Just became a single mom

Nicole - posted on 06/29/2010 ( 37 moms have responded )

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How do I do this? Balance everything, school, my kids, work, myself? I am wondering if I really can do this without my ex. I know I am not the only one out there like this and women do it alone all the time but please I could use the help!

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Candice - posted on 06/29/2010

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well, for the first littlw while, you just do it because you have to. You manage, somehow. You may be sloppy about it, your house may not be the cleanest, you may forget some things, but you do it. But after a while, you figure out a routine, you get in the groove, and you realize how strong you are...then you sit back and look at what you've accomplished BY YOURSELF! and wow, what a feeling!

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Sherri DiChiara - posted on 03/28/2013

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Give it time....it will all fall into place...If you think about it he may not have been all that much help. He may have made more work. I found I had only my kids to worry about and bedtime was our time then my time,with no one to entertain or do more work for. I'm not saying there aren't men that help....I'm saying to think about the beauty part of it..... You never know what you had until it's gone???? Maybe you think you know what you want until you have it..... You and your kids will form an amazing bond and a solid routine.

Paula - posted on 04/02/2011

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Just hang in there, with time you will become a expert at juggling everything on your own. I am single mom of two boys one with autism and I do it all, actually don't have a choice. The dads end up with all the freedom in the world and we have to be both mom and dad. You can do it, just have to prioritize. HUGS

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I still recall when i first became a single mom, no longer had half the rent half all bills and no support whatsoever.

Honestly i sat down and looked at all expenses.
Regarding my daughters school i became aware that there was an onsite daycare which had scholarships for parents who make in a ballpark range and i did qualify since i no longer had that additional income from the other parent.

You would be surprised at the things you can get help on.. Check with your specific state because you might qualify for help even with rent and things like that.

Remember always to give time to yourself as well, it doesnt have to be a day at the spa (but simple pleasures such as bath and candles relaxing) which will ususally take place when your child is asleep :)

i asked for help from family and when ppl offered to help or take my child for a day at first i was scared having to use a babysitter .. but i learned to trust that i was a phone call away and eventually learned to breathe again..

have a support system in place people to lean on and use this community, i wasnt aware of it when i became a single mom and i wish i had the advice from other moms here is so great and the people are wonderful!

Good luck and i'm sure you and your family will do well

best wishes to you :)

Gretchen - posted on 03/30/2011

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I'm in the same situation Nicole. My husband left 3 weeks ago. I'm now left with a 17 year old daughter and a 14 year old son who are very angry with their father. None of us had a clue he was even thinking about leaving. He is a school teacher and provided alot of the "child care" because of his work schedule. I also wonder if I can do this without him.

Gretchen - posted on 03/30/2011

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I'm in the same situation Nicole. My husband left 3 weeks ago. I'm now left with a 17 year old daughter and a 14 year old son who are very angry with their father. None of us had a clue he was even thinking about leaving. He is a school teacher and provided alot of the "child care" because of his work schedule. I also wonder if I can do this without him.

Destinee - posted on 07/17/2010

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Just hang in there, everything works out, Mommies are Super Heros!!

Honestly you will come to find in time that it is easier alone then in a bad relationship!! You will look back and wonder what you were even affraid of.

Ruby - posted on 07/16/2010

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Hi Nicole! Being a single mom is challenging but very rewarding. I got pregnant at 19 while enrolled full time in college and working 30 hours a week. At first I was extremely overwhelmed. I cut back on a couple of my classes and added yoga to my schedule. A very rewarding change for my hectic schedule.
Luckily I was able to take my son to work with me. I had little to no support from family or friends because everyone was shocked that I chose to keep my baby.
Now he is 17 years old and an amazing young man. Just remember when times get tough, take a minute to yourself and breathe deeply! This helps me to put the little things into perspective!

Brandy - posted on 07/13/2010

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Its hard to find a balance but you can do it, just take a step back and figure out a schudle that will work best for you and stick too it. Ive been a single mom since the day my son was born and hes about to be two and I can tell you there will be days you just feel like breaking down or pulling out all your hair because your doing twice the work, But you will get through it, I promise.

Hannah - posted on 07/13/2010

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It is difficult at the start to balance everything. it took me weeks to realise i dont need a partner to be happy and survive this place, it can help sometimes but my kids and i are better off on our own. i have help from my family and friends and some volunteer places like st vinnies. as the others have said take littles steps each day and you will cope. then everything will fall into place. good luck

LaShuntala - posted on 07/13/2010

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I've been doing it alone for the past 3 years of my son's life (he'll be 4 in a couple of months). It didn't start out that way, actually, his father was there in body but not in spirit. It was as if he emotionally disconnected himself from what was going on around him. It's definitely not easy working full-time, finding time to work out,cooking, cleaning, and most importantly, being mommy! My family is a BIG help to me by giving me breaks when I have to go grocery shopping. Now this is not every day, but when I do get the break, it is very nice. I did find out how good my friends were. So hang in there, keep your head up and just know, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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If you're anything like me, you were already doing it by yourself while you were married/common law! Family and friends will see that you need help as a single mom and you might get more freedom than you had before like I have. When you're married people assume that your partner is helping but sometimes when the relationship isn't good it sucks more energy from you than doing everything yourself does. Give it time and if you need help ask for it from family, friends, single mom support groups, neighbours whoever you can find. People are kind for the most part and will help you if you need it. Just ask, people may not always offer for fear they may offend you aka the single mom pity but if you divide the tasks no one is depended on too heavily.

Dawn - posted on 07/11/2010

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Just remember that it'll all work out in the end! Kids grow up in spite of us not because of us. They will be fine and so will you. Take time for yourself every now and again to have adult conversation and don't be afraid to let other people sort your kids out if you are having a bad day. Just had that experience tonight and it was such a help. You are not perfect and neither are they! Love them, discipline them and be there for them. You are a mom. THEN take time to be you!!!!! You cannot deal with kids 24/7 if you don't have time for you. I mean this from the bottom of my heart. You will not cope if you don't just take time to be a grown up! Been there, done that. Gave my life for my kids and shame poor them etc etc. Only now do I realise that I cannot do without some adult time. It keeps me sane and grounded. Then it's so much easier to enjoy the kids.
Good luck and God Bless.

Brittany - posted on 07/11/2010

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I have done it all! School, work and my son along with play dates and trying to have a social life myself without my family! You can do it! The best way to go about it is to makea schedule for the kids and yourself. Hopefully you and your ex have a schedule of times that the kids are going to see him so that you can get a break and do the errands that you need too. I do everything that I need to on the weekends that my son is gone! When it comes to cleaning and that type of stuff, get the kids to help! My son is only 2 but he loves to help me clean up and wash clothes! Another thing I found to be helpful is to clean one room of my house a day and that way I never have to clean the whole house all at once! I take everything one at a time and day by day...Try dropping off your kids an hour early at the babysitters so that you can get your homework done on campus.... Naps when you can help with the loss of sleep! Doing something that you enjoy when the kids are gone will help you to feel better about yourself too!!! Good Luck!

Deb - posted on 07/09/2010

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find balance...it is amazing how u survive this just keep talking to your kids and being there take each day as it comes to you ..i found keeping routine for the kids and structure the best and five years on we are doing fine financially stuffed but emotionally all happy ...hang in there girl......

Diana - posted on 07/08/2010

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You know I thought the same thing when I became a single mom. I felt like I could never do anything because I didn't want to burden anyone with watching my kids, but let me tell you this is not the case. It takes a community to raise a child. When you start to feel overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help. I realized that as soon as I was willing to ask for help things got easier. I also realized that as my kids got more independant things got easier. Try looking for a local play group and befriend some of the other moms and you guys can all take turns watching each others kids. Remember that it's important for you to take care of yourself too. Also this phrase works for me when I start feeling like I can't take it or like I'm going to blow up from the stress I say to my kids "mommy needs a time out right now." Then I go to a room away from the noise and stress and close the door for a minute and take some deep breaths maybe scream into a pillow for a second and then come out and i'm able to start over with what needed to be accomplished. Take Time for YOU! That is very important. You can do this!

Jacquee' - posted on 07/08/2010

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Ok. First you pray and pray again whter you are religious or not, prayer gives you peace that surpasses all understanding and being a single mom, PEACE is key within your own mind. Now I'm not trying to make you all religious, for that is only the first step. Once you find your peace and gain strength from it, you need a plan - a schedule for everything and go through a couple of different options before settling on one in particular. Once you have a schedule, you will be able to keep everyone, including yourself on track. Before you know if you will be wondering when did I get here and HERE is a great place to be. You are right, we single moms are doing it everyday. Sometimes we need a break once the little ones have gone to bed and we can reflect on grown up things. For now, just get a grip on things so nothing and no one gets out of hand! Including you. Oh yeah, your ex needs to know the new rules of the house that you are putting into place and he needs to follow them as well. What ever agreements you make with him, put them in writing and have everyones signature notarized. After child support hearings, I am so glad I did this cause hear say is a bad thing to rely on. YOU WILL BE FINE AND WE ARE ALL HERE FOR YOU! BE STRONG MY SISTER!!!

Frances - posted on 07/08/2010

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Nicole - of course you can do it! Be kind to yourself. Take one day at a time. Ask for help when you need it and accept it when it is offered. Each day will have its ups and downs but be guided by the knowledge that you and your kids are moving towards better things. There are many of us who have shared that sense of panic and come through the other side! Best wishes and bonne courage!

Bonnie - posted on 07/08/2010

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I had a hard time at first because I don't have reliable support from anyone. I just learned to be very organized with my week days as they are the hardest. Weekends were a breather because I didn't have tp get up for work.
I tried my best to enjoy those little moments, like when I got a hug for no reason, and used them to help push me through the tougher times.
Not sure of their ages. Mine was too young to really ask questions so I was saved from that part.

Carina - posted on 07/08/2010

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It is not easy, and it will take some time to work it out, but you will find your 'balance' soon enough. I dont know if it is possible to actually balance everything realistically, in an ideal world maybe.... I find that i have become very good at 'choosing my battles' and prioritising. What do the kids NEED becomes the most important part. Having trustworthy people in your life makes a difference too. Filter very very carefully. Your kids will grow and situations will change, as soon as you have got one thing worked out, its history and another will come up. I find it best to just roll with it. Dont get me wrong, i am a strict mother. I am particular and know where my kids are at all times. Routine helps wonders with the time frame part of the balance. When the kids were younger [they are now 17 and nearly 16] I had personal time out for 2 hours nearly every day. I went to the gym and did a slow workout. It gave me mental space away from the world, and there was a great childminding at the gym that they enjoyed, so it worked out well. It also meant that we enjoyed our time together as a family when we all had activities outside of the work/school life. I guess it was about my sanity time, so that I could focus the rest of my time on the kids and work. Ultimately I give up a LOT for my kids, so the little bit i have for myself i make sure i enjoy. In more recent years I have built a lead-lighting workshop in the back yard - i can be home and still have my time out. Its just working out what YOU can do.
As far as doing this without your ex - if the realtionship fell apart, then the kids will be doing better by not being in a strained atmosphere, which is more beneficial than being in it.
I teach pschological education in schools. My programs include children who are from split families. 'Statistically' these children are more likely to fail. I am not trying to alarm you here, rather, forewarned is forearmed. Their education gives them options in life, so in the prioritising, make sure it is kept near the top of the list. Reading together can be a great way to bond and also improve their literature skills at the same time.
Ultimately, patience is the key. Good friends make it better, and remembering to laugh makes everything possible. Good luck :)

Beverly - posted on 07/08/2010

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I tell ya one thing...your ex could become your greatest Ally. Try to form a friendship with him because not only is that best for the kids ( personal experience) but it can really help you out in a pinch. If I new what your custody arrangements were I could tell you more but based on what mine are...where he gets them every other weekend...thats huge as I have the weekends they are gone to do any cleaning or having my "me" time!! Don't freak if the house isnt as clean as you would like...as long as the kids have clean clothes and food on the table every night...they will be just fine. Also when you really just need a break...Call up the ex...say I need a break can you come get them but please dont do that for a date...use your "off" weekends for that as if he is a jerk he can use that against you in the future...play it safe with using him on times its not his but its not totally out of the question either just depends on if he is going to play nice or not. Get Family and Friends to help you as much as you can...never any shame in asking for help...I am sure your family will understand! Dont worry about the perfect routine...you gotta learn to be flexible as things wont always work out perfectly...Breathe in deep every day...take it one day at a time..You will be fine!!

Pat - posted on 07/08/2010

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Three years ago yesterday I became a widow with an 11 yr. old son. My huband died suddenly. It' a hard balance (especially the first year) but rely on your friends for help and most of all, MAKE GOD YOUR BEST FRIEND! I wouldn't be where I am today without Him! Also, be good to yourself..take time to do your nails, read, bubble bath, buy something especially for you.

Michele - posted on 07/08/2010

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You Can Do this!! It won't always be easy, but it depends on your level of dedication! I am a single Mom, my ex live less than 20 Min. away, and I'm lucky if I can get him help me out more than once a month for anything! I've given up on getting any help from him, so I've dedicated myself to getting it done alone! It's really stressful sometimes, and I just want to scream, but my 15 year old daughter is a straight A Honor Student, and excels in schools sports and comp. Softball 11 months out of the year! It is possible to succeed, you just have to want to do it, and don't be afraid to ask for help now and again from family or friends! GOOD LUCK and Hang in there!

MaMa - posted on 07/07/2010

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Find wonderful hobbies and interests you can do at home when trying to relax or when you have the opportunity to break away! I've been a single parent from day one ... I have loads of info. to offer ... it's not easy, but it is definitely worthy and duable!

J** - posted on 07/07/2010

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There are many different things that are available to you, you just have to really look for them. I am a single mom and as JuLeah said, I was doing it alone all along. I am not sure where you live but in my city, they have mommy's day out programs, help with childcare, and ymca is another great tool as they go by income. The trick to it all is Balance and having a schedule. Once you have that, things roll easily.

Tammy - posted on 07/07/2010

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I tend to agree when it gets to this point where you find yourself now doing it alone, you probably have been for quite some time already. Take it one day at a time and have faith in yourself. The kids will be your reason to keep going. Your friends and family are going to be of great help to you right now and don't be afraid to ask for help. I know for me personally it was scary at first but really the relief I had once I was out of a not so good situation ended up being very liberating for me.

Amber - posted on 07/07/2010

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I used to get told all the time "I don't know how you do it" with a job, going through college, single mom of four kids, it could be a struggle.
At the beginning, my answer to that statement would have been "I don't really have a choice" but after a while, I got in the groove.
I put a sign up at my house that says "Please excuse the mess, my children are making memories" There were inspirational books and quotes, and poems that somehow would push me to do what i didn't think I could do. Then, of course, there were those people, who loved me when I wasn't very lovable. Those people are in your life, you'll find them.
Things got easier for me, we adjusted, and as I finished school, I really was able to offer my children more. It's not always easy, and there were those nights that I went to bed thinking "I can't do this anymore" and then woke up the next morning and did it all again because, well I didn't have a choice. Those mornings got further and further apart, and life started to happen, not just for me, but for the kids. Watching my kids soccer games became much more important than a clean house, and because I put those things first, their self esteem increased, and they became kids with pride.
You can do this, you are strong enough. You are a beautiful and intelligent woman, don't let anyone, especially yourself, tell you any different.
Your friend,
Amber

Nicky - posted on 07/07/2010

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Just like all the others said, take it one day at a time and forget about all the other things you used to worry about like a clean house and new toys and that everything has to be on a 100% scedule.
I used to be a single mom and even though it was hard, it really was easier without my ex there. Now you don't have to worry about him anymore, how to please him, how to not to fight in front of the kids and all the extra stuff, that comes with having a partner. Focus on your kids and on yourself, so both of you won't come short. Friends and family are hopefully there to support you and it will get easier as time goes by... I promise! And if another realtionship comes, later on, you know you don't need to depend on him and that gives you a better start because the guys usually treat you better when they can not be 100% sure about you and know you can do it by yourself. Just don't forget about yourself either. The kids will learn that mommy needs some me time too and should not give you a problem after a while. At first they get rougher and harder to control until you all adjust to the situation but as everybody said before... it WILL get better and easier! Have faith in yourself and I am sure you will make it.

Lisa - posted on 07/07/2010

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Congratulations you have made a huge step and yes it is hard but it does get easier. The kids are your focus I know been there but you need to remember to take care of yourself. You may put yourself last but it does not help believe me. Just taking a bath and relaxing in the tub can help you so much. I know you probally do not have alot of time but even if it is a few minutes you take for yourself in the day maybe watch your favourite show go for a walk or read a book. I am here alone my family in another country but I have found some amazing friends and neighbours. I went out into the community and found what they had to offer from food banks to activities. Yes asking for help is not easy but it does get easier and not everyone says no. Trust in yourself you are the best advocate for your family no one knows you better. You are strong you made this change you are a great role model for your kids. If you ever need to vent contact me I will help if I can.

Joelle - posted on 07/06/2010

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IT is HARD!! but you cant lose your head and you cant let ur emotions get in the way at all you need to show how strong of a person you are to your children. im a single mom and i was going to school and working when my son was just a few months old i hardly had the help from my family to watch him couldnt afford childcare and i had a hard hard time my grades dropped i quit my job i manageds to get my degree and im still struggling cant find a job where i have family or friends to help me babysit and every day i think of how beautiful and smart and loving my child is to me that i know i do the right thing by not letting my struggles get in the way of how i love him .. i take plently of deep breaths... its hard when you may miss the other helping hand but sometimes you realize they get in your way more then they have helped once you get a routine going you will be amazed at what you can accomplish on your own.

Margie - posted on 07/06/2010

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It's not easy, by any means but it is doable. At first concentrate on the kids and you and what your needs are. Don't worry about cleaning the house so much. Spend your time with your kids. Keep them talking, that helps alot. The more stressed out you are, the more stressed out they get. If you"Fake it till you make it", they will see you are OK and that helps them. Then ask for help if and when you need it. One thing I can share is don't fight with your ex in front of your kids-- no matter what. That will scare them. I learned this the hard way. But I learned. The kids come first and the rest will all fall into place slowly, but surely. I'm here if you need to vent..... Good Luck!!!

Amy - posted on 06/30/2010

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Day by day, don't get stressed I know its a lot to take on! Realize that it's also important that you take care of yourself, and it's ok to ask for help maybe you have family or friends that you could turn to for support and balance. Know that you're not alone and that we are all in this together. :-) good luck!!

Barbora Milena - posted on 06/30/2010

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Hi, maybe you dont have your ex, but im sure you are not completely alone. Family, friends, community...Look for a help and support around.
Im single mother too, but im not alone. I have amazing family supporting me, so thanks to them me and my daughter we have a good life and im able to study university and stay at home with my daughter without worriyng about anything.
Dont be ashamed to ask for help, im sure they will be glad to help you and spend some time with your kids. And always remember that kids dont need 100% tidy house or the newest toys, but happy mama. Happy mom means happy kids, so try to do the best to be happy with yourself and your life.

Kawaiiana - posted on 06/30/2010

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if you had the strength to leave you have the strength to make it. it is going to be hard as heck but make sure you have a good supprt system in your corner to make sure that when it do get a little over whelming and you need to take some to yourself which you will have to do that you can.

JuLeah - posted on 06/29/2010

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Welcome

Most I know who find themselves as single parents, realize they have been single parents all along. Most say it is easier without the other person that all the challenges they brought to the table.

Sometimes they were a great help and missed, but mostly, you will find it to be an easier road.

Get support for yourself, friends, community .... friends who can watch your kids and you can watch theirs - people to talk with -

It can be done, I promise

Alicia - posted on 06/29/2010

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The only thing you can do is take one day @ a time. Don't worry about all the little things all at once & get a helping hand from friends & family. It's ok to ask for help when you really need it but being a single mom is stressful & chaotic but you can make it as long as you realize that you are doing this for your kids & that you and your kids are happier. Best Wishes

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