Friday, March 8, 2013

Parenting Alone: You Can Do It!

Many of you know that I went from a well to say the least Bad Marriage to being catapulted into being a mommy of 4 little ones all on my own. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, and quite frankly I would never recommend this path if you were able to in any way avoid it. But often like most challenges in our lives some things happen for a reason.

I have had the awesome experience of budgeting on a shoe string budget even though I worked 3 jobs, I have had my phone turned off, my electricity shut off, oh and the awesome experience of having bill collectors serve me with papers! These believe it or not were minor compared to the fear that encased my daily thoughts on whether or not my children were going to be ok. The fact is when you leave someone as only one person it is a pretty simple straight forward procedure. You leave, you make that decision, and other than having the awkward moments with his or your friends you pretty much get to go with little to no tie's bringing you back.

When you leave with a little one this is a entirely new ball game. You are often required to deal with the other person by law. Rather than getting that clean break you are forced to see each other on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. I have seen couples do this arrangement with ease, respect, and a mutual understanding that it is hard for both. I have experience on the other end of the spectrum, where the other party is not so kind and the exchange was painful, abusive, and fearful for the children.

I have often been asked why or how  and what helped me make the decision to leave. This would seem like a pretty thought out plan to most, and it would be something that other's would even say had been discussed. I can only say that it was more of a "Fight or Flight" scenario. I left with the 4 babies, one German shepherd, and my little sister all shoved in her car. I had not packed clothes, or money, and well it was what had to happen.

Did I think of leaving? Often, to be quite honest, but the same things would hold me back, I didn't believe I was strong enough to leave. Fear was a paralyzing factor, and I allowed it to hold me in a bad situation for a long time. I was so afraid of the unknown that the idea of venturing out was not even realistic. So for those who say "You are so strong" , well I thank you, but the reality is strength was a learned thing for me it did not come to me naturally and to be quite honest I still struggle with it.

There are those moments as a single mom that I wondered if I was spending enough time with the children, felt guilty when I had to work long hours, felt guilty when I had to give them quarter's and dime's for lunch money, felt guilty when I had to hand wash their clothes in our bathroom because the laundry mat was too expensive. But through all of that we became so so close!

Our struggles brought us closer together! My children went from a fully furnished home to a bed in a room of a two bedroom apartment, and a rocking chair. They went from dance, and hockey lessons, to instead going to the park. They went from TV's in every room, to one TV and no cable but a dvd player with only a couple of movies. The fact is they went from a copious amount of things to the basic needs.

What has the loss brought us? Well we still don't have cable, we watch movies together, eat together, talk and hang out together, and we get to know that we can make it through ANYTHING TOGETHER!

So if you are a mommy and find yourself in a bad situation know that you Can Leave! You can Leave! I won't say it will be easy, I promise it will be a struggle, but you will be better off for your choice!