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anyone ever give up once and for all on having a family?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I'm in a really bad place. I've had 2 1/2 relationships since my divorce, now. The first one was only half a relationship because the guy was just a meathead rebound guy who I kept around way too long. The other two were a longer, very serious relationship with a religious man who ended up leaving my daughter and I high and dry when his family disapproved of me, and then a shorter, more intense relationship with a man who seemed so intensely right for me, until it was revealed that he is physically and emotionally abusive, lies compulsively, and cheats compulsively.

I'm 29.

I'm really pretty. I'm smart. I'm witty. I'm fun and outdoorsy. I have a really good heart.

All I wanted was a family.

But I'm a depressed, single mom of one kindergartner. I can barely stand my life. It's so lonely and disappointing. I need to give up on this and find a new way. Has anyone done it sucessfully? Has anyone found a way to not want what they've always wanted? I'm thinking I'd be happy enough with a dog, a house, and a couple more kids. If only I could get through school and get a good job. I'm almost ready to drop out because I'm having such a hard semester.
post #2 of 37
I'm a soon to be divorced mama of a 3 year old and a 9 month old. I've got no sage advice for you but I'm facing the same realities. And I too am pretty, smart, witty, fun, outdoorsy and have a good heart (I'm only 25). Hey, we sound perfect for each other.

I'm trying to let go (for now) of the family I thought I needed, know I wanted. I'm trying to find satisfaction in what I currently have. It's HARD. But I'm trying. I believe there is a "family" out there for me. But right now, my babies and I are all the family I need. I'm finding all the things I've ever wanted are evolving...slowly.

Reach out to your friends. Do you have extended family nearby? *ugh* I remember the last hard quarters of school. But I finished and it paid of. I'm guessing by your screen name that you don't live in California? Anyway. I'm learning how hard this all is. Hang in there and feel free to pm me.
post #3 of 37
Well, you do have a family already, but I guess you're asking about relationships. Most of us grow up believing that for life to be complete, we need to be in a successful relationship. While that's nice, it's just not necessary. I'm not sure how long ago you got divorced, but being "alone", I find, is great! And this is coming from someone who, before my marriage and its demise, always needed to be joined at the hip with a boyfriend. I thought being alone was awful. Who knows, maybe I'd still feel that way, but since having my son (also a kindergartner) I feel more complete and content than I EVER felt with any man. That is the truth.

Maybe you're more depressed from the negative experiences you've had with these men, than you are with actually being single.

If a man comes along someday that is nice and companionable, then I wouldn't be opposed to his company, of course! But I'm not waiting for it, not looking for it, and best of all, not needing it. I too want another child, and am looking into the option of sperm banks. I have financial goals and one of those is to buy a house (granted, it will be a long time till that happens because money is tight). You can get a dog right now if you're ready to take care of it! You seriously can have all the things you mentioned, and best of all, not rely on the whims of some guy to make it all true. Maybe this sounds cynical, but you wouldn't want to achieve all that, and THEN have him ruin it. Make it all your own. And then, if someday a man comes along who worthy of inviting into your picture, then invite him. Maybe you need to take time off from dating for a while...it takes a while to let go of these ideas. I'm not saying to let go of your dreams, but let go of needing someone else to make them come true.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
No,
this is not the family that I wanted. This is not happy.
I do everything. I am the only person to do everything. I'm exhausted. we're both lonely. and it isn't getting better.

this is not the family I wanted.
every time someone says "at least you have a family" I want to scream.

I need to give up on it.
it's just really, really hard.
but yeah. it's not happening.
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by boston View Post
No,
this is not the family that I wanted. This is not happy.
I do everything. I am the only person to do everything. I'm exhausted. we're both lonely. and it isn't getting better.

this is not the family I wanted.
every time someone says "at least you have a family" I want to scream.

I need to give up on it.
it's just really, really hard.
but yeah. it's not happening.
I became a single mom to my DD when she was 8 months old almost a year ago. I read and thought alot about your first post and hadn't decided how to respond, but now I can really relate to your last post.

I, too, try to look at our little unit of two as a family and it feels very, very wrong. I don't feel like I need a man, husband or lover, but I wish that both DD and I had more support and companionship from somewhere. My family in general is loving but doesn't really know how to respond to my new single-ness, so that's a big contributor, too.

For me, I am trying to heal, grow on a personal level and find increasing companionship for both me and DD. Right now, this companionship is not going to come in the form of a healthy romantic relationship for me. I am trying to reconnect with members of my family and find a community that the two of us can be a part of. I know this sounds really vague, and I apologize, but it's because we're just embarking on this venture ourselves.
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by boston View Post
No,
this is not the family that I wanted. This is not happy.
I do everything. I am the only person to do everything. I'm exhausted. we're both lonely. and it isn't getting better.

this is not the family I wanted.
every time someone says "at least you have a family" I want to scream.

I need to give up on it.
it's just really, really hard.
but yeah. it's not happening.
I'm really sad and sorry to hear that you dont think of yourself and your child as a family. I can't help but wonder what message that sends to your offspring.

I do miss a relationship but it is not the be all end all of life. my dearest friend and older brother (step if we're being picky) felt that his mother didn't love him or want him. she embarked on a quest to make her and her son into a *family* created by a man. he's been gone for 12 years this past february. suicide we believe...I am not trying to scare you into thinking your kid will do the same thing (far from it!) but that is why finding a man and being in a relationship is not high on my list. my boys need to know that I love them. they need to know that they are high on my priority list. and they are. we are a family. maybe someday I will fall in love with someone who will fall in love with me back...but I am not counting on it. it is so hard to let go of the dream though...so hard
post #7 of 37
I am trying to reconnect with members of my family and find a community that the two of us can be a part of.

That was huge for us. When my son was a baby, my parents had just gotten divorced and were each in their own personal la-la land. I have no siblings. I had no friends with kids, and felt like I had little in common with the friends I had before I became a mother. We moved when my son was a year old, to a GREAT little town. The best move ever, for us, though I didn't even realize it at the time - I just knew it would be cheaper than living in the city. Turns out we've made SO many friends (and only one single mother among them, but she's in a new relationship) with kids the same age and as it happens, I adore their moms. I don't know what I would have done without our little community.

To the OP....you say your child is lonely. It could be too that he/she is picking up on your mood; you don't sound like you're in a very positive place right now.
post #8 of 37


I've been a single mama for seven years. I dated quite a bit but I had not had a boyfriend or a partner or anything close until a few months ago.

A couple of things:

1. My dd and I ARE a family. We are a two person family. We are bound by blood, we eat together, play together, live together, talk together, shop together, wake up to each other every day. That makes us a family. Period. We are a family. My family is not broken. I fixed my family when I left her dad. That family was broken. This family is whole, intact, healthy and thriving.

2. For the first two-three years that I was single I was very isolated and very lonely and pretty depressed. I had no friends, no circle, no support. I eventually reached the conclusion that none of those things were going to magically show up on my doorstep. I chose, very consciously and puposefully chose to create a support system, to make friends. It was hard and awkward and it took a long, long time to cultivate, but we now have a very expansive and meaningful circle of people in our lives and it makes everything so much better and so much easier and more manageable knowing that there is a network of people who have my back and offer friendship and companionship. To make this happen, I had to really put myself out there (almost kind of like dating). I forced myself to talk to other mamas everywhere I went... the park, the library, the beach, the bus, etc... places where your kid is naturally going to interact with other kids make for many opportunities to talk to people you might never talk to otherwise. If it seems like you click, even remotely with someone, make plans to meet again. Say, "Hey, it was really great talking to you. DD and I are going to the library on Wednesday. Would you like to meet us there?" And just like with dating, there is a lot of trial and error and hits and misses. Maybe the person blows you off. Maybe you hang out a few times and you realize you don't really connect. Or maybe, you make a wonderful new friend who is going to become someone you can call to run out and buy medicine when you are tethered to a puking kid at home or someone you can call to vent about your awful day to. Like I wrote, it doesn't happen overnight. Good, lasting, meaningful friendships take time and effort but they are really worth it. My life is so much fuller and richer because of the friends that I have made since becoming a single mom. And I have single mom friends, married couple friends (where I am good friends with both the wife and husband) and a few single women and even a single man or two. Some are AP/NFL, some are very mainstream (I started out only wanting single AP mommies for friends.. I let go of that idea real quick and opened my heart to good people, regardless of their marital status or exact parenting style). And these people are are my extended family. If you want it, you've got to put yourself out there and put some conscious, intentional effort in to it.

3. I also got really good at being alone, to the point where I actually really and truly deeply enjoy being alone. That took two or three years as well. But between knitting, writing, reading, and watching movies and just plain growing to love myself and loving just plain being still with myself, I really never feel lonely or sad or that anything is missing when I am alone. I feel perfectly content and grateful for the solitude.

4. You are never, ever going to attract the man who is right and perfect for you while you are feeling the way you are feeling. You have to feel healthy, positive and strong to attract someone that is healthy, positive and strong who is going to treat you and your dd the way you deserve to be treated. You have to get okay with being alone, you have to embrace your family (and you are your dd are a family), and you have to work on cultivating positive friendships and interests that are going to help you grow and allow you to feel some sense of contentment.

These are just the opinions of a very happy single mama. That's not to say I don't have my days and it's not to say that I've sometimes felt very sad about not having a partner or very overwhelmed by the weight of raising a child alone... but the things I wrote above are the things that have made my life and my family feel whole. And, a few months ago a really wonderful man entered my life. I'm taking it slow and keeping my eyes wide open, but I'm fairly well convinced that I will marry this man. I also know that if tomorrow he disappears, I will be okay. I'll still be whole. I still nurture and maintain all of my friendships and will continue to. I still continue to set aside alone time for myself and will contine to. And my dd is still my absolute first priority and always will be.

Be gentle with yourself. Envision what is going to make your life feel better and than pursue it. I wish you well.

Blessings.
post #9 of 37
:

I'd quote the whole thing, but ITA with everything the PP said!
post #10 of 37
:
post #11 of 37
I hear what you are saying, and I get that this is not the way you would like things to be right now. I've been in that place too...and it sucks.

I still believe my family will grow one day. I think that's because I'm an optimist and a romantic at heart. I'm 36 and have been on my own (except for a few short term relationships) for almost 6 years. So, if there's hope for me....there's definitely hope for you.

If you want support, here it is....Yes, it sucks sometimes. Yes, it's hard. And there are probably very few women who would be envious of your position. Having another parent, more children or whatever is something that is okay to dream, to wish for and to want with all your being. Whether others think it's okay or not, doesn't matter. If that's what you want...it's a good dream to have.

If you want some advice, here it is....The way you are writing sounds like a place of scarcity and desperation. If I can read that into what you are saying....every man within a mile radius will pick up on that vibe and you will attract all the wrong men for all the wrong reasons.

I know it feels scary and icky to be on your own...but when you become comfortable with yourself, when you work on yourself, feeling whole and complete on your own, then the *good* men will start to appear and the wonderful, meaningful relationship will happen without a lot of effort.

Relationships start within. Whatever you are looking for outside yourself, will never be found with any real feeling of satisfaction. You need to feel good about yourself, good about your situation, good about your family before any good relationships will make their way to you.

I've been where you are....and was probably there about 10 years ago. Now, I love my life, love my family and love being a single mom. I am willing to wait for a fabulous relationship and don't waste my time on anything less...because I know it's what I deserve and what I want. It's not always easy though. Sometimes I feel alone and sad too. But, it's a lot less often than it's ever been in my life and I know I feel better when I'm happier. But, that all had to come from within.

Much love and peace to you.
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post
Relationships start within. Whatever you are looking for outside yourself, will never be found with any real feeling of satisfaction. You need to feel good about yourself, good about your situation, good about your family before any good relationships will make their way to you.
:

Beautifully stated, MCA!

It takes time to get to this place, as I have also been in your frame of mind.

Hang in there, be easy on yourself and find your own happiness.
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Relationships start within. Whatever you are looking for outside yourself, will never be found with any real feeling of satisfaction. You need to feel good about yourself, good about your situation, good about your family before any good relationships will make their way to you.
A-women!

Boston: I'm sorry you feel this way. Truly. It's difficult to be happy when all you're focusing on is what you don't have.

The thing about it, though, is that you can change how you feel whenever you want. You don't have to feel so lonely and desolate. Unless you are clinically depressed, I'm sure you have times when you feel positive, hopeful, happy. What's the difference between feeling positive and feeling negative? Focus.

What you focus on is what you'll see more of. Focus on the positives in your life, focus on what you do have. I'm sure there is plenty. And, you have to do it every day, because practice makes perfect.

Choose to look at life differently and you will notice life change.

Good luck to you.

Oh!--You said you're 29. I think you should know that you're either entering or you're in your Saturn return time. It's a time of great change...you'll feel very strong emotional feelings that lead you on the path you're going to take in life. If you need to feel this overwhelming sadness, do so. It will help you.

Just remember that you get to choose how you feel in this life.
post #14 of 37
First I would like to say that I am sorry you are having such a hard time! I know it's not easy! But don't give up!

I personally do not expect to find anyone anytime soon. And that is ok with me for now, I have way to much on my plate to even try. Yeah, sometimes that makes me really sad and I get lonely and just want some help, but I agree with miss lotus that my dc make me feel more fulfilled that any relationship!

May I suggest that you stop looking for a man for a while. I know from experience that when you are in a bad place, bad people tend to come around and make thing harder. Maybe instead, put your energy in finding a close women friend that can give you support. Also try to find (and like)yourself as a single women, because that's where you are right now and it is easier to change you way of thinking than to change your situation. Have you ever seen The Secret? I strongly suggest that you check it out! You can probably rent it but here is link to it's web site.http://www.the-secret-dvd.net/ It is about the laws of attraction. Not necessarily about relationships but about life. It talks about ways to change your life through positive thinking. It sounds a little hokey yes, but it really works and I think it would help you out a lot!
Lastly, reach out to your little one. He/she is probably lonely because you are depressed and with drawn. Try to find comfort in the family you do have and don't forget about the endless love your little one has for you and that needs to be nurtured.
Good luck mama, check out that movie and try to believe that this will pass even if it doesn't feel like it!
post #15 of 37
when I left my ex-husband, the hardest thing for me to get over was that I was not going to have the traditional kind of family that I had wanted. losing that hurt way more than losing that man. but the best, and really only, thing to do was to think about what I could do for myself to make myself happy. me being happy means my son has a better life. so I have gotten to the place where I am almost having a hard time adapting to being in a relationship where I am not alone and in control. and then now I am facing becoming part of a blended family, which to be honest, is way harder than being single. so, really, maybe it's just that the grass is always greener on the other side. because at this point, when you find a man, you'll have new hurdles to jump. you might have the family, the house the dog etc, but it'll come with a different set of rules than what you were thinking of before?

I guess I am being a little useless here, but what I am trying to get at is just to find a way to remind yourself what you have. what you have gotten for you and your child, by yourself. I might be a little weird, but I find it incredibly satisfying to think about what I can do for myself, by myself.
post #16 of 37
Yes, dd and I are a family. She has more family, of course; she has her dad and grandparents, and my parents, and all the rest. Which is a relief. We also have community -- a small Jewish community, but it's there, and there's a strong sisterhood. There's the women's-center community and the daycare-mamas community, too. And I have my friends who predate all this mama stuff, here and from college. But at home, me and her, we are a little family. The writer and the writer's daughter. She wants a sister, but I can't see that happening anytime soon. I'm not looking to get involved with anyone, let alone remarry.

What I do want is supper company. The single mamas I like best have insane little boys, and I don't really want to invite them over. There's my old friends, but they have limited tolerance for kids. There's friend-families with nice kids but they're at their own homes for dinner. But eventually all that will work out too. I just miss cooking for lots of people and having a house that smells like real supper. Sometime.

I would have to agree about the wrong-men vibe. Look inside, OP. Find your work and passion there, find women around who can encourage you and see you for who you are. Maybe your own family has good people like that. I know it sucks to hear things like that but it's true, the despairing vibe does attract something you won't want.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by boston View Post
I do everything. I am the only person to do everything. I'm exhausted.
I've learned over the last 5 months that these feelings can at times eclipse all others. Exhaustion seems to lead to desperation and depression. And doing it by yourself IS exhausting. Still no advice but I can completely understand this part.
post #18 of 37
My children and I are very much a family.
post #19 of 37

boston! everything happens for a reason

But that's not going to make you feel any better right now... what might make you feel better is to go ahead, let loose and cry... let yourself cry it out. This is a big disappointment. Life is not like the brochure and that totally blows, if you'll pardon the expression.

I say, tell yourself it's okay to just be where you're at with it for right now. When things are just the worst, just let yourself experience it without judgement: "I'm totally miserable and confused and feel cheated by life and that's just where it's at for me right now!"

Feelings change. Just let them in their own time. You got cheated and that blows.

Let the lows happen when your innocent daughter is not around, and be the mom she needs when she's home. Life will get sunnier for you.

VF
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shonahsmom View Post
3. I also got really good at being alone, to the point where I actually really and truly deeply enjoy being alone. That took two or three years as well. But between knitting, writing, reading, and watching movies and just plain growing to love myself and loving just plain being still with myself, I really never feel lonely or sad or that anything is missing when I am alone. I feel perfectly content and grateful for the solitude.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post
Relationships start within. Whatever you are looking for outside yourself, will never be found with any real feeling of satisfaction. You need to feel good about yourself, good about your situation, good about your family before any good relationships will make their way to you.
: & :

Right now it might seem like a lot of what your reading is BS. If I would have read the words above,
or my own words, years ago I would have thought it was total BS.

It would be a great bonus to my life, and I believe dd's life if I were to meet a good man to have a
relationship with. That hasn't been my experience though. I'm single, I'm 31, and I don't see myself
getting married any time soon.
This isn't the life I thought I would have. I thought at age 31 I would have more than one child, I
thought I would be married, I thought life would be easier. I'm the only one of my friends who didn't
end up married, let alone single.

I missed having a relationship and I tried to date, but it didn't fit my life. Plus now that I have dd I
want more out of any relationship that comes into our life. That isn't something that happens everyday,
so I decided that I would make the best out of what I had, instead of what I thought I needed. That
mindset has helped me a great deal, and truthfully at first it was something I wanted, but I wasn't
sure I believed I could achieve.

It's hard for any parent not to loose them self in parenthood, single or not. Those of us who are single
just have a lot less time to devote to ourselves, but it's really important. It started with me in gardening.
Simple but true. I then got really involved in it, it's something I read about all year round. I make crafts,
I'm going to go back to school so I have been reading more that is involved in my major.

Most important I am trying to maintain my relationships more seriously with my friends, and having
adult conversations. It's become vital to my well being to have interests at all times that are mine alone.
That have nothing to do with dd. It's led to a vast growth in my self image. Which has not only made me
a better person, but a better parent. Now I feel like if I meet a man, I will know my worth and pick better,
and be a better partner.

This was a growth of the past 7 years. I spent a lot of time crying and wishing things were different. Now
things are different, yet I'm still alone, AND I'm totally cool with that.

I do want another child, and I'm now looking into options for making that happen after college. I don't have
to find a relationship to create the life I want for dd and myself.

If being single is the worst thing that happens to me in my life, then I'm a very lucky woman.
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