How do you let go? On shared custody.

by mssinglemama on February 20, 2013

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, dosage treatment malady or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, treatment malady or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, healing or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, treatment malady or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, healing or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

One of the most challenging aspects of single motherhood, side effects or single parenthood, here is adjusting to shared custody.

In many cases, as mine was until recently, you are legally obligated to send your child into your ex-spouse’s home regardless of whether or not your gut instinct is screaming at you that something is just “not right” about a step-sibling in the house or a step-parent or even their biological parent. You, in most cases, have to pack your child’s bag, put him into his or her little car seat and drive them directly into the Lion’s Den. Your child comes home, an emotional wreck. In Benjamin’s case, filthy, hungry and exhausted to boot.

Now, I am a bit jaded–from my own personal ex-experience being so downright awful–but there are obviously many situations that aren’t nearly as bad.  There are dreamy ex-spouses who actually communicate with you for the children’s sake, drop them off on time and pick them up on time. Feed them, clothe them, support them and continue to be a supportive co-parent by always putting the children first. I have yet to meet one of these, but I hear they exist.

So, what do you do when you have no options legally? In my case, it took something actually happening to Benjamin for us to be able to receive full custody with zero unsupervised visits at his father’s home. I can’t get into details, but it has been a harrowing ordeal, to say the least. All of those years my gut instinct was right. I regret ever sending him there. I regret not acting like a mad woman and hiring a fierce attorney to keep him from ever spending the night there. But, I can’t go back in time, only forward… and am relieved that it is over in a sense. No more sharing for this mama.

What advice do you have for each other on surviving the ex hand over? Any coping mechanisms you have learned that you can share with new single moms? Or do you just want to vent.

Do so in the comments. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on this.

{ 83 comments }

A New Relationship: How to Tell the Kids

by mssinglemama on January 13, 2013

Dating a single mom is not like dating a single and childless woman. There are a few differences
Dating a single mom is not like dating a single and childless woman. There are a few differences
My single mama friend called me last night.

“Hey lady, this I really need your advice on something,” she sounded fearful and scared. I thought the worst. Maybe she and her new man were breaking up.

“Charles and I are definitely going to get engaged,” they just know – as Seth and I did- that they are meant to be. And it’s lovely.

“That’s so exciting! I’m so happy for you. So, what’s the problem?”

“He will be moving in with us in December. So, it’s a long ways away, but I’m scared about how to tell Sarah. It’s always just been the two of us. What will it be like? Will she be upset? How did you tell Benjamin?”

She sounded so worried and concerned. Just this fact alone, told me her heart and head were in the right place. If a mother cares that much about her child’s transition into a new relationship, all will definitely be fine. I have met too many mothers over the years who put their relationships over their children. Welcoming, with open arms, ex-boyfriends who abused them or men who cheated on them back into their lives and their child’s lives. It’s upsetting, to say the least.

My friend’s daughter, Sarah, is in Kindergarten. A sweet, quiet, little girl who has never seen her mother with any boyfriend, not even her father. Here was my advice to her:

Read the rest here, on Beauty and the Biker.

{ 32 comments }

Which is worse? Single motherhood or an unhappy marriage?

by mssinglemama on December 9, 2012

Designed by me this time, help inspired by you. 

The new leaf necklaces are upgraded and made with pure sterling silver and 14K gold charms. And from what I can tell, sickness the only jewelry created just for single mothers. We all wear them together and I believe they give us strength and inspiration. Even if we just know that other single mothers are wearing them.

What the charms mean:

The larger leaf – you
The smaller leaf – your child (and you can order extras if you have more than one)
The swallow – freedom from your ex and your past marriage
The heart – the hope in finding new love or having found it

I hope you love these as much as I do. Get your orders in now before Christmas! Shop here in our Etsy shop. 

Also, diagnosis don’t miss Seth’s hand-made leather bracelets for the man in your life. They’re pretty awesome.

Have you been over to Beauty and the Biker yet?

It’s my new blog about blended families after divorce and re-marriage, and I am still doing lots of thrift give aways. Up for grabs now is this cute zebra clutch/wallet.

 Click here and visit the post. Leave a comment and you’re entered to win.

 

 

 
Designed by me this time, help inspired by you. 

The new leaf necklaces are upgraded and made with pure sterling silver and 14K gold charms. And from what I can tell, sickness the only jewelry created just for single mothers. We all wear them together and I believe they give us strength and inspiration. Even if we just know that other single mothers are wearing them.

What the charms mean:

The larger leaf – you
The smaller leaf – your child (and you can order extras if you have more than one)
The swallow – freedom from your ex and your past marriage
The heart – the hope in finding new love or having found it

I hope you love these as much as I do. Get your orders in now before Christmas! Shop here in our Etsy shop. 

Also, diagnosis don’t miss Seth’s hand-made leather bracelets for the man in your life. They’re pretty awesome.

Have you been over to Beauty and the Biker yet?

It’s my new blog about blended families after divorce and re-marriage, and I am still doing lots of thrift give aways. Up for grabs now is this cute zebra clutch/wallet.

 Click here and visit the post. Leave a comment and you’re entered to win.

 

 

 
Designed by me this time, erectile inspired by you. 

The new leaf necklaces are upgraded and made with pure sterling silver and 14K gold charms. And from what I can tell, viagra dosage the only jewelry created just for single mothers. We all wear them together and I believe they give us strength and inspiration. Even if we just know that other single mothers are wearing them.

What the charms mean:

The larger leaf – you
The smaller leaf – your child (and you can order extras if you have more than one)
The swallow – freedom from your ex and your past marriage
The heart – the hope in finding new love or having found it

I hope you love these as much as I do. Get your orders in now before Christmas! Shop here in our Etsy shop. 

Also, doctor don’t miss Seth’s hand-made leather bracelets for the man in your life. They’re pretty awesome.

Have you been over to Beauty and the Biker yet?

It’s my new blog about blended families after divorce and re-marriage, and I am still doing lots of thrift give aways. Up for grabs now is this cute zebra clutch/wallet.

 Click here and visit the post. Leave a comment and you’re entered to win.

 

 

 
Designed by me this time, help inspired by you. 

The new leaf necklaces are upgraded and made with pure sterling silver and 14K gold charms. And from what I can tell, sickness the only jewelry created just for single mothers. We all wear them together and I believe they give us strength and inspiration. Even if we just know that other single mothers are wearing them.

What the charms mean:

The larger leaf – you
The smaller leaf – your child (and you can order extras if you have more than one)
The swallow – freedom from your ex and your past marriage
The heart – the hope in finding new love or having found it

I hope you love these as much as I do. Get your orders in now before Christmas! Shop here in our Etsy shop. 

Also, diagnosis don’t miss Seth’s hand-made leather bracelets for the man in your life. They’re pretty awesome.

Have you been over to Beauty and the Biker yet?

It’s my new blog about blended families after divorce and re-marriage, and I am still doing lots of thrift give aways. Up for grabs now is this cute zebra clutch/wallet.

 Click here and visit the post. Leave a comment and you’re entered to win.

 

 

 
Designed by me this time, erectile inspired by you. 

The new leaf necklaces are upgraded and made with pure sterling silver and 14K gold charms. And from what I can tell, viagra dosage the only jewelry created just for single mothers. We all wear them together and I believe they give us strength and inspiration. Even if we just know that other single mothers are wearing them.

What the charms mean:

The larger leaf – you
The smaller leaf – your child (and you can order extras if you have more than one)
The swallow – freedom from your ex and your past marriage
The heart – the hope in finding new love or having found it

I hope you love these as much as I do. Get your orders in now before Christmas! Shop here in our Etsy shop. 

Also, doctor don’t miss Seth’s hand-made leather bracelets for the man in your life. They’re pretty awesome.

Have you been over to Beauty and the Biker yet?

It’s my new blog about blended families after divorce and re-marriage, and I am still doing lots of thrift give aways. Up for grabs now is this cute zebra clutch/wallet.

 Click here and visit the post. Leave a comment and you’re entered to win.

 

 

 
This is a question I have attempted to address head on in several past posts. But now that I am blogging here less frequently and spending all of my blogging energy on Beauty and the Biker, purchase I wanted to leave a post up for a while that would spark comments and hopefully a vibrant discussion.

So, cure please chime in with your opinion:

Which is worse?

Being unhappily married or being a single mother?

For you? And finally, for the kids?

My answer – as you all may know – is that it is far easier to be a single mother than to be unhappily married. But, everything is relative. I had an emotionally abusive ex-husband who contributed nothing into the relationship. I also only had one child. From where I was sitting, being away from him was the only viable option toward ever finding happiness. I just knew it would never work between us.

There have been studies which have found that children raised in happy homes are happier, regardless of if those homes are one parent or two parent households.

What about you? What are your thoughts on this?

{ 143 comments }

New Leaf Necklaces (the Next Generation)

by mssinglemama on November 18, 2012

Growth. Passion. Love.

Limited Edition New Leaf Jewelry Collection in Pure Sterling Silver.

A new beginning, pharm a new leaf so you can just be… you.

ORIGINAL NEW LEAF ANTIQUED NECKLACE

Now with a new lacquer on the leaves to ensure shine and longevity, ask plus a free eBook of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored with every purchase.

necklace1-1024x682

$38.00 Now only $34.00 + tax + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping) NOTE _ the new batch will not ship until Mid September, these are pre-orders for the latest round of necklaces. Only 50 are available.

SOLD OUT. Sorry! All of the new leaf necklaces are temporarily sold out. I will let you know on the blog when I get them in again.

$8.95 FREE with every New Leaf jewelry purchase

single mom book

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating, Sex and Love. My 120 page eBook is free with every purchase. After you check out wait for the Thank You page to pop up with instructions on how to download your free copy.

bracelet&necklace

The Limited Edition New Leaf jewelry collection in pure sterling silver

About New Leaf jewelry from Ms. Single Mama

The New Leaf jewelry collection represents the growth, passion, love and strength every single mother carries for herself and her children.

The larger leaf represents the mother – finding herself again, the open leaf is ready for a new beginning. Single motherhood can seem like the most daunting and challenging experience a woman can face but if taken on with strength and acceptance of change only good things will come. The smaller leaf represents her child or children.

See pictures of the necklaces worn by my readers here in my New Leaf Necklace photo gallery. And when you buy your own mail your photo to newleafmama@gmail.com and your photo will be added. To watch the original seed of this idea and the reason behind the necklace and charm bracelet watch this video and then this video (in which I actually get a leaf tattoo).

SHOP THE NEW LEAF LIMITED EDITION JEWELRY COLLECTION

[Every purchase includes a free copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating, Sex and Love]

The Pure Sterling New Leaf Necklace

Pure sterling silver – 18” chain

NewLeafNecklace

The Limited Edition New Leaf necklace bracelet in pure sterling silver

Looks SO lovely on the neck.

Looks SO lovely on the neck.

The new sterling silver new leaf necklace is slightly different that the original, in that the open front clasp is now in the back. This ensures the necklace is easy to put on in a rush and the leaves now fall perfectly straight and forward facing, rather than turning – a common issue with the last necklace.

$62.00 Now only $52.00 + tax + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping) < Limited quantities, only 5 remaining and won’t be re-stocking until Christmas 2010 >

SOLD OUT

The New Leaf Charm Bracelet with Two Charms

Pure sterling silver – 7” double link chain (for an 8″ chain enter the request at check out in the note area)

Bracelet2

The Limited Edition New Leaf Charm bracelet in pure sterling silver

Falls beautifully on the wrist with heavy presence

Falls beautifully on the wrist with heavy presence

Made in pure sterling silver, the new leaf charm bracelet is absolutely beautiful with two new leaf charms. Add your own charms to symbolize your growth as a single mother. And if you have more than one child you can also purchase additional small leaf charms. Also keep your eye out throughout the year for more charms from Ms. Single Mama to add to the collection.

$57.00 Now only – $47.00 + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping)

SOLD OUT

 

FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS

Please allow 2-3 weeks for shipping of limited edition pure sterling silver new leaf necklaces. Original, antiqued new leaf necklaces will ship within 7 days.

Growth. Passion. Love.

Limited Edition New Leaf Jewelry Collection in Pure Sterling Silver.

A new beginning, pharm a new leaf so you can just be… you.

ORIGINAL NEW LEAF ANTIQUED NECKLACE

Now with a new lacquer on the leaves to ensure shine and longevity, ask plus a free eBook of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored with every purchase.

necklace1-1024x682

$38.00 Now only $34.00 + tax + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping) NOTE _ the new batch will not ship until Mid September, these are pre-orders for the latest round of necklaces. Only 50 are available.

SOLD OUT. Sorry! All of the new leaf necklaces are temporarily sold out. I will let you know on the blog when I get them in again.

$8.95 FREE with every New Leaf jewelry purchase

single mom book

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating, Sex and Love. My 120 page eBook is free with every purchase. After you check out wait for the Thank You page to pop up with instructions on how to download your free copy.

bracelet&necklace

The Limited Edition New Leaf jewelry collection in pure sterling silver

About New Leaf jewelry from Ms. Single Mama

The New Leaf jewelry collection represents the growth, passion, love and strength every single mother carries for herself and her children.

The larger leaf represents the mother – finding herself again, the open leaf is ready for a new beginning. Single motherhood can seem like the most daunting and challenging experience a woman can face but if taken on with strength and acceptance of change only good things will come. The smaller leaf represents her child or children.

See pictures of the necklaces worn by my readers here in my New Leaf Necklace photo gallery. And when you buy your own mail your photo to newleafmama@gmail.com and your photo will be added. To watch the original seed of this idea and the reason behind the necklace and charm bracelet watch this video and then this video (in which I actually get a leaf tattoo).

SHOP THE NEW LEAF LIMITED EDITION JEWELRY COLLECTION

[Every purchase includes a free copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating, Sex and Love]

The Pure Sterling New Leaf Necklace

Pure sterling silver – 18” chain

NewLeafNecklace

The Limited Edition New Leaf necklace bracelet in pure sterling silver

Looks SO lovely on the neck.

Looks SO lovely on the neck.

The new sterling silver new leaf necklace is slightly different that the original, in that the open front clasp is now in the back. This ensures the necklace is easy to put on in a rush and the leaves now fall perfectly straight and forward facing, rather than turning – a common issue with the last necklace.

$62.00 Now only $52.00 + tax + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping) < Limited quantities, only 5 remaining and won’t be re-stocking until Christmas 2010 >

SOLD OUT

The New Leaf Charm Bracelet with Two Charms

Pure sterling silver – 7” double link chain (for an 8″ chain enter the request at check out in the note area)

Bracelet2

The Limited Edition New Leaf Charm bracelet in pure sterling silver

Falls beautifully on the wrist with heavy presence

Falls beautifully on the wrist with heavy presence

Made in pure sterling silver, the new leaf charm bracelet is absolutely beautiful with two new leaf charms. Add your own charms to symbolize your growth as a single mother. And if you have more than one child you can also purchase additional small leaf charms. Also keep your eye out throughout the year for more charms from Ms. Single Mama to add to the collection.

$57.00 Now only – $47.00 + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping)

SOLD OUT

 

FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS

Please allow 2-3 weeks for shipping of limited edition pure sterling silver new leaf necklaces. Original, antiqued new leaf necklaces will ship within 7 days.

Growth. Passion. Love.

Limited Edition New Leaf Jewelry Collection in Pure Sterling Silver.

A new beginning, price a new leaf so you can just be… you.

UPDATE!!!! 

Buy the new, new leaf necklaces here on our new Etsy Shop. 

ORIGINAL NEW LEAF ANTIQUED NECKLACE

Now with a new lacquer on the leaves to ensure shine and longevity, plus a free eBook of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored with every purchase.

necklace1-1024x682 The original, antiqued metal new leaf necklace

$38.00 Now only $34.00 + tax + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping) NOTE _ the new batch will not ship until Mid September, these are pre-orders for the latest round of necklaces. Only 50 are available.

SOLD OUT. Sorry! All of the new leaf necklaces are temporarily sold out. I will let you know on the blog when I get them in again.

$8.95 FREE with every New Leaf jewelry purchase

single mom book

Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating, Sex and Love. My 120 page eBook is free with every purchase. After you check out wait for the Thank You page to pop up with instructions on how to download your free copy.

bracelet&necklace The Limited Edition New Leaf jewelry collection in pure sterling silver

About New Leaf jewelry from Ms. Single Mama

The New Leaf jewelry collection represents the growth, passion, love and strength every single mother carries for herself and her children.

The larger leaf represents the mother – finding herself again, the open leaf is ready for a new beginning. Single motherhood can seem like the most daunting and challenging experience a woman can face but if taken on with strength and acceptance of change only good things will come. The smaller leaf represents her child or children.

See pictures of the necklaces worn by my readers here in my New Leaf Necklace photo gallery. And when you buy your own mail your photo to newleafmama@gmail.com and your photo will be added. To watch the original seed of this idea and the reason behind the necklace and charm bracelet watch this video and then this video (in which I actually get a leaf tattoo).

SHOP THE NEW LEAF LIMITED EDITION JEWELRY COLLECTION

[Every purchase includes a free copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored: Dating, Sex and Love]

The Pure Sterling New Leaf Necklace

Pure sterling silver – 18” chain

NewLeafNecklace The Limited Edition New Leaf necklace bracelet in pure sterling silver Looks SO lovely on the neck. Looks SO lovely on the neck.

The new sterling silver new leaf necklace is slightly different that the original, in that the open front clasp is now in the back. This ensures the necklace is easy to put on in a rush and the leaves now fall perfectly straight and forward facing, rather than turning – a common issue with the last necklace.

$62.00 Now only $52.00 + tax + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping) < Limited quantities, only 5 remaining and won’t be re-stocking until Christmas 2010 >

SOLD OUT

The New Leaf Charm Bracelet with Two Charms

Pure sterling silver – 7” double link chain (for an 8″ chain enter the request at check out in the note area)

Bracelet2 The Limited Edition New Leaf Charm bracelet in pure sterling silver Falls beautifully on the wrist with heavy presence Falls beautifully on the wrist with heavy presence

Made in pure sterling silver, the new leaf charm bracelet is absolutely beautiful with two new leaf charms. Add your own charms to symbolize your growth as a single mother. And if you have more than one child you can also purchase additional small leaf charms. Also keep your eye out throughout the year for more charms from Ms. Single Mama to add to the collection.

$57.00 Now only – $47.00 + FREE SHIPPING (even free international shipping)

SOLD OUT

UPDATE!!!! 

Buy the new, new leaf necklaces here on our new Etsy Shop. 

FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS

Please allow 2-3 weeks for shipping of limited edition pure sterling silver new leaf necklaces. Original, antiqued new leaf necklaces will ship within 7 days.
Designed by me this time, doctor medicine inspired by you. 

The new leaf necklaces are upgraded and made with pure sterling silver and 14K gold charms. And from what I can tell, the only jewelry created just for single mothers. We all wear them together and I believe they give us strength and inspiration. Even if we just know that other single mothers are wearing them.

What the charms mean:

The larger leaf – you
The smaller leaf – your child (and you can order extras if you have more than one)
The swallow – freedom from your ex and your past marriage
The heart – the hope in finding new love or having found it

I hope you love these as much as I do. Get your orders in now before Christmas! Shop here in our Etsy shop. 

Also, don’t miss Seth’s hand-made leather bracelets for the man in your life. They’re pretty awesome.

Have you been over to Beauty and the Biker yet?

It’s my new blog about blended families after divorce and re-marriage, and I am still doing lots of thrift give aways. Up for grabs now is this cute zebra clutch/wallet.

 Click here and visit the post. Leave a comment and you’re entered to win.

{ 6 comments }

When do you give up on single mom dating?

by mssinglemama on November 4, 2012

I’m bringing it back. But I need your input… click here and chime in.

 

 

 
I’m bringing it back. But I need your input… click here and chime in.

 

 

 
Here’s an interesting question from a Facebook fan. This question, dosage by the way, view could have come from me a few years ago, discount or from many single mom friends I know who are struggling with dating right now.

The question is from Sarah, a dating single mom…

Alright, I’m about to give up! I’ve done the online dating thing. I meet GREAT guys, but none that I click with. They have everything I’m looking for, but there is zero passion and zero chemistry… And it seems like I’m the only one who notices it. The one person I clicked with is separated (which I kinda have a rule about not dating people who are not completely “un-married,” which I broke) and he was really scarred from his marriage.

I ended it because I knew it was doomed – he needed time to heal. I raise my daughter solo (bio dad decided to bail totally 2.5 years ago) and I’m a teacher, so I have no time to go out and hope that Mr. Right will stumble into my life. I feel like I’m a catch (I mean this in the most humble way possible), but I can’t seem to find my soulmate! What gives? Please offer me some advice before I join a convent!

My advice to her… 

1. Keep going if you can.

Dating is tedious and painful and downright annoying sometimes, especially when you are waiting and hanging on for that big spark (rightfully so). But, it can be fun. Hear me out on this one. If dating is not fun for you–change your mindset. It is a chance for you to go out with your friends and meet new people (I recommend group dates on those precious Saturday nights when the sitter’s watch is ticking). It is also a chance for you to get yourself back out there.

2. Date for fun, not to find a husband. Re-align what you expect out of dating.

If your goal in dating is to find “The One” and meet your husband, you may be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Also, you could be coming off as too desperate to the men you do see. When I posted my OkCupid ad–the one Seth found–it said, in no uncertain terms, that I was not looking for a serious relationship. I wanted a person I could trust and have fun with, that could possibly lead to other things. My frame of mind was relaxed and I understood that, for me, dating was fun! And then, BAM, I met him and of course, knew right away he was the end of the line for this mama.

When you do re-align your mindset and define your dating goal in more realistic terms you can’t lose because you end up having more fun. And that’s really what it’s all about. Fun.

3. Remember to date yourself first. 

Dont’ ever forget my old advice to date yourself first. Treat yourself as you would want him to treat you. Read up on an old post I wrote on this subject– would you date yourself?

Other oldie but goodie posts on dating as a single mom. I know these will help:

Hope this helps, my Lovelies. Keep your chins up. And keep yourself out there or take that much needed time to yourself to just re-energize.

 

{ 17 comments }

New Leaf Jewelry

by mssinglemama on October 15, 2012

I’m bringing it back. But I need your input… click here and chime in.

 

 

 

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Did you choose to be a single mother?

by mssinglemama on September 22, 2012

Am I an evil step-mother? I sure feel like one sometimes.

Read about it here. Blending families isn’t easy. We’re tackling some tough issues on the new blog and hoping you can chime in with any advice or encouragement.
Am I an evil step-mother? I sure feel like one sometimes.

Read about it here. Blending families isn’t easy. We’re tackling some tough issues on the new blog and hoping you can chime in with any advice or encouragement.

A while back I asked you, viagra buy 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.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Am I an evil step-mother?

by mssinglemama on September 12, 2012

Am I an evil step-mother? I sure feel like one sometimes.

Read about it here. Blending families isn’t easy. We’re tackling some tough issues on the new blog and hoping you can chime in with any advice or encouragement.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Where to find me.

by mssinglemama on August 31, 2012

Funny how little I care after seeing him in that much pain. Glad it’s gone. Sayonara dead tooth. Too bad. Benjamin worked hard to get those two front teeth in… here is teething at 5-months…

And still… gnawing at 8 months.

Not sure when they finally came in. I didn’t have this blog, cialis 40mg more about no journal – everything was moving so quickly. Sucks. But

These pictures are from the first year at mom’s. Can’t remember the details of the days as much as I can the feelings that surrounded them. Work. More work. Love. Laughter. Heartache. Work again. Frustration. Anger. Rinse and repeat. And then a release… I adapted.

At least, buy more about I like to think that I have. We shall see… have you adapted to single motherhood yet?

Funny how little I care after seeing him in that much pain. Glad it’s gone. Sayonara dead tooth. Too bad. Benjamin worked hard to get those two front teeth in… here is teething at 5-months…

And still… gnawing at 8 months.

Not sure when they finally came in. I didn’t have this blog, cialis 40mg more about no journal – everything was moving so quickly. Sucks. But

These pictures are from the first year at mom’s. Can’t remember the details of the days as much as I can the feelings that surrounded them. Work. More work. Love. Laughter. Heartache. Work again. Frustration. Anger. Rinse and repeat. And then a release… I adapted.

At least, buy more about I like to think that I have. We shall see… have you adapted to single motherhood yet?

Funny how little I care after seeing him in that much pain. Glad it’s gone. Sayonara dead tooth. Too bad. Benjamin worked hard to get those two front teeth in… here is teething at 5-months…

And still… gnawing at 8 months.

Not sure when they finally came in. I didn’t have this blog, cialis 40mg more about no journal – everything was moving so quickly. Sucks. But

These pictures are from the first year at mom’s. Can’t remember the details of the days as much as I can the feelings that surrounded them. Work. More work. Love. Laughter. Heartache. Work again. Frustration. Anger. Rinse and repeat. And then a release… I adapted.

At least, buy more about I like to think that I have. We shall see… have you adapted to single motherhood yet?

Funny how little I care after seeing him in that much pain. Glad it’s gone. Sayonara dead tooth. Too bad though. Especially after all of the hard work Benjamin put into getting them in the first place… here is teething at 5-months… [click to continue…]

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Money, money, money

by mssinglemama on August 20, 2012

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, dosage treatment malady or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, treatment malady or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, healing or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, treatment malady or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

Just in case you were wondering what the cutest boy on Earth looked like inside of a light rail train, healing or whatever Chicago’s CTA is…

here you go.

CTA-2And no, you can not keep him.

One of the most challenging aspects of single motherhood, side effects or single parenthood, here is adjusting to shared custody.

In many cases, as mine was until recently, you are legally obligated to send your child into your ex-spouse’s home regardless of whether or not your gut instinct is screaming at you that something is just “not right” about a step-sibling in the house or a step-parent or even their biological parent. You, in most cases, have to pack your child’s bag, put him into his or her little car seat and drive them directly into the Lion’s Den. Your child comes home, an emotional wreck. In Benjamin’s case, filthy, hungry and exhausted to boot.

Now, I am a bit jaded–from my own personal ex-experience being so downright awful–but there are obviously many situations that aren’t nearly as bad.  There are dreamy ex-spouses who actually communicate with you for the children’s sake, drop them off on time and pick them up on time. Feed them, clothe them, support them and continue to be a supportive co-parent by always putting the children first. I have yet to meet one of these, but I hear they exist.

So, what do you do when you have no options legally? In my case, it took something actually happening to Benjamin for us to be able to receive full custody with zero unsupervised visits at his father’s home. I can’t get into details, but it has been a harrowing ordeal, to say the least. All of those years my gut instinct was right. I regret ever sending him there. I regret not acting like a mad woman and hiring a fierce attorney to keep him from ever spending the night there. But, I can’t go back in time, only forward… and am relieved that it is over in a sense. No more sharing for this mama.

What advice do you have for each other on surviving the ex hand over? Any coping mechanisms you have learned that you can share with new single moms? Or do you just want to vent.

Do so in the comments. Can’t wait to read your thoughts on this.
This blog was always a place for me to share my perspective on dating and relationships. I never touched on the financials of being a single mom. This, hospital capsule in spite of the fact, treat that I recovered from the financial devastation of a divorce while also recovering emotionally.

I now have my own business and am doing quite well when compared to my starting salary after I left my husband–a whopping $8.00 an hour. This is largely due to my hard work but also to smart management of money. Oh, and did I mention child support is not in the equation for Benjamin and I? We had some for a brief time years ago, but now it is intermittent at best.

While at BlogHer 2012 (read my BlogHer post here), I met Emma. She is another successful single mom who told me she was about to start a new blog about managing your finances as a single mom. Of course, I told her what a wonderful idea this was and we got to talking. We spent a few hours together at the hotel bar and I’m sure I’ll never forget her.

One thing about single motherhood that never ceases to amaze me–is you. All of you single moms who are truly kicking ass (emotionally and financially). For the emotional side of things, stay here. Dig through my archives, read them and weep and learn from my experiences. For the financial side of things, turn to Emma and her new blog.

Here’s a guest post she wrote just for Ms. Single Mama readers:

10 Financial Steps to a Rich Life as a Single Mom

It’s no one’s Plan A. But being a single mom does not mean you’re destined for the welfare line, free school lunches for your kids, or living in your parents’ basement.

The first step is to convince yourself that your new life will be one that is full, joyous and financially rich. For some people, it can take a long time to believe. Maybe you’ll have to fake it till you make it (as they say). But nothing is possible unless you can see the end goal.

Here are a few steps to get you going:

  1. Get a grip on how much you you’re spending. I’m a big fan of Mint.com, a free online tool where you plug in all your bank, credit card, brokerage and mortgage accounts to get a snapshot of all your finances.
  2. Get a grip on how much is coming in. Mint will help, but I recommend a visit to your accountant – your tax situation will be very different when compared to when you were married.
  3. Check on your credit score for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. I go into the reasons why in my post here http://www.wealthysinglemommy.com/part-1-screw-up-your-credit-screw-up-your-whole-life-and-your-childrens-lives/  .
  4. Set some short- and long-term goals financial goals. Short-term might be to pay off a credit card bill, build an emergency savings account, or make more than you spend. Long-term include buying a home, saving for your kids’ college, or investing for retirement. [click to continue…]

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