The feeling of realizing that I was a single mom is still fresh. I still remember panicking about how I was going to be responsible for everything around the house. What if something broke and I didn’t know how to fix it? What if something flooded again? (I’ve had several floods). How was I supposed to organize the house that we just moved into a year ago?!
I didn’t know how I was going to take care of my two small children if I was sick or if they were sick and I had no one to help me.
Then the more nefarious thought entered my mind of what if something serious happens to me?! What if I fall down the stairs and I am seriously hurt or I fall in the shower and get knocked unconscious? No one would know!! What would happen to the kids?!
It is so overwhelming to think about all of the things that you are now responsible for once you become a single mom.
It can be really scary to think about all of the jobs that now belong to only you in order to keep your kids world revolving. You alone have to do the chores, the errands, the parenting, and in some cases work full time.
But there are surprising realizations I’ve had that highlight the positives to this scenario.
I know you’re probably looking at me sideways right now because how can going through this intense emotional pain be a good thing?! But when you have children who rely on you for everything and you have to continue to push forward through this pain you will realize positive things about yourself and your scenario.
1. Yes, being responsible for all the things all the time is hard as hell, I won’t lie. Initially you may be stuck in that feeling of overwhelm. Or maybe you’re procrastinating on doing anything major around the house because you used to have someone that would help you with that.
You’ll eventually realize (as I did) that if you don’t do something, it just wouldn’t get done. So I just started doing those things. For example, I wanted to rearrange furniture in the house for about a year and it never got done. So one day I thought well, if I don’t get up and do this now, the furniture will likely stay this way forever because there’s no one else is here to do it.
With that, I moved around a ton of furniture by myself. It was a huge project and honestly, I’m not sure how I didn’t break a wall, the furniture, or myself in the process! But when it was done, I felt SO accomplished!
When you’re a single mom, you’ll do things that you never knew you were capable of. But as hard as these things might be, you’ll feel an amazing sense of accomplishment knowing you were able to do it. It made me feel so good to have made my home feel peaceful and know that I did it.
2. Things break or need to be put together. Guess what? You will have to fix them. Or at least call a professional to fix some of the bigger issues.
My vacuum broke and as small as that is, it was something I normally would have had my ex fix. But I looked it up online to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it and then did it!
Then my bathtub flooded…again. Not only did I have to deal with the cleanup myself but I had to call a plumber and then made an effort to fix it myself. Although I ended up needing a plumber to come back to do the actual work, I was proud of myself for trying!
I also had to figure out how to fix the T.V. when it wasn’t working. I put together a play kitchen for my kids, (all 7,000 pieces!) and although it took me 6 hours, I was incredibly proud of myself for doing something I normally would have written off as something I couldn’t do.
Again it can be really overwhelming when things break around the house or you have to put things together on your own. But the sense of pride you feel knowing you’re learning how to keep your house functioning is so thrilling!
3. You will be the (wo)man of the house. By that I mean you will be the one that has to go check out what went bump in the night. In my case, when my dog starts to go berserk at 2 in the morning, I have to get up and check it out. I hate every second of it because I’m scared myself, but someone has to.
You will have to deal with all financial issues, bills, sales people coming to your door, (yes this still happens!). You’ll be responsible for all insurance changes or issues, doctor and dentist appointments. Anything that maybe you would have let your partner take care of or help out with in the past, you will now have to do them all.
While this isn’t necessarily a positive thing because it is adding more to your plate, please know that you are truly amazing for dealing with all of these things. You’ll be a wealth of information on all the people and things in your house.
4. You can create a routine and schedule that suits you and the kids. I let my kids sleep with me if they wanted to because it made them feel safe and it made me feel better knowing they were right next to me at night. (Nights alone gave me a lot of anxiety). I know not everyone wants to do that and this is merely an example.
But you can wake up and go to bed when you want. You can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner when you want. If you want to have breakfast in bed one day so be it! If you want to chill and watch a movie with your babies in the middle of the day, so be it! You call all the shots.
5. You will become more budget conscious. The second I became a single mom I started budgeting a lot more carefully. Even though nothing changed financially initially for me when my ex and I broke up, I still felt like I had to hoard any money I got to make it last as long as I could. Whether you were budget conscious before you became a single mom you will definitely have a new appreciation and new outlook with money.
6. The pain from your break up comes and goes. I thought after the initial heartbreak of my family not panning out the way I envisioned, that I would be good to go. That I would never look back and feel sadness or pain because I built a thick skin. But sometimes certain memories or things your kids will say will bring that pain and sadness back.
Sometimes things happen as time goes on and it makes you realize the ramifications of your ex not being there anymore and it can make you sad or angry. I remember the feeling I had when I really thought about how my kids would be growing up in a house with no father figure and how that might affect them. It put me in a funk for a couple weeks.
I don’t think the pain ever goes away completely, especially if there are kids involved. But as time goes on you will be able to function through the pain. You’ll hold the pain for yourself and your kids and still make life amazing for them.
Again, although the pain is not a positive part of being a single mom, knowing that you can and will still live your life just shows what a badass you are.
7. You will discover a whole new you. It’s like a rebirth really. I had not given work much thought because I was a stay at home mom and I worked minimal hours to bring in a small amount of extra cash every month. Now that it was just me and the kids I wanted to work but I still wanted to be home with them.
So I started researching options for working at home and I discovered blogging. I have always loved to write. I suddenly had this new desire to do something scary but exhilarating that I never would have done if I hadn’t become a single mom.
You will discover something new about yourself as well. Perhaps its a new hobby you love (or an old forgotten one that you pick up again). Maybe things that you compromised on when you were with your ex are things that you can do now with abandon! Or maybe, like me, you will discover a new way to take care of your family while doing something you love.
What’s Your Biggest Realization?
The biggest realization I had, was how strong I really am. You will be amazed at all of the things you can accomplish that you never thought you could. The things you relied on someone else to help you with, are now things you can do in your sleep.
When that pain fades, you will be a rock star mom. You will run the errands, do the chores, take care of the kids, work, and do all the other things on your plate. You’ll discover yourself again. And ya know what? The new you is pretty freakin awesome.
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