was the first resolution for change that I kept. 40 lbs lighter than at the start of the year, I’m thrilled.. and even more encouraged to pick a resolution for 2010.

My change is going to be to stop worrying — relax more. I panic – worrying that I’m missing the next clue that something is wrong or can get out of hand if I don’t worry about it or stay on top of it. (If that makes any sense!) This is with my relationship with my boyfriend, my daughter at school, my house needing to stay clean and fixed, my finances staying in top order, etc. I have an amazing life — a life far better than I ever dreamed possible. 4 years since separating from my ex, I’ve made an amazing turn around.. but I can’t relax! 2010 WILL be the year that changes. I’m still working on my game plan to do this — but I think it’s going to start with a monthly budget of $ that’s just for me and force “me time” to just relax more.

I’m still trying to get it thru my head that my daughter will always be top priority, but making me a priority right there with her is important too.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

I’m right there with you… definitely need to learn how to relax myself. Thanks for this Rachel!

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Sara December 31, 2009 at 10:24 am

Hello! I have blogged my entry at:

http://www.missmaandpa.blogspot.com

Happy New Year!

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Jamie December 31, 2009 at 10:43 am

This year I vow to get healthy for myself and my son. I realized this year that I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. I don’t drink everyday but when I do, I cannot stop at just one. It has hurt me and the people around me too many times and I can’t keep doing this to myself. I have already made the first step of reaching out to someone who has been through something similar. I need to continue to branch out and find new friends with interests other than partying. I need to live up to the image that I project to the world and I am absolutely determined to do this.

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mssinglemama January 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Do it… you can – you are in charge of your destiny. Thanks for sharing Jamie and sending you hugs.

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singlemomma_cc December 31, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Generally….Im the “in-your-face” bitchy, piss in your Cheerios kinda girl…at least I once was. Ive pretty much perfected being a bitch and Ive more than proven that single moms can and will survivie.

Now what?

Now comes the part that scares me the most…the future. Ive been too scared to dream, wish, want, chase, or love anything or anyone. Ive built the walls around me….Im ready to tear them down.

Thank you Alaina…for always being….true

http://notyouraveragesinglemomma.com/2009/12/31/heres-to-a-new-year/

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Steph December 31, 2009 at 1:08 pm
Nikki December 31, 2009 at 2:22 pm
Heather December 31, 2009 at 4:32 pm
CharlieSue December 31, 2009 at 5:17 pm

This year, I resolve to be healthier, to love myself and to nurture my ability to Make Things Happen. I want my business to take off, my friends and family to know that they are overwhelmingly loved and my life to shine.

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Perfect. Go for it!

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mama-pasta December 31, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Since I have added “single” to my “mama” title, I have played it safe. When my marriage ended I was thrust into the role of a single mom. I went into survival mode. Everything I did during the separation phase was so that my son may thrive and have a happy stable life. I am very happy with every decision I made, from putting miles between my ex (his father) and myself, to the responsibilities I take on at work to move towards financial freedom. Many of these decisions however, have kept me from moving forward in my life outside of motherhood…and to be honest, I was (or am?) okay with it.

It is easy to hide behind my responsibilities and the constant line of “my son comes first”. I avoided putting effort into my appearance, because I’m not trying to attract attention, I’m raising a boy! I make healthy balanced meals for my son, and I just eat on the go, because he is growing, and more important, right? I refuse to even think about dating, because I don’t want my son to be second to anybody, nor do I want transient people in his life. While all these excuse are true to a certain degree, I think more recently they have been excuses to hide behind.

Admitting this to myself, let alone to my friends (who are my biggest cheerleaders and strongest supporters) makes me feel exposed in vulnerable. Which, ironically are two things I think single moms are especially fearful of,seeing as how we are superheroes with quite a task on our hands. But as I look at the road that got me here, I am ready and willing to see that there is a road AHEAD of me as well.

Soon, my divorce will be finalized, and nothing (including myself and my excuses) will be holding me back. So for 2010 I will not be stagnant. I promise to no longer let my eyebrows grow together, or to let my roots show. Health is back on the priority list, as is throwing some make up on! I will not go to the grocery store in sweat pants. I will move forward and grow. I will grow as mother, a friend, and perhaps, if this is my year, I may grow into a new relationship. I will cherish my role as a single mama, but I will not hide behind it.

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm

YES! I love this. Thank you for entering.

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Elisabeth December 31, 2009 at 5:28 pm

My blog is the baring of my soul. This contest pushed me and I have written and re-written – until what you have is the question that terrifies me.

http://seriouslyelisabeth.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/am-i-worth-it/

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Wow. Awesome entry. Here’s the correct link everyone:

http://seriouslyelisabeth.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/am-i-worth-it

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Lara December 31, 2009 at 6:26 pm

I love love love your blog and lurk often. I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone doing this, but I think that’s how we grow and that has been my focus of late.

I was married young (23 right out of college) and will be finalizing my divorce in the new year at age 38. The silver lining out of my failed relationship is my smart, funny, kind and fiesty almost six year old boy who is the light of my life. I am fortunate have a good coparenting relationship with his father (yet there are always challenges otherwise we would still be together), a fabulous counselor and a lot of support. I employ a lot of self care (pedicures, a book club, photography, outings with friends and lots of me time). I am always the one keeping it together, who hears, “I don’t know how you do it all.”

“What’s my other option?” I usually think to myself. I am, if anything, a survivor.

But as full as my life feels, it also feels lonely. I realized this week in an a-ha moment of sorts, that I haven’t been very open to honoring my grief. I push it aside and keep filling my life with things that will remove or at least set aside feelings of sadness or being overwhelmed/rundown/wipedout that are so common for parents, single or otherwise. This aha moment came in a rush. A wave of feeling. I felt as if I had been hit by a truck and the tears and heaving and big old ugly cry took over. I was fortunate to be in a safe place when this came out of nowhere (or perhaps it had been percolating under the surface of everything I do to make sure everything is good and humming along).

This moment was so freeing. I was able to see the value of being present for the pain and actually embracing it. I am not going to write resolutions this year, rather I am going to select one word (an idea borrowed from blogger Ali Edwards) that encompasses me and who I want to be in 2010. I have not made my final decision, but this a-ha moment is a huge influencer in what will be my final decision. I think it was an experience that was brought to me to know that all of this life: the good, the bad, the uncomfortable, the divine, the simple, the complicated are to be accepted as part of our journey and will result in who we are ultimately becoming.

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Yes. It is all a part of that journey… and the pain of a divorce is often overlooked. But it is incredibly painful and you have to embrace the grief of it will eat you alive. This is a beautiful story, thank you SO much for sharing and putting yourself out there.

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Jodie December 31, 2009 at 7:08 pm

In my 9th year of being a single mom to 2, I find myself on New Year’s Eve, 2010, searching the web for other single moms! I’m looking for someone, anyone, who gets what I’m feeling right now. I don’t know anyone who has walked this walk for this long. I don’t know anyone who has been all and everything, day after day, night after night, for two children who never stop needing! In getting ready to start a New Year, alone again, I can’t do much more than make the resolution, again, to somehow, someway find community for me and my little family. Somehow, someway this will be the year that we just won’t be alone!!!!

Wishing hope, love, understanding, compassion and a sense of belonging for all the single mommas out there tonight!!!!

That’s me exposed ;)

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Jodie:

I hope you pop over to my Single Moms forum. Start a discussion about this and see if there is anyone else and also check out iHeartSingleParents.com – at http://www.iheartsingleparents.com. I hope that helps and thank you!

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Melissa December 31, 2009 at 7:56 pm
Emily Johnson December 31, 2009 at 9:47 pm

I have never left a comment before but enjoy your blog and find value in your words. I’m not single and I’m not a mama, but I think your perspective has universal relevence and I appreciate your willingness to share.

My goal this year is to eat in a more intentional and moral way. I recently watched a documentary called “Food Inc.” and was affected by the intrusive and inhumane treatment of animals we consume. I am afraid of feeling foolish as a result of making this commitment. I am prone to self-consciousness and worry about other peoples’ reactions to my decisions. I also worry that I will fail to follow through with the commitment.

Good luck to everyone else in their pursuit of overcoming vulnerabilities. It’s nice to know that we are all in this together. Happy new year!

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I need to see that movie… sounds like we all do.

Thank you for leaving this comment Emily and you aren’t foolish at all! Leave more. We don’t bite. And Happy New Year!

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Rachel December 31, 2009 at 10:11 pm

2010….A New Me

I keep a lot of feelings to myself so writing this is going to be an emotional journey in itself.

I’m a single mama of an amazing 2.5 year old little boy who has become the love of my life. My pregnancy wasn’t planned but rather a complete surprise. I was getting ready to start my senior year of college when a night out with friends turned into an unforgettable evening. That night I was the victim of a date rape which resulted in the birth of my son. I have only told about half of my family and friends what really happened to me because I’m so ashamed. I’m mad at myself for putting myself in that situation. I’ve been told that I’m too smart of a person to let that happen. And at times I think about that. How could someone who graduated at the top of her high school and college let something like that happen? But it did happen. Some family members have made the healing process a roller coaster ride because I have had to listen to how I’m a disappointment, how he is a mistake and how I should have never kept him. I have let those comments plus my own guilt and hatred rule my life for the past two years. But it’s not my fault and my son is not a mistake but a gift. I have stayed in a horrible relationship, passed on amazing job opportunities, have fears that I never once had, started to settle and given up on love.

So my first step in creating a new me is finally standing up for myself and stop holding on to a relationship that will never amount to anything but heartache. I met my ex a couple months after I was raped. He accepted my past and never treated me any differently because of it. He was even ready to take on the role of dad and wanted us to be a family. This whole fantasy lasted about two years and then he got an offer to play baseball. I wanted him to go live his dreams and I’d be there supporting him. I never thought twice about it and I never thought it would end up causing many fights. Once he left baseball became his life and we no longer existed. I kept telling myself it was a phase and in a few months everything would be ok. Well that never happened. He changed and I’m still hoping that I can one day change him back to the person I fell in love with. For the past 6 months I’ve dealt with verbal abuse as well as him cheating and I still stay because I’m afraid to be alone and I love his family. I don’t want to lose them but I need to realize this is about me and my life. I’ve started to realize that I will never be alone because I have my son and right now he’s the one man in my life that I need to concentrate on because he’s not going to hurt me. As much as I pretend, hope, wish and pray this relationship will never become something especially something I deserve. I hide most of the pain and heartache from my family and friends and usually end up making excuses for him because I don’t want them to know just how bad it is. But I’m done. I’m done making excuses for someone who’s never going to be there for me and will never love me. I’m done holding on to something that’s never going to evolve into something I want and need.

I’m afraid to be alone but at the same time I have a hard time letting people in because I’m scared they are going to hurt me. This fear has taken over my life. I don’t ask for help when I need it because I think people are just going to judge me. I passed on the opportunity to work as a criminal investigator and medical examiner because I didn’t want to move away in fear that something would happen to us yet be alone. Or by working a 40+ hour job meant that I wasn’t going to be there for my son. In the 22 years before I had my son fear never ruled my life and starting tomorrow I’m not going to let it anymore. I can’t be afraid of what someone may think of me or my son or the choices I’ve made. I need to start being the best mother possible and to do so I need to stop letting fear run my life. I want to start accepting every opportunity that comes my way and take it on with confidence.

Ms. Single Mama reading your blog has opened my eyes. I’ve spent the past 3 days reading every post. I’m now a firm believer that there are men out there who are ready to be with a single mom. I can’t wait for that to happen. I’m ready to know what it feels like to be in love and for my son to finally have a father figure in his life. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your story.

So 2010 I’m ready for you. I’m ready to be happy, be in love, be strong, accept help, welcome new people and enjoy every moment of life. So here I am standing here with open arms waiting to take on whatever life has to throw at me and for once I’m going to stand tall, not run and not be ashamed.

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm

You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. What you have done is beyond miraculous – it’s incredibly brave and fearless. Anyone who knows you should be proud to call you a friend or family member. What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing this.

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soojjj January 1, 2010 at 12:57 am

Hi Alaina, I’m writing this at one of the most vulnerable points in my life… (thank you for being here for me in a way)…

I’m 24, been a single mom for 3 years now. My bf at the time of 18 impregnated me (at most people’s speculation on purpose) and I ended up marrying him at the courthouse… mostly pressured by my former mother-in-law. He ended up being a typical irresponsible, cheating, loser dead-beat. Never a great dad to begin with yet I let him be in our lives. I gave him a chance to beat it, but, because he decided to stay, I let him… I should’ve listened to my gut and started out as a single-mom. I was in college, full future right in front of me, but I decided to give it all up for my family. Started to work at a full-time job and ended up working there for 4 years, now unemployed from that same job closing earlier this year. I left him 3 years ago because I simply had nothing more left in me to give… it wasn’t anything big that tipped the “iceberg” but, how should I say it, it was “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. I was sick of picking up after him, sick of carrying him, and sick of making excuses. I was the trophy wife, and I no longer intended to carry the title at my expense.

My father was an abusive drunk + I was the eldest + my mother wasn’t strong enough to leave him = I protected my mom, and my lil sister & brother… even in the events that I was getting the brunt of the attacks. I knew from the start what I wanted in a man. And my son’s father was not it… leaving him was one of the best things I’ve done for us.

I am broken. I am hurting. I am damaged.

After I left my ex-husband, an old friend/old co-worker who left to move to Cali expressed their true feelings of “love” for me (now that I am single). I too, was very interested in him. We talked, visited as frequently as possible (considering high $$ fares and having a child) and our love grew… grew to such heights/depths unimaginable and inexpressible with words…
He moved closer to us so we could have a real fighting chance (I live in GA) and so he could start having a relationship with my son. We started to date about a year after I left my ex and now it’s been a little over 2 years.

However, I am now starting the new year without him. He decided he no longer wants the kind of life he would have being with me and my son. And that’s as simple as I can put it. What more can I do but let him go?

My new year resolution: Don’t close off my heart. Be as great of a mom as I’ve always been and not let this get me down. If God meant for me to be alone, then so be it. I trust in Him and Him alone. I thank everyone (friends and family) that has always been there for me… I am so fortunate. I can never forget this…

I have a son (5) that always brings praises back home, everyone says he’s such a well-behaved and smart little boy. He’s my little man… the only man I need in my life. Some people even go so far as to say that they can’t tell he comes from a “single-parent” home (although I take that as an insult). He’s my light and my love. Now, to explain the absence of the man-friend…

I don’t want to become cold and calculated, I don’t want to be angry or mean.
I just wish to be content and at peace. I believe that I can give my son Happyness :) …. I just need some strength right now.

*sorry if I am bouncing around everywhere on this post… it’s 11:57pm here in Cali and I am in a hurry (hehe)… I really admire everything you do Alaina, in fact, almost jealous of you! I try to catch up with all your blogs from day 1… taking me a while though. thank you for all your words… have a happy new years~

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Soojj,

Here’s to you embracing whatever may come! And it sounds like 2010 is going to be a great year for self-discovery and you completing you! That was 2009 for me… and minus the growing pains, I’m so glad I made that transformation. Thank you for sharing your story.

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Katie January 1, 2010 at 8:32 am

My challenge for 2010 is actually that I am giving up being a single mom in March. My fiancee is wonderful and accepts my daughter as his own and yet, I’m scared to death. I’m scared by next year I will be a single mom again because I’m incapable of trusting, letting go, and allowing my destiny to be controlled by not just me but another individual.

In addition, for the first time ever I will be going to counseling next week. I want to make sure that my daughter transitions in the best way possible and I want to minimize the effects of a not so fantastic ex husband who fills her mind with hateful things. So the fiancee and I will be going both for ourselves and our family. I’m worried counseling will reveal that I’m a control freak, a nut who should never be allowed to be married again. That’s probably an overexaggeration but I feel it that strongly. So, here’s to opening up next week and being able to talk freely without the fear of being abandoned and without the fear of judgement. Happy New Year everyone!

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Ms. Single Mama January 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Counseling will be absolutely amazing. Just you wait… and I promise, you won’t be deemed unfit to marry or love. Thank you so much for sharing your story and here’s to you for being brave enough to take ownership and control of your baggage. That’s more than most can say.

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mssinglemama January 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Hey everyone:

I am making my way through each and every entry. You’ll know that I read yours if I leave you a comment to your comment (here) or on your blog. I won’t get to all of them in one sitting, but expect the results to be announced on Sunday night – and that’s when you’ll all receive your FREE eBook! Thank you again for entering!

Alaina

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Alyssa Molina January 1, 2010 at 11:40 pm

http://www.youtube.com/user/alyssainezmolina#p/u/0/Jy_ZckaFi24

i asked for an extension because my video recorder wasn’t working, finally got it going…here it is.

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Tamia January 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I know I really don’t have a very bad experience. I’m 22 years old and I have a 2 year old son. I live at home with my parents. Right now I am very confused. I have no role models so right now I’m just trying to give my son my all. I fell in love with the wrong man. He knew he had no intentions of staying with me but we had a baby and he slowly slipped away. Slipped away- everything : college freedom independence and dreams….

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TwinCitiesLynn January 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Tamia, if you need role models, look no further than this page. Lots of amazing women have shared their stories, hopes, and dreams here. I think any one of them would be an excellent person to reach out to for advice, starting with Mssinglemama. Good luck to you, and to every one on here who opened up. May you all have a happy and healthy 2010.

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Dharmamama January 3, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I am so way behind on this but will be sending something in tonight (finished it, just need to edit slightly and upload). I don’t expect to qualify for the contest, but just going through the effort is worth it, even if I am way totally late. Thanks for encouraging us to dream big and be vulnerable.

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Dharmamama January 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm
Simon January 4, 2010 at 11:06 am

my goal this year is to get more fathers connected with their children than ever before. It’s a year of growth for me/us both professionally and personally, as I look to take the leap to full time non-profit and my sole source of employment! Yikes, huge step. Be brave, Simon, be brave! :)
I imagine the readership of your blog, Alaina, is primarily women (for obvious reasons), and we deal with the ‘other side’ of the parenting scale, but we’re all about equality, and if we can get more fathers plugged back into their kids lives, and get them back on their feet financially, emotionally, and allow them to feel like they CAN make a difference in their kids’ lives then that can only be a positive for EVERYONE.
Keep up the great work, SingleMama…
~Simon

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Kris January 5, 2010 at 9:10 am

I had intentions to make a creative video but chickened out because to be honest, the thought of baring that much of me for all to see is to hard. I am a single momma of a beautiful 2 1/2 year old. I split from my hubby when I found out (a week before I had her) that he was cheating. Nice huh? Well, now I guess my goal in the new year is to actually bring down that wall and let SOMEONE into my life. I’ve dated one guy since my divorce and when it got to the “serious” part, I just couldn’t handle it. How do I let someone into mine and Lucy’s (my sweet girl) world? It’s alway just been the two of us and the thought of sharing that with someone just doesn’t seem possible. Problem is, I really really really want more kids. At 33, I’m not getting any younger and need to put myself out there but seriously with working 60-70 hours a week to keep us housed and fed, how do I find time OR MONEY to go out and meet people? UGH! Anyway, that’s my hope and wish for 2010. Just recently found your blog and love reading it. :)

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arscuore January 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

You are inspiring, MSM. I know I’ve missed the deadline, but wanted to share (besides I already have your book and love it!)… I’m not too big on resolutions, but this year I’m going to work on letting down my defenses. I haven’t been in a truly loving relationship for a long damn time, and how will I ever really find one if I don’t stick my neck out there, willing to take the risk of having my heart demolished? I am a huge Regina Spektor fan, and recently checked out her video for “Fidelity” — I keep going back to it (makes me cry). The smile that she has at the end? I want to be wearing that.

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