Yes, I am a single mom. I hesitate to use that term because it sounds as though I am completely on my own and the truth is my husband and I have shared custody and he is paying child support so I am not raising the children on my own....but I'm not really sure what else to call myself. I guess I could call myself a happier mom or a reinvented mom. Of course I am "Toni" before I am "Mom" so really I don't want any label.
My husband and I separated at the end of April. The road has been challenging but fortunately my kids are young enough that they don't understand anything and can't take things personally (Jacklyn will be one next week and Sienna is almost 3 and a half). I have been blessed with a wonderful support system-great friends, family, a great therapist, and a wonderful church. I don't hesitate to use these resources when I need them because I know there will come a day when I cam give back to them in their time of need.
The hardest part for me about the separation was setting up the support payments through the state (not because he didn't pay-because I want control over my finances) and agreeing on a schedule for the kids custody. Also, since I'm a stay at home mom, it can get pretty lonely and challenging when I have the children for 3 or 4 days straight without a break and also taking over the finances that my husband was taking care of since we've been married. Oh, and those damn drop off's and pick ups can really be challenging!!
Well, I'm learning to navigate through those obstacles by using my resources. My neighbor is a mommy's helper who is home for the summer and comes over to help me and my friends and family have been a great help as well. I basically have the goal of being happy 70% of the time and let myself off the hook when I'm dwelling on issues too much. It has only been 2 and a half months so I'm still in a big transition period.
At first it was so hard when the girls weren't here and I couldn't kiss their heads while they were sleeping at night but I've learned to really appreciate the moments I spend with them that perhaps I was taking advantage of before.
Life is different, for sure, but everyone has "crap" (it just looks different!) I can either dwell on the crap and feel sorry for myself or I can reinvent my life and take responsibility for the crap I bring to the table (and I do bring crap to the table!) So, don't feel sorry for me. I am doing good and learning a new way of life which on most days I find exciting. I will keep you posted on how things are going!