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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so…i went to dinner by myself

One evening recently, I had the opportunity to go to dinner by myself. A few things fell through and I had someone looking after the kids so I took advantage of it.

Going to dinner by yourself is weird. BUT I am a bit used to it because I used to travel frequently for work and when you do that, you get accustomed to going to dinner by yourself. And in all honesty, I enjoy it. I can read whatever I want to on my phone. I can watch whatever I want on TV (if I’m in a sports bar) and I can order whatever food or drink I want without fearing the ping of remorse (aka – I order more to drink than my guest does) or the guilt of too many calories (until I put on my pants the next morning).

So I found recently that I had the opportunity to go to dinner by myself and I took advantage of it. And it was glorious.

Before I go further, I want to clarify a few more truths about traveling for work. When we’re traveling, we pack our days full so that we can get home as soon as possible. So when we sit down on a plane, it’s usually our first time to actually sit for more than 30 minutes without having to be lectured at, sold to or listened to. We enjoy silence. Why do you think that BOSE and Sony have sold so many ‘noise canceling’ headphones? This is our downtime, sometimes our only downtime before we get home to a house that needs to be cleaned in addition to our work and in addition to the lunches that have to be made and clothes that have to be laundered and folded before 7 am after a midnight arrival flight. That’s a small picture into a travelers’ life.

That’s what I’ve been used to for YEARS. And I’ve been okay with it. I actually miss it. Because it was quiet. And I don’t have quiet now.

I have mixed emotions about not having quiet now. Quiet to me, now, means being an adult…not having to be responsible for anyone but me. And choosing whether or not to be quiet or loud…having the choice to be quiet because I usually don’t have the choice.

But the lack of ‘quiet’ also means that my kids aren’t there and they bring me such joy. My little redhead thinks that the louder she is, the more she’ll get, (and she’s kind of correct because the boys hate to hear her ‘upset’ cries) and the boys are just loud, and honestly, even when I try to whisper, I’m loud, so they get it naturally.

It’s sometimes hard to find a balance between ‘full-house’ loud and ’empty-house’ quiet. But I’m trying so darn hard.

Back to my ‘alone’ date.

I was flirted with. And it felt darn good, even though I ignored the flirting after smiling about it.

Then after sitting at the bar for a little while and enjoying my quiet, a little old man sat next to me.

I was trying to find my ‘quiet’ and this man kept trying to strike up a conversation so I went with it. I talked and talked and talked after he talked and talked and talked. I was once again reminded about how perspective was really the key to dealing with any situation.

God was trying to remind me that my issues are small in comparison to others. And I think that God was reminding me of this because he knows how I am ‘wired’ and that will help pull me out of the ‘down’ mood that I could potentially be in, considering I found out today that my soon-to-be-ex-husband is STILL playing hockey with the ugly-soul that he cheated on me with.

This man, at dinner, (a man older than my father) opened up and shared with me that his wife of 42 years passed away about 18 months ago from breast cancer. Which is exactly what my mom beat, twice. He shared that he was so lonely on his acreage of land and missed his wife so much, that he was having a hard time coping with the silence. So he would drive to the restaurant once or twice a day to have dinner and talk with strangers just to avoid the silence. The one thing that I wanted and craved. And after his talk, I didn’t crave it so much.

I still have a hard time going to bed alone, even though the lack of ‘ridge‘ is making it easier to cope. 🙂 But I would much rather know that I have the opportunity to make a better life for my three kids and myself than to deal with an Irish Idiot that just wants to be single and date ugly, soul-less people…and that I have YEARS to do this, rather than being almost eighty years old coping with the loss of love.

This man went on and on about his wife and how marriage is difficult but when you work through the difficult stuff the good times seem so much better. And that when you’re working through the difficult times, the issues seem SO much bigger than they really are but once you commit to toughing it out, you realize it really wasn’t that bad.

I wish my husband could talk to this man. But I doubt it would have changed anything. His mom raised him to think that he could drop and run to her if life got tough for him because she would lie for him, cover up his mistakes, even to her husband (my husband’s father), and fix everything for him and his three brothers. When that has been instilled in you year after year for a lifetime, it’s hard to want to actually be an adult and work through problems.

Back to my story.

I was feeling so bad for this little old man, and then…a ‘woman-friend’ and her daughter came in, clearly an unexpected arrival, and they stole him away…and good for him. He was looking for companionship and he got it. I hope to be that open to things one day. Not looking for anything more…not looking for more relationship…not looking for more than someone to talk to…someone to give attention. Good for him. It was awesome watching someone be so open to possibilities in life.

And it gave me hope and made me smile about the reality of life.

Life is like a box of chocolates…you never know what you are going to get.

my kids are a little nutty – mid-week motivation

All I can do is laugh

I’ve said it before so forgive me for repeating myself but I love to laugh! This is the last week before school starts which means that by this point in the summer I’m driving my boys nuts and my boys are driving me nuts and my little redhead has entered the terrible two’s early. So at this point, all I can do is laugh because I’m an ugly crier so I try to choose to laugh.

Lately it seems like every time I turn around the kids are doing something that makes me question my sanity or laugh. The choices that they’ve made this week have me wondering if I’ve taught them anything or if they just decided to turn their ears off all summer.

So I thought that I would put my week to meme’s to give you a chance to laugh. Your kids may have been able to top these but I thought I that I would share so that you could commiserate with me or laugh with or at me. This stuff really happens…unfortunately on a regular basis, in my household.

The last 7 days with my kids…in meme’s