11 reasons why i’m loving being a single mom

I absolutely hate the situation that I’m in but there’s not much I can do about it. My husband acted like a child and ran off because the only other option meant that he would’ve had to commit to hard work, which he seems to be allergic to. Even his father knew he could never commit to anything long term – I wish that had sunk in for me years ago when he told me what his dad had said…but, shoulda, coulda, woulda.

So, all I can do is make the best of the situation that I’m in.

Get ready for a really long sentence…

There are days that are really tough, more like exhausting, being a single mom to three little mini-me’s. My biggest struggles include getting my own stuff done including work and drink my coffee before it gets cold, when I have to spend 20 minutes convincing them to get out of bed, drive them to hockey six days a week and karate two days a week, listen to the little redhead throw temper tantrums when I won’t let her crawl back into the womb when I’m trying to make dinner for four people and make lunches at the same time and won’t hold her, convincing my oldest that he should actually try to get his homework done on his own without copying it from his friends on the bus, return calls to the school clinic because my oldest (fill in the blank because they see him on a weekly basis for something this year and they already know how dramatic he is), calm my youngest son’s temper when something has really frustrated him, fold and put away everyone’s clothes, change sheets on everyone’s bed, pay bills, clean the house, listen to my kids friends tell me that I need to clean my car (whatever dude – maybe I do that on purpose to minimize how often I have more than my three in the car 🙂 jk), and then actually try to have a personal, adult life in the extra five minutes before I get some sleep…all on my own, without an ounce of care from my soon-to-be-ex as to what he’s done to me emotionally or financially. He’s never offered any help with anything…hasn’t even offered to mow my lawn or even bring the key back to me for our lawnmower. Glad he is happy because that’s what’s important, right?? Not doing the right thing…nope, I’ve learned that he’s incapable of doing that.

And yes, my boys father does have them a little less than half of the time, but those are the days that I am able to get the grocery shopping done and other errands that really are no fun to begin with, let alone add three kids to the trip.

BUT…

Even with all of that said, I’ve had some REALLY great moments in the past couple of months – things that have made my upcoming divorce tolerable. I’ve lived so much ‘life’ in the past four months and it’s all shown me just how much I really have to be thankful for.

So here are 11 reasons why I’m loving being a single mom:

1. I’ve been able to really appreciate how awesome my kids are because I have all of my attention focused just on my kids and not an overly dramatic grown child.

My oldest has really shown me how much he is able to step up to the plate. Tonight he even wrote out seven post it notes, that he stuck to his closet door, giving himself a checklist of things to do in the morning including “help mom with the little red-head.” And he told me that he didn’t want me to set any alarms, that he was going to wake up with his alarm and then wake me up after he got a few things done so that I can sleep longer. #luckymom

2. I’ve never laughed so hard at the kids making each other laugh. AND, I’ve realized how funny they really are. We have been able to quote movies together, be silly, joke together, and playfully tease each other all without hearing my soon-to-be-ex complain that he thought that they were being disrespectful to me and him.

3. I’ve accepted that there is no norm anymore so it’s allowed me to be more flexible with our free time. I’ve stopped planning ‘stuff’ to fill our free time together and allowed the kids to help guide the day based on compromise between everyone’s wishes not just the adults wants and needs.

4. I’ve learned how to appreciate the extra five minutes I have every day and just sit and relax…and not do anything. I even allowed myself to take a nap when my little girl did this past weekend and it was glorious! I make the most of every minute, almost every day, and it’s been nice to just relax and do nothing when I have a little bit of free time, without feeling guilty.

5. My friendships have really grown. I’ve learned to be more honest with how I’m really feeling. My life isn’t ‘picture perfect’ and friendships have grown deeper because they’ve felt more comfortable ‘laying it all out there’ because, as you’ve read, I haven’t shied away from ‘going deep’.

6. My house is tidy almost all of the time…for the first time in 3.5 years! It’s so nice to have empty countertops again every night when I go to bed! I no longer have to pick up after a sloppy, grown man-baby and I get to run the house like I want!

7. I’ve had to perfect my organizational skills and scheduling skills and I love these two types of tasks so I’ve really enjoyed this. I have no choice but to be on-point with my schedule and the kids so I’ve had fun using my calendar app and my dry-erase calendar board. (I know – lame – but I love it!)

8. I get to watch as much reality TV as I want when I have time. This is simply glorious and probably one of my favorite things.

9. I don’t have to get anyone’s ok on anything any longer. I get to choose the restaurant, I get to select the meals for the week, I decide what movie is rented…all me.

10. I’m not dependent on anyone’s schedule any longer (other than the kids, obviously). I don’t have to ok plans for the weekend anymore…I get to just say yes, without hearing someone whine that they only want to work on a Jeep that was a complete waste of money.

11. I have a feeling of peace and calm when I go to bed every night, in the middle of my bed. My days are far from perfect, but I have quickly learned that my happiness is all on me…if I want to laugh then I need to find a way to make myself laugh, if I want to complete a project then I have to get my behind in gear to do it…it’s all on me now and I’ve found the drive within me because I had no other choice. And I amaze myself each day…and I’m loving it.

Change isn’t easy for anyone, I don’t care who you are. It’s how you deal with it that makes all the difference in the world. If you are faced with the daunting world of divorce or single-parenthood, just take each minute as it comes. I wouldn’t even recommend taking on the day, in the beginning…focus on the minutes first then graduate to getting to lunch, then getting to dinner and before you know it, each day will be a joy and each week won’t be as tough as it used to be. If you have a rough day, guess what?? You get to start fresh the next day and try it again. And the kids will see your strength – I promise.

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sleeping in the middle of the bed

Last night I did something that I’ve never done before…or at least in the last 13 years. I slept in the middle of my bed. That may not sound like a big deal to some but to a girl getting ready to go through a divorce that she doesn’t want…it was a big deal because I enjoyed every second of it and it was something that only I was able to enjoy.

My Bed

I have an incredible bed – it’s very cozy and the duvet makes it that much more luxurious to climb into each night. My husband and I picked the bed out about 18 months ago and I can say it’s one of my favorite purchases that I’ve ever made.

When two people sleep in a bed, night after night, there are natural indentations that occur over time, which started to happen shortly before my husband moved out. And my OCD self gets annoyed at the ‘ridge’ that has started to form in the center. Maybe I’m too detail oriented but it annoys the heck out of me so last night I decided to start sleeping in the middle of the bed to even it out.

Sleeping in the middle of the bed last night was also after I took a few hours yesterday to pack up all of the Irish Idiot’s stuff that was in our bedroom. I TOOK BACK MY ROOM! It made crawling into my amazing bed that much more glorious.

My Sanctuary

And maybe some of you will understand this and some won’t but I don’t even let the kids in bed with me…because my bed is a sanctuary to me. I love them, but their beds are sufficient, I share everything else I have with them including food off of my plate and bathroom trips (because they can’t wait a minute to ask a question) so keeping my bed to myself is my one way to enjoy peace and solitude…even if that’s just when I’m asleep.

The Irish Idiot’s actions have caused a ripple effect and I’m having a hard time trusting people that make promises to me. Lately, I tend to doubt that promises will be fulfilled and that people will actually step up to the plate. The silver lining is that when people do fulfill their promises, I get even more excited and happy than I would have six months ago. With that said, I know very well that it will be a long time before I want to even think about relationships and marriage and having a husband in that bed; I want to enjoy every penny that I spent on that bed. So I want to even it out and make it ‘mine’, all mine. Because it’s okay to focus on what I, alone, want sometimes, and I’m learning how to do it again.

So when I walked into my bedroom yesterday afternoon, I forced myself to look at the room through different lenses…lenses that focused on my new life. I’m going to make this bed all about me and all about what I want and no one else gets to have an opinion. I get to sleep in the middle of my bed without having to share it with anyone. I get to enjoy the solitude and luxury ALL.ON.MY.OWN. And when I looked at it that way, I was excited to go to bed last night.

For the first time in weeks, I didn’t go to bed with my laptop in bed with me. For the first time in weeks, I didn’t have clothes that I needed to fold, laying on the Irish Idiot’s side of the bed. For the first time in weeks the Irish Idiot’s side of the bed was reclaimed as mine…and no one else’s. This is MY bed. MY life. MY future.

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My New View

Ever since my life spiraled out of control a couple of months ago when I found out I had been cheated on, I’ve been looking at things in my home, heard our favorite songs, drove past restaurants that we went to, remembered places that we enjoyed going to, as tortuous. Things that I will never have again with the one person that I loved with everything that I have. And because he’s gone, I had begun to focus on those great experiences never being in my life again. It’s painful not just because the love of my life is gone but also because I didn’t want it to be gone and I have to come to grips with it and it’s been hard to want to do that.

Last night, though, I made a choice to accept what was gone and look forward to what is coming because I know that it’s going to be great. And I no longer have to share my ‘greatness’ with a selfish idiot that took me for granted.

I get to choose who is in my life, my children’s lives…my ‘bed’, and I don’t have to share any of it with anyone unless I make that choice. That’s a pretty big concept to digest but also a pretty freeing concept to enjoy.

So last night I got to sleep in the middle of my bed. My king-sized bed. All by myself. And I was able to spread out, toss and turn, take all of the covers…all by myself.

It was simply amazing.

I encourage all of you to enjoy doing something today, even something small, for no other reason than YOU want to enjoy it. Whether it’s downloading your favorite song from 1996 and forcing your kids to listen to it in the car simply so you can relive the best summer of your life, or it’s watching an entire Gator football game in a few weeks because that’s your favorite team to cheer on, or putting the kids to bed 15 minutes early so that you can read…do it.

Just do it.