Did you choose to be a single mother?

by mssinglemama on September 22, 2012

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.

Related posts:

  1. Why I am a single mother.
  2. Am I Single Mother By Choice?
  3. The test for any single working mother: the morning wake up.
  4. Happy Single Mother’s Day.
  5. Mother’s Day Zen

{ 37 comments }

Holly M September 25, 2012 at 11:12 am

Awesome Nancy!

Centhia September 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Wow Nancy! This really hit home. It sounds so similar to my situation. Thank you.

Kim September 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Very well written, and it definitely hits home. I might try to write up my story tonight, and see if it’s worth submitting. Thank you for the inspiration Nancy (and Ms. Single Mama!)

Erica September 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Nancy,

That’s my moms name, who is also a single mother now too. Your story is amazing. I left my husband about two years ago, my daughter was about 5 months old then, she is now 2 1/2 years old. It has been the hardest, most exciting journey of my life. I never regret my decision to leave though. I have recently started blogging my thoughts, nothing to fancy, basically just an online diary for me to vent. After reading your story, I am even more inspired than I was yesterday. Life is good, and screw ‘em all if we are happy that is all that matters!

zozulec October 4, 2012 at 4:36 am

The hardest thing that you can do to yourself and to your children is to force yourself to live in a non happy marriage. Your text here, is honest and emotional, I know a lot of mums that are still trapped in the magic circle, and they don’t have courage to stop it.

Evans October 4, 2012 at 5:11 am

Being single mom is really hard. I know by my mom, and the efforts she gave to raise me and my brother. Now i am also single parent with three kids and knowing the fact that i must provide the best for my children i keep on staying on the right side of the road. I wish the best for you Nancy, just because i know how hard is do to it.

Jimmy

S Kay October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

I have re-read this post literally twelve times in the last week. I also have chose to leave an unhappy marriage for much of the same reasons & am in the beginning final stages of mediation/final decree. The guilt & anguish I have tortured myself with has been insane. Thank you for sharing your story because I have since gained strength & more courage to forgive myself, move forward & embrace this new life. Love your line…. “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.”….I’m stealing it for my own mental good too! :)

If you have a blog of your own, please share. Your journey, honesty, & writing I believe could help a great deal of people. Thank you.

Jacko October 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Is it really an amazing story, though? Woman gets married, has two kids, then leaves her marriage. Amazing? Really?

Joanne October 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

Stories like this help other women who are fighting with confusion. So many young girls are brought up with a “you better get married and have kids” or you failed the family and failed being a women. There is so much pressure of thinking life will be right once you are married and have kids that you end up not enjoying being single to the fullest. Once you have the family and kids you think “what was I thinking”. Often your husband can’t relate because he still gets to keep a level of norm but your life got turned upside down.

Great blog. It can really help women think they are not alone in this journey.

Sofia@baby romper October 21, 2012 at 3:10 am

Honestly, sometimes we made decisions in life before probably because those ideas were instilled to us by our parents or elders. We can never decide on our own until the day comes that yeah we feel that “a-ha” moment when we realize that things are not easy and we have to deal with it not in the way they want but in a way we want it. I really feel for you but that’s life, at least in the end you have no regrets and you only do what you think is right.

Allan Rosen October 21, 2012 at 10:49 pm

maybe if you “ladies” learned how to be wives, got rid of your stupid sense of entitlement, learned to cook and cleaned, didn’t gain 50 lbs, didn’t cut your hair off, you might be able to keep your husband. trying to date even fat single mothers is almost impossible. These bitches think they deserve a model rich husband even though they show up with nothing.

Holly M October 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

What a well thought through response. I can’t imagine that anyone would ever leave you. You’re obviously a classy, highly intelligent guy (from the 1890s).

Good day. I leave you to your time machine.

Vicent October 23, 2012 at 11:44 am

Life at two should be about support, about joy, about sharing! if one part, is not interested in making an effort, to love you, to be a partner, them its better for you, and for our kids to move on!

What exampe are you showing to your kids, when you have to persons who dont talk? you keep being distant, you stop loving? is this the way you want to show your own kids that “love” is???

i see to much couples staying together, with no joy, no happiness, no love, just bitterness and pain, this is not good for no one!!!

life is about the choices you make, about the way you live, you need to be honest with yourself!! when you reach a point where here is only pain, go and look for true love!

Johanna.Toledo October 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

After reading this post about a choice to be single I’m thinking..what if there was a website that would allow women to verify men and get in a relationship with reliable men only, and then what would be a good name for it. If interesting, do you mind answering this 1-question survey please?
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/N9JWX6B

YouMeetMe October 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Nice story. Brave Story. While I started reading your post, I was a bit scared. I thought what you are going to do? obviously, yours is brave idea. Marriage means to be complete. After staying together under one roof and if you are not happy, it would be better to find their own ways. Best of luck…

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haleymg October 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm

I wish I had thought to find a single mothers blog when I first became a single mother. Reading this helped me realize there are other mothers out there going through exactly what I did. I have been a single mother for about 3 years, it was the best and hardest decision I have ever made. Nothing about this adventure has been easy but I am far happier now than I was 3 years ago, and I can only hope that my decision was the best possible decision I could have made for the both of us.

Jessie Italroz1 November 1, 2012 at 2:47 am

This is really a great story. Choosing to become a single mom rather than fighting for a complicated relationship. Well, it may not be that easy to choose that kind of situation but if that’s the only choice you can have..then why not,right? As long as you are happy after doing so..just be strong, Goodluck!

jacko November 2, 2012 at 2:13 am

Thank you single mamas for all you do for the nation. Staggering beneath a 40% illegitimacy rate, a 50% divorce rate, food stamps etc, no, you are not selfish. You are heroic and…AMAZING!

just a guy November 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm

It sounds like Nancy did have it all…a man that loved her, children, prosperity and security. And she must have loved her husband at one time or she would not have married him. I have lived in other countries where they are not so wealthy and I believe, having seen both, that American women don’t know how good they have it. Honestly…they’re spoiled princesses! Love is not all about giddiness and butterflies in your stomach! It is about commitment and not being selfish. A married person has to think of the others in the family, not just themselves. That goes for the husband too! And mostly, what about the children? No, it is not a guilt trip…it is reality!! They deserve not to be taken away from their Daddy whom they love and who also loves them like no other man will! So many women, it’s about them and what they want and their needs. lol These children will grow up without their Daddy and all kids need their Daddy! Sure, he can see them every other weekend…that doesn’t cut it. Ladies, realize the grass on the other side has to be mowed to… and put your heart and your action into making your marriage a great one! When you look back, you and your children will be thankful you did!! God bless..

Jasmine Italroz November 5, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Yes! Single moms are one of the best moms ever. Why? Because they fight for their given decision and still, they are their, standing bravely. Of course, single mom is not easy. All those things, problems or any trials, you face it alone. No husband, only you and your children. I really appreciate those single moms who prefer to be that way than fighting for a relationship whose still complicated forever. And of course, I appreciate their decision of fighting alone in life and still standing their bravely.

Mary Italroz November 6, 2012 at 5:03 am

I just want to tell you guys that I really admired a lot for all those single moms who remain strong after overcoming the typhoon in their lives. They are really one of those person who made and contribute a great job in the society. Keep up the good work and I salute them..God bless!

Patricia Mmatch November 6, 2012 at 11:00 pm

Correct! Being a single mom is never been easy. But the most important there is at the end of the day, you’re still happy with your decisions. Coz if you really are, then that’s a sign that you you did great and because of that, you’re now contented and happy with your single life.

Emily November 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Well I’m a single mom, but it was chosen for me. His dad left. I would’ve loved nothing more than someone to experience it with, a nice house, and plenty of money in the bank :\ like you had. But I also realize I don’t know how your husband treated you, or even the whole story. Obviously if a man is abusive, cheats, refuses to provide, or ignores you there’s no reason to feel obligated to stay with him, but if you were just bored, I have to question on why you chose to leave…

Lisa Italroz December 6, 2012 at 3:24 am

I really love reading this article over and over again. I can relate the topic. I am a single mom also for over a year and I chose to be this way. I prefer to leave my ex-husband for I realized he’s not worth it. He’s very irresponsible and often keeps on hurting us with his son physically every time he got drunk. It’s very hard at first but at least we now have a peaceful living with my son. I just keep myself busy in order to forget all those heartaches. Maybe not now, but I know it will heal someday.

Patricia Italroz January 18, 2013 at 2:31 am

Yes, I can’t deny that I’m a single mom but I never had any regrets of being like this. I just choose to be a single mom because I can’t afford myself to live with a very irresponsible man. It just makes me stressed a lot every day. Of course, I gain a sad love story, but who cares? It’s my own decision anyway. I’d rather be like this than living a miserable life forever. Anyways, thank a lot for having this great blog. God bless!

Frida February 4, 2013 at 4:56 am

I can’t help right now to feel angry at these stories. I didn’t choose to be a single mother. I was left while pregnant with our second child by a man who decided he’d rather be single, why?? I don’t know. It’s easier to be single I guess for him. The idea he abandoned his family is making me angry. I would never leave my family no matter how hard work it is. Being single is hard, being with someone’s hard. I would never give up on it. And he was mean as well. So it’s nit like he was the ideal. I am so angry at being made to
Be a single parent, I want a husband, I want a family, I have 2 kids under 4 now and I work my ass off minding them all the time, he doesn’t visit or support them on anyway. I hate this. Being a single mother by choice is bloody stupid.

wild billie goat me February 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I kind of agree with Frida. I don’t understand the logic in this decision, “I woke up one bright, sunny day and decided I wanted to be a single mom.” It doesn’t quite make sense.

Laura March 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Hello everyone, priestandrew91@yahoo.com helped me out when i thought my life is lost don’t know where its going……… It all started when the father of my two kids left me and sworn never to have anything to do with me and all effort to get him back prove to be abortive and i decided to let things be the way they are cause i felt my life is lost don’t know where its going. But Priest Andrew came into the picture and things turned out to be how i have ever wanted it to be……….I will forever be grateful to him for the rest of my life, Am so happy!!!!!!!!!! Laura

Jennifer April 25, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I am two weeks now into my exit from a very unhappy marriage and I can tell you that it feels like I am an astronaut in space adrift with no tether. Slowly I am accepting that this feeling is still better than how it felt to be in a horribly unhappy and unsatisfying marriage. So instead of grappling for control, which would mean trying to force a relationship that clearly is not working, I am accepting the lack of control…and it is starting to feel okay. That weightless feeling is starting to seem sort of okay. Funny how that works.

lichen June 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I wnt to join.

Jenny June 15, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I have mixed feelings about it all. It definitely seems to have turned into a trend, and yes, I do think that it causes a strain on our country because of our need for financial assistance, however, what about those of us who don’t want to cause strain on the economy. The majority of single parents that I have seen seem to have been raised in low income single parent families, impoverished areas, and have little to no education, or a desire for one. The ones that strain our economy are the ones who feel “owed” some type of repayment for their struggle, or their life choices. They may have not been educated enough to think twice about getting pregnant or using birth control. Maybe the guy is one who sleeps around (there are a lot). None of those instances legitimize being a single parent. Someone who becomes a single parent by choice or not, but works hard to get their children out of poverty by going further in their education, or choses routes that do not put strain on the economy give the single parent title more glory. It is not good to become a single parent and then act like it is someone else’s fault, treat your children poorly, suck funds out of the government for vain reasons, or do nothing to better yourself. First of all a parent, single or not, should put their children first, always try to improve as a human being everyday and teach their kids to do the same, teach morals and respect, and make a pathway for their children to become adults with true character. I have seen parents who are together that treat their children so poorly, saying things like, “I ought to break your neck!” or “I’m ashamed of you!” to their children who are in elementary school. This is terrible. I am a single parent, but my main goals are to grow as a human being, and teach my daughter to do the same. I was wasting my time in a marriage that was unfruitful and I can do much better raising my daughter along than depending on a husband who thinks more about his own needs. I’m sorry that he chooses not to support his daughter, nor has he contacted us in a long time. It’s sad, and like I said I have mixed feelings all the time of guilt, pressure, and more, but I don’t care that much because they are just feelings and thoughts, they are not who I am or what I am made of. I am human and I deal with negativity, but most importantly we have each other and should support each other as a community. We all have our demons, but the children should not be viewed as a burden…they are so innocent and such treasures. Support them and grow them correctly so that we may have a better world. That is my motto.

asia July 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm

True..

Alexander July 14, 2013 at 6:11 am

That`s indeedly an very important topic. But my personal opinion is that every single mother should have a caring and sincere man on her side.

Shondreka July 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Sometimes life throws us and unexpected curve ball.. You’re doing great and will continue to bloom and be strong!! Get more info on single parenting in my book Independently Raising a Man-Thoughts from a Single Mother’s Perspective. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1483987337

earthmother October 5, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Nancy hit the nail on the head at the end , yes she is crazy !!! Crazy because indeed There is no other reason someone would deliberately break up a seemingly average healthy little home and family, except for she was bored and needed drama and trauma. Oh but Nancy’s happy now and thats all that matters in her world. Its all about Nancys happiness !!! Not about the best interest of the family, her husband, the children . They dont have feelings as important as Nancys. There was a time when strong men and women , mothers and fathers kept it together. Yes for the childs sake. Why doesnt anybody applaud that kind of determination, strength and sacrifice any longer???

Rosa October 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm

In direct response to earthmother, I’ve never seen such DETERMINATION, STRENGTH AND SACRIFICE than what I saw in Nancy during her years of marriage. I am Nancy’s older sister and I have to tell you that your response was simplistic and rather hurtful. What she doesn’t tell you in her blog, is that throughout her 13 years of marriage, she made countless efforts to save her marriage. She tried so many times, in so many ways to make her marriage something that it simply was never going to be. Nancy did not just pick up and leave one day. After 13 long years, that decision to end her marriage was one made out of nothing but love for her children and yes, she and both her children are happier and doing fantastic – thank you very much! I dare say that even my ex-brother in law, who still gets invited to family dinners, and comes with Nancy to their kids sporting events etc., is happier! So, turn that comment around and think about what it might be like in someone’s shoes before you take a moment of your time to respond to your next blog.

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