On Mountains and Dumping that Dude

by mssinglemama on July 5, 2011

My camera is not cooperating. I can’t upload a single photo from Montana. My iPhoto keeps crashing, maybe because I took so many?

These pictures from Uncle Ez will do until then. Couldn’t wait to share this one…


The mountain and the lake, Swiftcurrent Lake, were just outside of our hotel – the Many Glacier Hotel – which you can see in the background of this picture.

Absolutely incredible.

How many of you have managed to take trips solo with the little ones? And how much do you love being single in the summer? Isn’t it awesome? Cheers to that. Relationships and men are such a pain sometimes.

Sometimes…

So, why do we put up with them (sometimes)?

I was just having this discussion over the weekend with some new friends. And John Bear was never a pain in the a__ - just to make that perfectly clear. I am talking now about a list of women I know personally or professionally who are incredibly successful, beautiful and intelligent but who stay with colossal jerks who are bad for them emotionally and financially.

Why?

Does it boil down to a fear that you can’t do any better? Because believe me, Mamas, you can. There are so many amazing, attractive and financially stable drug-free men out there who also treat women well.

Just wanted to remind you of that. And will you please, the Mamas who have found a good man, leave a comment? To share your story and your positive experience with leaving the bad for the good?

If you are on the fence about staying with or leaving a man ask yourself this question? Do you want your son to turn out like him? Do you want your daughter to marry someone like him?

Boom. There’s your answer.

Related posts:

  1. The Fine Art of Dumping.
  2. Dude, he’s a natural.
  3. Single Mom Question: We have chemistry, but…
  4. Who needs a husband anyway?

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

tracey - justanothermommy July 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I love that pic in the boat. It looks beautiful there!

I have a good man. He’s not perfect, but neither am I which makes it a lot easier when I mess up. :) I define “good” as “knowing what you did/said/thought wasn’t cool and owning up to it”. As long as both of us can do that, I think we’ll be ok…

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Jamie July 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I found a good guy! He loves both me and my son and puts up with the difficulties of being with a single mom beautifully. I had to kiss some frogs first though!

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Meredith July 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I couldn’t fathom a life like this a year or two ago. I was married, committed…and sticking it out. I didn’t realize how miserable I was. He’s not a BAD person, but he certainly wasn’t who I married and not who I feel madly in love with years before.

Looking back, I’m so glad it’s over…I am so glad I now have the opportunity to show my daughter what it’s like to be madly and deeply in love with someone who feels the same about you…not because he promised to years ago, but because every day he wakes up and WANTS to.

The man in my life now is amazing…to me, to my daughter, to his sons, to his colleagues, to his friends. He’s passionate, emotional, loving and strong. He inspires me. He’s the kind of man I want to spend my life with. My daughter has a Dad and he will always be her dad. What I want is a partner that my daughter can see me go through life learning with and loving…so that she can see what the presence of real love can do for your life. Why it’s worth waiting for, why it’s worth fighting for, why the real thing is so much better than anything you’ve ever considered settling for.

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dee July 7, 2011 at 1:55 am

Thank you for posting this. Im in such a tough situation right now. I feel like my husband is a good person but he is definitely not the person i see myself happy with for the rest of my life. Im sad because i want this to work out, but honestly i dont think he can ever see love and family the way i see and so our views are totally different and not very compatible : (. I have a 1.5 and 3 year old. I would hate to be the one to break this up…. Dad wants to be around but mostly because he promised not because he LOVES it. Im happy that you were strong and that you are happy now : ) your story inspires me….

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Anna July 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

“If you are on the fence about staying with or leaving a man ask yourself this question? Do you want your son to turn out like him? Do you want your daughter to marry someone like him?

Boom. There’s your answer.”

Thanks for this. Very timely. LOVE my man, but going through some stuff right now that had me wondering. He is a very good man, and YES I want my son to turn out like him. He isn’t a jerk, just acting like one at the moment. I find that my (new) instinct to cut and run at the least sign of trouble (because I waited too long with the ex) is strong, but I think I need to settle into this long-term commitment thing. Just because we aren’t getting along right now doesn’t mean the whole relationship is for naught.

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Katy July 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I think I feel exactly like you Anna! My BF is a good guy and really does try to be everything I want.Which at times is a lot.But I think I do have that RUN and RUN FAST feeling at a sign of a fight. But Im working on myself and trying to “choose my battles” and stay positive.

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Sunny July 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I have a good man. A very good man. A man who is solid, stable, loving, motivated and a great role model. I even sold my house (my one stable possession) so we could buy and remodel one together.

We met online (match.com). I turned over a lot of crappy rocks to find this gem and I was single for about 4 years before I found him.

He puts my work ethic to shame. Seriously.

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Ann July 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I just ended an 8 month relationship with a great guy. It was such a tough decision because he was so into me, accepting of my daughter, open minded etc. He was perfect in so many ways, but there was just ‘that something’ that didn’t feel right for me.

I am hopeful that I will find another equally good man that feels right. In the meantime, I’m saddened and disappointed it didn’t work out.

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Christine July 5, 2011 at 3:44 pm

That is exactly what I asked myself when I was considering leaving my ex. The answer was that I’d die inside if either of my children were in the kind of relationship I was. If it wasn’t good enough for my kids then it certainly wasn’t good enough for their mother.

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Sharesa July 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

When you get rid of the “trash” in your life, God gives you “treasure”. I am living proof of that. I finally said goodbye and good riddens to an on and off boyfriend of two years after many hours of counseling. Two weeks later I met the love of my life. The list I made in my counseling sessions of what type of man I was looking for…. He had everything on my list. It is amazing. It was hard to walk away from the old because as you said in your post, I was afraid that he was the best I could do. I thought I had to settle on certain things and my new man is proof that I did not have to settle and neither does anyone else!! My new man and I have been dating for 15 months and plan on marrying sometime next year!! <3

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Momma Sunshine July 5, 2011 at 7:28 pm

When I broke up with my ex it was for many reasons. One of them was that I wanted to feel that elusive “something” in my relationship. I knew that there was something missing in my marriage.

And honestly? I have found it. And when you find someone who fits you perfectly, who is the love of your life, who you can’t imagine life without, you know in your gut that settling for less than that just isn’t a possibility anymore.

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Jen July 5, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I love this reinforcement that I don’t have to settle! Concrete thoughts like, “Would I want my child to turn out like him? Be in a relationship with a guy like him?” are really helpful things to keep in mind as we remain open to the possibility of a partner.

And, yes, for me it boiled down to fear. I was afraid I might be missing my chance if I turned this latest guy down. And I’m so glad I could come here to be reminded that making a decision based on fear is NOT the way to go. Thanks for the reminder that “there are so many amazing, attractive and financially stable drug-free men out there who also treat women well.”

I’m excited that, during my wait for that guy (however long), I get to work on me…on being the person I would want to spend my life with. I get to get stronger, to grow, and to be someone I would want my child to be like. :)

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Stac July 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I found a good guy! Back in 5th grade, hehe. But we’ve only been dating for a year, but we are now engaged, living together, and planning our wedding for Next August 11, 2012. I picked up my dress on Friday with my ring bearer in tow.

But between 5th grade and when we got together, there were many many bad men out there. I’m not sure I stayed with them because I didn’t think I could do any better, I stayed because I thought love was enough. Like if I made enough money and was responsible enough then he didn’t have to be? It’s a hard thing to explain. Not that I really dated much after my son was born (just lots of bad boyfriends before that). I had one boyfriend when he was a baby, one “friend with benefits” that was never around my son, a couple random dates/hook ups and I dabbled with getting back together with his father. That was it for 6 years, until M and I refound eachother on facebook (yes I said facebook) last year. He is exactly the type of man I want my son to be like.

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Ms. Single Mama July 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I love all of these comments so much! Thank you for sharing them. Keep them coming… share your stories, because so many Mamas in bad relationships may be reading.

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ashlea July 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Your little boy is a little MAN in these pictures!!! He has grown so much since I started reading your blog… The pics are beautiful! I love those kinds of vacations and can’t wait until I am able to take more trips like yours. Wanted to say thank you for encouraging these comments that include relationship success stories from single moms. I really appreciate that as things have not worked with John Bear you have continued to encourage all of us to hang on to hope that the right relationship will eventually be there…for all of us… And that includes you!!

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Karissa July 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I had a “good” man but as we were approaching two years in a long-distance relationship, I had to end it because it was probably going to be two more years long-distance. He was really great but did not want to commit the way I wanted him to. I guess I will not get what I want until I learn to compromise.

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Amanda July 6, 2011 at 12:36 am

I found a GREAT one. He welcomed my daughter and I with open arms. He encourages when I’m overwhelmed financially or because of her biological father. He’s stepped up to the plate of being daddy to my daughter and it means the world to me. He is ambitious, talented, driven, a hard worker, and the best part about him is how unbelievably kind he is. He’s the first person I’ve ever been with that I’m completely PROUD to be with.

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Mindy July 6, 2011 at 2:24 am

I was a single mom for 6 1/2 years. The first two years of my son’s life, I felt as if I had to find a man to be “the” role model for my son. I dated and settled twice (not marriage but dated exclusively) for two very different men. One that I was highly attracted to but we were like oil and water and the other one was a sweetheart but the attraction was not there. I literally thought that I would never find the right man and doomed to be single until the day my son buried me. When you cease to look for something, it presents itself to you. I met my best friend 14 years ago this past March. My son has never known his biological father but you wouldn’t know that, by they way he loves and respects his “dad”. The both of us came into this relationship with a child of our own but cemented the deal by adding one more to the pot. I am very blessed to say the least and very proud to have the family that was given to me.

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The Pepperrific Life July 6, 2011 at 6:54 am

I do want my daughter to someday marry somebody whose personality and character are similar to my boyfriend’s. I have been in one too many bad relationships, and feel lucky now that I have found somebody worth my time. Leaving my husband has proven to be the wisest decision I’ve made so far.

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SarahK July 6, 2011 at 8:45 am

I married my college sweetheart who was also the first boy I ever kissed. We were great friends but there was never a spark. After 10 years of marriage and one son, we decided to split up so he could explore his newly discovered bisexuality. I was mid-30s, single with a 2-year-old boy in a strange city my ex and I had moved to for his job.

I moved home with my son and dated a TON of men who were just wrong for me. I was looking for someone the complete opposite of my ex, and I think deep down I knew I wasn’t ready to commit yet so I was dating people who wouldn’t commit. None of these men were anyone I wanted my son to meet, much less emulate!

Soon after my son’s 6th birthday I finally decided to try match.com. My first match date, I met a man who is amazing, and completely unlike any of my “rebound” guys. He is polite. He listens to me. He thinks I’m sexy and gorgeous and smart and amazing. And I think he’s sexy and gorgeous and smart and amazing. He has been widowed for 3.5 years and has a 5-year-old daughter and is fully ready to start again and embrace life with joy. I knew he was right for me because one night it just hit me–I would be so happy if my son turned out like him. He told me the same thing–he would be happy if his daughter turned out like me. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. We’ve been married since February 18, 2011.

I went through some very dark times. I never thought I would find love like this. Never. But when I was really ready–when I was truly over my ex, when my son and I were a solid team and didn’t need anyone else to survive, when I knew my son was happy being part of our terrific twosome–love found me!

Don’t give up. And don’t let any man let you feel that you are anything but the brilliant, terrific, gorgeous human being that you are.

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bleu July 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I love that picture!! Beautiful. My son and I are going to do a weekend getaway in August right before school starts.

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Jamie M from MSLA! July 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I would never want my daughter to marry a man like her father. Though he has some amazing qualities, unfortunately his bad ones override his good. I was fortunate enough to meet my amazing best friend and boyfriend and so far keep him! I went from an abusive, empty marriage to a man who makes me feel like a princess. And my kids love him too!

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Kara July 7, 2011 at 1:54 am

Yes, I also enjoy being a single mama in the summer! It feels so fancy free. Bike rides, road trips, ice cream, live music. It’s uncomplicated and beautiful. But I also love all the comments about finding a good man and relationship. For those of us still licking our wounds, it’s so encouraging. Thank you!

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Ashley July 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

My boyfriend just broke up with me today. So thank you for that reminder that there are good men out there. It just seems so difficult to find anyone worth my time within my generation. My boyfriend was wonderful, everything about him. He was near perfect to me and my kids. One problem, he was WAY younger and he was afraid of the expectations of a commitment with me. I fell hard and fast, and it opened my eyes. Now I know I can have someone who is good enough even though he just wasn’t the one.

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Colette Knight July 8, 2011 at 3:50 am

Really i became very happy to see these real pics.
im not married yet, but thanks for posting this.
but i can understand the feelings of a Mama. This post
is really great and motivating.

Thanks,
Colette Knight

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Star July 8, 2011 at 8:40 am

I wrote a list while I was unhappily married and pregnant with my second child…it was titled:

Things I wish I had in my marriage:
-I wish my husband made me feel beautiful and sexy. I wish he complimented me or gave me physical affection without me instigating it.
-I wish my husband had energy and wanted to help me and did things without me having to ask – just because he noticed they had to be done.
-I wish my husband wanted to get out of the house ad to go do things instead of preferring to lie on the couch and watch tv.
-I wish my husband came up with ideas of things that would be fun to do.
-I wish my son didn’t have to ask over and over and over before my husband would play with him.
-I wish my husband enjoyed having a house and a family enough to not wish he was living some other life.
-I wish my husband enjoyed his job so that he didn’t make me feel like his working was a sacrifice for me.
-I wish I could go socializing with my husband and that he would be excited about it.
-I wish I could drink socially with my husband and that it would be fun instead of stressful and unpredictable.
-I wish I got more help around the house and with my son.
I wish my husband would sleep in bed with me.
I wish my husband cared about having things looking nice.

If you are unhappy, I highly recommend you write a list. I wrote it and put it away and forgot about it but I guess I didn’t forget (I would suggest you keep your list visible while dating) but after I found my wonderful fiance online…I was unpacking and found my list and he is EVERYTHING I wished for. I read the list to him and he said, “None of those things are unreasonable! You SHOULD have all the things on your list!”

So, Ladies, make sure the second time around that you get everything on YOUR list. If you are happy, your kids will be well cared for. Notice how not many of the things pertained to my kids? Most of them were about having a good partner that treated ME well. That is what makes for a great role model. It’s the trickle down affect. I wish I had known this the first time around. I watched how he treated everyone else. I didn’t know that how he treated me was first and foremost. There IS SOMEONE perfect for you out there. Make it your job to find him. I am SO happy. There are issues but we WORK through them, he LISTENS to me, he VALUES my feelings. THAT is what makes a great relationship!!!!! Don’t stop till you find it :) Anything less is a waste of time and energy and takes away from what you can give to your children :)

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Hydrangea July 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm

OMG Star- your list described my ex and our situation to a freaking T! It’s interesting how they acted so similarly. Glad you and I both had the gumption to pull the plug on our crappy relationships and kudo’s to you for finding a guy who treats you the way you deserve to be treated!! Still haven’t found my guy, although I haven’t really been looking much either. Someday, *le sigh*

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Emmabear July 13, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Yes! Were we married to the same man? I felt how you felt and I’m so glad to no longer be in such a heavy and awful marriage. I have raised my baby boy on my own and am so much happier. This site is a great find. Strong women make the world go around–and raise strong and wonderful children. :)

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susan July 26, 2011 at 12:13 am

The I wish list….that made me sad to read….just way too close to home. But yes, it’s good to articulate this stuff – sometimes we need to know what we won’t do, or put up with, in order to seek the things we really want.

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Honoree Corder July 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

Hey lady!
It’s been ages since I’ve stopped by and checked in on my hometown gal – big hugs to you! I’ve been remarried for just shy of three years and it’s been amazing. Hang in there for amazing, it’s worth it … and it’s coming!!!
Love & Light, Honoree

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Kristy July 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Thank you ladies for all your inspiring stories. I continue to struugle with this topic. I too have been involved in one too many toxic relationshios. I just recently ended probably the worst one to date. He dragged me down with him, and I am angry I let this happen. It is going to take some time to repair. I cannot get rid of the nagging feeling of why? I want him to change for me and that is so far out there it is not even funny. Why most I do this to myself. I know in my head not t “settle” but my heart still wants him close by. Your stories do give me hope that I will get to the other side.

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girlplease July 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

It’s hard to leave. Here is my reasons why I’m on the fence even though gut says I’m miserable.

Our 2 year old is in the “daddy’s home” beaming like sunshine stage. When he’s at work or out, he asks where he is. It kills me to think what am I going to say if it was permanent?

I lose 50% or more of finances. Yep. I make more so I lose more. Money doesn’t equal happiness but you know, I’m giving so much in the marriage, why do I have to CONTINUE to shell out after the marriage? I get nothing in return. I don’t care about getting. I do care about shelling out.

What will he date/marry? I may find Mr. Perfect but knowing his needy ways, I worry about what my son will be exposed to.

On the flip side, if I date unhealthy losers and I married/had a kid with one what if I get worse? I KNOW my husband won’t molest, beat, kill our son. I know for the most part the most our son will go through is typical rebellion/hate for the parents. A new guy? Who knows?

So how does one get over those fears on top of being FORTY?????? I’m sorry to say it but 40 years old with a 2 year old? Not much pickens unless it’s meeting someone with baggage that I just don’t need.

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girlplease July 8, 2011 at 1:55 pm

But if someone asked if I’m head over heels in love? No. That died a while ago due to many, many disappointments and shock to others why I stay with him. We’ve been even kicked out of marriage therapy. The last try he’s doing is treating his ADHD. But you know, it’s really hard to let go a lot of the hurts he’s committed. No one would have stuck through before a kid.

I will say on the flip side, when I was 100% single and just dating around? It honestly was the best time of my life–friends, going out, 100% selfish with how to keep a house, etc. Do I look forward to that again? Pretty much. But I also know I”ll eventually get lonley, date, be disappointed in the losers or even the rejection (hell I heard comments by some men long ago “30?” woah) then it happens–you settle.

If I could guarantee a life of 100% financial security, a place to live where I”m so overjoyed (I KNOW I do not want to raise our child where we live now; DH agrees. Divorce, however, he has no options but there financially), have a great support group and friends–then I think I honestly wouldn’t care.

But introverted + 2 year old + barely see my current friends + losers are attracted to me scares the bejesus out of me.

Thoughts? “I have a wonderful man” stories are great but they can also give the perception that they are all taken. Congrats on those who have it. What leaves us who don’t?

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Sili July 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Wow. Beautiful pictures. But, such a DEEP thought at the end. And so true. I think many women stay because we love those men that may not be good for us. And we sometimes think of our kid(s) growing up without them. But your last statement hits the nail on the head. That’s the question I had to ask myself. And the question I knew the answer to before I even asked. Just found your blog and I already love it!

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Sheila July 9, 2011 at 12:26 am

Lately, it seems, I’ve witnessed some beautiful and intelligent female friends of mine lose their heads over men and relationships that aren’t right for them, distraught when things don’t work out with men who clearly were never on the same page as them.

What I wish I could say to them is that a having a man isn’t automatically going to make your life magical and wonderful, and it might not even be that way when the right man does come around. Relationships take work, but when it’s right you’ll know, and when it’s wrong you’ll know as well.

After my divorce and dabbling in dating, I decided to take a long-term sabbatical from pursuing any kind of relationship. Yes, I’m lonely and would love to have companionship, but I realized I need to do some self-work to figure out why I end up in relationships with emotionally unstable men. This could take a while.

One thing I have figured out is that positive, healthy relationships DO exist.

As far as your camera goes – are you trying to upload via the usb cord? Look into getting a card reader that plugs into your computer.

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mommy to be July 9, 2011 at 3:17 am

i was with someone for about 5years, within those 5 years he never treated me right, i was young and thought “well he loves me, he will change eventually” being 13 i really thought that was love, as i got older i finally got the courage to break it off but no completly… which was avery big mistake on my part. a few weeks after breaking up he showed me a side of him that i had anever seen, i side that made me feel like i was truely loved and cared for and how a relationship should be, happy. i soon realized that it shouldnt take 5 years for someone to finally start to treat me right, by then it was too late for me. my heart had been broken too many times. all i knew was i want to find someone who treats me right from the very begining!

and my point with this story is im 3 months pregnant with his child and have been debating if i should break it off or keep working at it. when i saw the question “Do you want your son to turn out like him? Do you want your daughter to marry someone like him?” i said absolutly NO! to both, i would never want my daughter to ever feel the pain i felt from just one person, and i would never want my son to be so disrepectful and careless to a woman but still tell her he love her….
why is it so hard for me to completly leave him? =(

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flymama July 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm

what a beautiful photo. I work for an airline and that’s all I do with my 2 little boys is travel. they are old enough now to not have to bring all the strollers, carseats and diaper bags so my load is lighter. But travelling is the best thing I do with my lil guys. enjoy every moment, he is the most important man in your life. teach him to find enjoyment in living out of his comfort zone.

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Datingdelemma July 12, 2011 at 3:02 am

He isn’t a jerk but he isn’t drug free and he isn’t financially stable.. Does he count? I wouldn’t my Son to be exactly like him and I would want my daughter to only the half that keeps me with him. Does he count?

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Datingdelemma July 12, 2011 at 3:08 am

I want my daughter to only marry the half that keeps me with him.. Does the perfect guy really exist or do I keep crossing my fingers in hopes that he will change?

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theSingleMama July 15, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m in love. I just started my own blog @ http://www.thesinglemama.com dedicated to single parenting and saving money. It is only a couple days old, so I am still building, tweaking, editing, designing, etc…I’m sure you know.

This post was SOOO relevant to the current events in my life:

1) I just won a trip to Montana. My trip is in September and I am super excited. This will be an adult trip for me, so no munchkin tagging along. I live in Florida and have never been to Montana, so this ought to be an awesome experience. Your pictures are beautiful and have me wishing my trip was sooner!

2) On Dumping that Dude… I have dated two men since my daughter’s father. My reasoning behind dumping BOTH of them was after asking myself that very question, “Would I want my daughter to date/marry a man like him?” or “Do I want my daughter to think this is how a woman should be treated?” How about, “Hell NO!!”

So, like you said, Boom!- there was my answer!…and back to being single, I was.

Another question I’ve asked myself is, “Has my life stayed the same, become easier, or become more challenging since dating this dude?”

This might make me sound like a jerk, but I don’t have time for any more complications than I already have and when I say “complications” I mean DRAMA…no time for it. Men, check your baggage elsewhere! I really don’t understand why it is so difficult for the men I meet to take part in building a relationship built on mutual trust and respect, without making me feel like a rat in a cage.

Anyway, I loved this post and your blog! Thanks for sharing!

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SOOZ July 21, 2011 at 1:09 am

Last summer at this time I was so miserable but reluctant to throw out my unemployed, boring, sneaky, manipulative, emotionally gone, self righteous, redneck, alcoholic, cigarette smoking, controlling, unimaginative fiance. He finally said “Do you want me to just move out?” It was the happiest moment of my life. I thought at first I was ruining my kids lives but things could not be better. I am the poorest ever but it was so worth it. I thought I would do the one year without a man thing and made it through six months happily. I met a man online through a dating service and he is someone I never thought I would meet. He is adorable and thoughtful. He loves kids and is helping me to finish my Grad school, not trying to sabbotage it. We have had a whirlwind relationship that has only been two months and we know something great is going on and will continue going on. We have brought love into eachother’s lives again, something we both needed and appreciate. It can happen to you too, be patient. Put out the magnetism into the Universe!

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Speedgirl July 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Three years ago, I made a decision: to do something memorable in each of the 48 continental states before my daughter, then about to start kindergarten, graduated from high school.

On our first trip, I took my mom with us. We stayed with her sister for several days and got to hang out with family I hadn’t seen in a few years. On that trip, we hit Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio.

Last year, I took one of the kids’ babysitters with us. She just graduated from high school, so it was her gift from us before she left us for college life. We traveled to Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Ohio.

Yesterday we got home from our now annual road trip. This year, it was just me and my two children (now 10 and 7). In just under three weeks, we explored Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Each year I use my tax refund to finance our adventures. I should have gotten new carpet for the house. I should have kept more in my savings account. I should have paid off a credit card and paid extra on my car payment. But I didn’t. Instead, my children and I have amazing memories to share and stories to tell. I am sure those will last us longer, and serve us better in the long-run, than new carpet!

We are friends on facebook, so you can check out pics of our latest trip! (Kim McGee)

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happymama August 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

Great idea…you guys are amazing…just when i thought all moms blogging were…absolutely different from me. All of you comments and attitudes have encouraged me to chill out and concentrate on what matters most…me and my little one. I often concern about meeting someone. Mostly because of sex, I am pretty independent, emotionally and financially (not much to lose anyways), I don’t feel I need companionship because I have a lot of fun…but I wouldn’t mind having someone to have tons of sex with in the little time I have off. It sounds easy, but it is the hardest thing to find when you work, study (finishing my degree), take care of a 18 moths old, maintain your house, 2 dogs, find time to be with your super awesome friends, oh and keep your self looking good…there is NO ONE dude my age (27), that I have ever met, that works as hard.
So by the time I remain single, rocking it really, but the last few times I have tried the sex thing (because it is a NEED) has been messy…It usually makes me feel more pressure than relief…it is hard for single guys to understand you are not always available…and it makes me REALLY angry when they seek for so much attention when I don’t, so i dump them. I am not ready for relationships, mostly because I distrust my taste so much I am afraid I might end up with the same kind of losers I always attract so easily. I don’t know, even good guys become losers when they start liking me, it is like a disease I transmit!

For sure reading today made me feel way better…I am about to graduate, I have talent, a promising career, I have trust everything will turn out fine for me and my gorgeous daughter, mostly because I am determined to show her the best of life. Thanks to you all and stay strong. And I am definitely following the road trip idea!.

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MsIndependent July 25, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I had to respond after reading all of the comments. I try to keep up with your blog as often as I can (I’m sure you’d understand!). I’ve been since for somewhere over 7 years, with a few lapses in there of a few weeks or so. I’ve gotten very good at going it alone, and adjusted to the loneliness. Well, just under a year ago an amazing man showed up in my life. He’s stable, reliable, responsible, fun, loving, giving, and so patient with me. He’s a lot like what I’d like my son to be like when he grows up, and it’s amazing to see how happy my little boy is to see his Mom happy. He has a guy who could be his Dad (he’s never had one).

Anyway, I thought I’d be single forever since I’m so darn independent and stubborn. Instead, I’m learning to compromise and loving having someone spoil me. Turns out he loves that I can do by myself, though it’s more fun to do it with him. :-)

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H2Mama August 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I spent 7 years in an emotionally abusive relationship but stayed because he provided well for me and my daughter and I didn’t really know how to get out. I have found an incredibly wonderful man that I would never have paid attention too because he is a little overweight. He tells me I am beautiful everyday, he makes me laugh out loud alot, he works hard, he cooks dinner, he comes up with things for us to explore and he is patient with me. When I was younger, I was so driven by looks and I was so WRONG. I am transitioning my only daughter to college and he has helped me every step of the way. He has helped me show her that pretty is as pretty does and that is so valuable to me. He is wonderful to my daughter and his daughter. Yes, I would absolutely want my daughter to find someone like him.

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finallyawakeandtrying...hard! August 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm

Boom. that is the question for sure. It’s funny cause when you put it that way, there’s not a chance in hell I’d go back. Then my insane mind wanders down the nasty “but if he changes” lane that I traveled for 10 years. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve been conditioned like rats that keep traveling in the same compulsion loop because I haven’t learned anything else…but I’ve met some lovely menfolk that help me to believe. As my therapist puts it…”listen I understand I’m telling you about this place. It’s called Mars. And you don’t understand what the hell I’m talking about…but trust me…Mars is great. You’ll get here too. And it’ll stop feeling like Mars.”

Right now I can’t say I’ve found Mr. Right, but I’ve met someone that treats me with such kindness, respect, and is truly gentle…which is such a glaring (and painful) reminder of what I didn’t have with my husband. It’s weird how Mr. Kindness being nice often when he’s not around makes me sad, as I sit remembering how much time I spent with someone who was mean, emotionally abusive and physically a bully (and twice my size).

The cut and run instinct is also alive and well for me. At the slightest sign of any trouble with anyone before Mr. Kindness, I’ve run. I cut it off with a few nice men, simply because they didn’t call when they said they would. I just couldn’t handle it.

But here is some evidence that kind men do exist. Mr. Kindness wooed me by reading to me for hours over the phone on nights when I had my son and so couldn’t see him. He’d read Dickens, Bronte sisters, Tennyson, and other Victorian novels till I fell asleep. He did it night after night, until I finally felt that this guy is worth a shot. I’m also kind of swooning over the fact that he calls my ex “the scoundrel” or “the blaggard.” So wish me luck gals!!

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Sad & Blue August 16, 2011 at 12:09 am

I just got out of a 6 month relationship that started off great and ended crappy. We met online and got along splendidly. He was separated with a divorce pending and two teenage kids. We both worked long hours and I knew he needed to spend time with his kids, so I didn’t push anything.

However, I did make it a point to plan something fun at least once a week. We went to wineries, on bed and breakfast trips, played tennis, went out to eat, and cooked dinners together. He would say that he felt like a teenager with me and had never met anyone who kissed as well as I did.

Then, one night four months after we met, we had gone to a party and were drinking some wine back at my place. He said that I was super cool…but that he wondered if there were other people cooler out there. I was like, whoa. I said that perhaps he should date other people. But he said he still wanted to see me and that he shouldn’t have been so callous. Anyway, I did say that I didn’t want to just be a rebound person and that I’d check back in after we hit the 6 month mark.

We spent June & half of July hanging out with my friends and family. He came out to my friends’ group camping trips, etc. I figured that he was deciding to stick with this relationship if he was eager to hang out with my friends and family.

So, I checked back in again at the end of 6 months. At this point, I hadn’t met any of his friends or kids. He said he wanted a “pause button.” I gave him a month and we checked back in.

He couldn’t decide what he wanted to do and I asked if there were any specific concerns he had about us together. His only answer was that he said that he had gained 20 pounds while we dated and that he needed to concentrate on his health as he had had a heart attack last year. So, he needed to take time off from focusing on a relationship for his health. I couldn’t make any sense out of this answer as I had not gained any weight while dating him. When we went out, I ordered salads and he would often order pasta. Plus, I had nothing to do with him having a heart attack prior to meeting me. I told him that if he didn’t have feelings for me, I’d like to hear that as that is a perfectly acceptable reason to end a relationship. He said that wasn’t the case, but my timeline was faster than his.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. Except to say that I called it off and I feel like crap. I’m not the type of person to stay in an unhappy relationship. But, I’m also am haunted by the thought that, if I gave him time, he’d heal from his divorce. Relationships can take you to high places and also bring you down to low ones.

Good luck to all you people still kissing frogs and congrats to those who’ve found success…

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Ungood Girl August 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm

There’s the legal divorce and the emotional divorce. My legal divorce took a few years, and I’m still working on the emotional divorce. The women posting here saying that we’re best off giving ourselves some time to grieve and heal have the right idea. I’ve dated a wonderful man but know I’m not ready for another big commitment yet, even though he would like to get more serious. There was a time when I would push myself to meet his timeline, but I’m smarter than that now. If it’s not right for me, it’s not right for us. I like the idea of waiting until I feel healthy, whole and independent.

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honeybeemama August 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm

i love this: “If you are on the fence about staying with or leaving a man ask yourself this question? Do you want your son to turn out like him? Do you want your daughter to marry someone like him?”

that sums up SO much! i am very thankful to be with a wonderful man now after some rough single mama years and relationships, and i can say definitively that most of the men i dated, long term, short term, and even flirted or hooked up (i HATE that term, but you know what i mean) with i would NOT want my little boys to emulate and would not want my daughter to be with.
what is really difficult is the GOOD guys. i dated one man that truly is a wonderful person, loving, faithful, funny, and would be a wonderful father. and he was crazy about me. but he was not what i wanted. it took me a long time to realize that just being with someone who would always be good to me and my boys and never hurt me wasn’t the right person. i’m thankful that i walked away from him, while also being thankful for the time i had with him. it helped me to realize there ARE good men in this world and there are some that care about me! had i not experienced that i wouldn’t have been able to be so choosy and honest about the things i DID want and ultimately find my love. goodness, what is it about your blog that makes us all want to pour out our own hearts in comments that are essay-sized?! love you, mama – and i love your journey!

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anton August 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm

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