A while back I asked you, my lovely readers, for some stories.
I have been writing here for years and now it is your turn. I want to hear from you–why are you a single mother? Why did you choose this path? Or was it chosen for you? How have you evolved? What are your greatest challenges? What are your greatest achievements?
I still believe, in my heart, that without my experience as a single mother, without taking a stand for myself and leaving a bad marriage–I would not have found the happiness I have today. There’s just no way. We choose our paths. Each of us is responsible for the decisions we make in our lives. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. And becoming a single mother forges something in your heart that either brings you down or makes you stronger and better for it.
This post is from Nancy. Leave her your comments and cheer her on. I think this is beautiful.
On choosing single motherhood because of persistent tug in the gut.
By Nancy from BC, Canada
The single mama life came about to an unlikely target a few years ago. That target was me. Coming from a traditional, Portuguese Catholic family where life was mapped out for me- ie. – get married, make babies (yes, much like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding), it never really dawned on me that I’d be in this little pickle.
I suppose my streak of independence and stubborness and my sense of resilience, determination and positivity bit me in the butt, which ultimately contributed to the earth shaking news – that I wanted to leave my marriage.
I remember the first time I thought of leaving. I was washing my dishes on a beautiful summer day. My kids were happily muddling around the house when the thought crept inside my brain. Though I had spent numerous years in an unhappy state cheating myself thinking it was normal to live unhappily, I never gave the thought serious attention until that day. There was a brief moment of exhilaration or as Oprah would say, I had experienced an “a-ha” moment.
That moment quickly came crashing down when the over active left side of my brain poured out thoughts like, “That’s crazy,” or “Why leave? I have a
husband, two healthy kids, a house, money in the bank,” or the most powerful and dominating thought, “Everyone will think I’m crazy.” As I’m writing this, I can’t believe how this fake and debilitating thought has crippled so many decisions in my life. The thought to stay safe, do what I’ve been taught, and to not change. That moment I experienced while washing the dishes entered my body like the plague because no matter what I tried, whether it was a vacation for just the two of us or the counselling sessions we attended, the thought wouldn’t go away. I desperately tried to feel something to make me stay but that feeling never came.
I took a very long time to physically leave the marriage. Since my departure, I’ve had some low lows and some high highs, but one thing that has always kept me afloat is the tremendous support I feel from my friends and family and my kids. I’ve learned that showing support to someone about anything they want to do can really breathe new life into their lives. There are no crazy ideas, only brave ideas. There will always be a few people who feed off of gossip nourishing their own insecurities, but those people do not outweigh the ones who are knocking on my door and surprising me with a triple fudge brownie after a bout of sobbing or the ones who laugh with me over a glass of wine or the ones who come over and surprise me by washing my dishes and cooking dinner.
I’ve finally retired the negative thought “Everyone will think I’m crazy” and replaced it with “I could be crazy but I’m healthy, strong and happy. I’m really, really happy.” And if indeed I’m headed to a mental institution, well at least I’ll have a smile on my face. Besides, I hear they serve good cookies.