I knew when my ex and I split my biggest challenge was going to go into being a single mom. Adjusting myself and the kids as one unit to function without them feeling like they suffered from it. Making sure they felt loved, taken care of and not to blame.
When we first moved, we stayed close to their old school. I made sure they finished out the school year, knew what was going on and didn’t try to hide things from them. I made sure to not put blame on anyone. Not my ex, not myself, not them or any outside source. I think this is part of what helped. They weren’t being lied too and were a part of what was going on. I explained to them the split, the process and no I didn’t give them every last detail (they are just kids). I spent the time they needed one on one, I made sure they made it to their games/meets/activities just as always. But first and foremost, I tried to have a good relationship with my ex in front of them.
They didn’t need to see any anger or hurt. It wasn’t their job to witness that. My job as a mother is to protect them regardless of how hard that may be sometimes.
As time has passed and our lives have changed and grown. I can now honestly say I think I have done a pretty good job with them. Not once have my kids ever talked about or acted like things were not good. Yes, they had to adjust at first. Yes, they had to make new friends, change schools and move all of their belongings. But, when you are in a relationship that you know isn’t working and have kids. They see it too.
Life has not been sunshine and rainbows the whole time either. We have had hard moments and difficult conversations. But we have also had a lot of fun. I am writing this because I was looking through my phone today and realized how blessed I am to be the mother of my kids! How great they are, and how much we have been through, good and bad.
I know many people that are single parents and I have heard them say how hard it is. I won’t deny that. It’s what you do in the situation that makes the difference. Not losing yourself in the midst of everything else. Putting yourself first at times so you can be the best parent they need, when they need it. There are days when I feel like everything couldn’t be better. Sure, there are also days when I want to break down and cry and don’t feel like I am accomplishing what they need. This is when I have to take a step back and look at the big picture.
Are they happy? Are they healthy? Do they have food/clothes/smiles/fun etc? Yes, to all of those a million times. It isn’t easy being the sole provider, it isn’t easy not having a break but it is worth it. For that I am thankful.
So no matter how hard things are, no matter how stressed you get, take a step back…look at what you have accomplished…what you have been able to teach, learn, or see. There is always a bright side.