Is this anyone else's first xmas as a single mama? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's hitting me harder than I thought it would... in fact, I didn't really think about it much at all - I assumed there would be no problem because I am at peace with xh leaving, and I am grateful that he did because I now know that it should have ended even sooner due to lots of things I am only now beginning to see. But, it feels lonely... and I am getting the better deal with how we are splitting xmas this year, but still, just the thought of the 2nd half of xmas day without my girls is so hard. And even the thought of all the cold, quiet days with them, and just me. No one to sit with, or talk with, or enjoy the slow holiday days with. And I don't want that someone to be xh, and I can't imagine another man in that role either. But there is an emptiness I didn't anticipate. When I went xmas shopping for the girls it hit me that I was only buying presents for them (well, and other family too, but I was thinking in terms of our household), and not another adult in the house. That thought was really shocking. I love to give gifts, and to have an extra person missing, to give gifts to, was a blow. I'm not sure what to do on xmas, after the girls leave... It's depressing to think about. Perhaps some of you can commiserate with me.
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#2 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 08:08 AM
 
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I can completely understand, this will be my first christmas single to. It's confusing for me, my ex and I actually have an ok relationship and because I'm still pregnant with our second and our son is only nineteen months old I refused to let him (my ds) spend christmas with out me, so his father is actually coming to my home and then I'm going to his parents house for dinner.
It's all a little bewildering for me, I have no idea how uncomfortable every one is going to be, lol it will be the first time I really see his family besides odd visits here and there since the separation.
I do know when my aunt became single and had her first christmas from her own five children she spent it with other family, I don't know if that's a option for you, but the first night that my ds spent at his dad I went to my sister's, and I think it saved my sanity as well as made me feel better.
I hope that helped a little, know your not alone and don't worry you'll have your girls back before you know it.
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#3 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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This is my second Christmas single, and last Christmas I spent with my parents and my sister...we did the bulk of the fun stuff while dd was there, and after she left we hung out and watched a movie and ate and drank, and then I went to sleep and cried myself to sleep.

I don't know that I could have done it without my parents and my sister. Is there anyone you can be with after the kids leave? This *is* the time to call out for help. Seriously.
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#4 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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First Christmas as a solo mama, no family anywhere near.
I was freaking out at the beginning,
It helped me having a plan for the time I will be alone; self pampering is the answer for me. I am prepared for a crying spell if it comes, it is ok.
I decided not to accept any of my friends invites, there will be 'family' written all over and I don't need that rubbed in.
ex will be home the 24th to drop off gifts, take pictures, have a light dinner and go, My son is 10 mo and bed time is 9:00 PM
I plan to go to sleep early too
The 25th, it will be a mommy and me day, playing all day!
The 26th he will spend with his dad so I will do the self-pampering I mentioned earlier, He will be picked up at 7:00AM and dropped off at 9:00 PM
Saturday is mine, Sunday with his dad.

Don't take me wrong, it sucks anyway, but I realize it is up to me to make it enjoyable.
Forgot to mention I am giving him a gift, it is a picture frame with pictures of the baby
More details here: http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1010895
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#5 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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This is my first Christmas as a single mom. My h just left a little over a week ago so it's still very, very raw and shocking.

My story is in the link that the pp posted.

Bethany, mama to M (9), J (7), S (4), and baby BOY 9/13/10!!
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#6 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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((hugs)) to you. i can commiserate. my mum is here for the holidays but i'm not sure that's helping all that much, it's just meaning i have to keep pushing away the sadness because she can't handle it.

last night we were walking around some stores and i went into the fancy kitchen store we usually always get something small from for the family. then it really hit me and i came home crying, went to bed crying.

honestly, next yr i think i'd prefer to be alone with the kids instead of trying to pretend things are "normal".
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#7 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 01:31 PM
 
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i'm with you. this is my first christmas. stbx left in sept. it's hard and confusing and depressing. i too love to give gifts and i loved buying for him, it was fun. when i was out shopping it hit me hard that i'm not buying him anything

i'm at my folks' house for christmas and i have my sisters for distractions.
stbx moved across country, so he's coming up here the day after christmas to see the kids until the 30th. he's staying with a friend, so there's no overnights. he'll just spend some of the day with the kids. not as much as i would think he would want, but what can you do? that's a whole 'nother post!

i think the best thing to do is to find distractions and self pampering when the kids are gone. now is the time to call in any favors that you can.


solo-student-mama to 3 crazy kiddos
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#8 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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I find that crying is ok, it helps me when I honor myself and I try to express the sadness.
I go "I am sad because I;ve lost the love of my life, my marriage, my family. so, If course I am sad, this sucks"
I let the tears flow, "I am grieving" I tell myself
When I have enough, I just start saying, ok Lord, your turn to carry this for me, carry my load, I leave it to you.
I say that, not that I truly believe it yet, but i say it as a mantra, it helps me let go and get some peace until next time I have to deal with my feelings.
I find it gets less intense and less frequent.
I remember when I was able to spend a whole day without crying, now my record is 7 days, going for 8. .

thank you for letting me share
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#9 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 07:02 PM
 
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Yes it is my first christmas single and it has been tough, but it has been
a blessing to. My stbx decided he would buy 1 gift for each child and leave
the rear of the gift giving to me. So that leaves me with about 5 gifts per child. But my church has helped me and even my children doctor has helped.

THe other issue is STBX smoking. He smokes alot and my dd has asthma and my youngest ds has bad ecxema and allergies and and smoke seem to make it bad. So he wants the kids over tonight for dinner with his family and they all smoke, so I decided not to send my youngest because his excema is really bad right now and the smoking with make him itch more and STBE x saids I am keeping him from the children. and no he will not stop smoking around the children.
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#10 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Out of curiosity, how do you reach out, particularly when it concerns xmas day? It never ocurred to me to do this, because I don't feel that anyone would want their family day interrupted by a lonely mama without her kids... I have been doing better in general about asking for help, but I can't imagine asking people if I can come over xmas day! I do have my parents here, and we will be spending xmas morning with them, but after that I don't think I could bear to stay over there, for a variety of reasons.... I wouldn't mind hanging out with friends, but I don't know how to ask! I can imagine how hard it would be to say no to that kind of request, also, and the discomfort of someone wanting to say no but saying yes anyway. I can't handle that because I'm so accutely aware of people's feelings.

It's funny about the crying, I just realized that I spent 6 years with xh constantly in tears, and I've cried about 3 times since he left, almost a year ago. I am vaguely aware of the pain, locked up deep inside me, and I don't know how to access it. I try with movies, and can squeeze a few tears out, but that's all....
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#11 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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It's interesting about the tears. I too used to cry easily and frequently. Then for about 2 1/2 years after ex leaving, I hardly cried at all. Lately (coming up on 3 year anniversary of him leaving), I find myself crying quite a bit again. I think maybe our bodies and psyches process things as we become ready. I think, probably, it is a good thing. I think that I too have locked up a lot of my pain and covered it with anger, strength and the tools I've needed to get through, you know? I need to somehow find the balance...

Anyway, I think it is good that you are in touch with the idea that you may have more grieving to do at some point. And that however you are handling things at this point is ok too.

I do not celebrate Christmas, but my ex does. This is a very hard time of year for me. I used to celebrate with his family and that is a loss. And DS goes with his father for the whole thing... and it will be something major in his life that I have no part of at all. And it is all too much for DS right now and I have no control over that either.

I usually try to do some self pampering... hot bath, DVD, take out Asian food... and some project that I am eternally behind on, like photos. This year I am actually going to try and get some work done. Because I really really need to.

Also... Christmas is the perfect day to go to the movies by yourself if that appeals at all.

Hugs.
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#12 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 07:40 PM
 
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ps... I hear you about not wanting to be with your parents. That is one of the hardest parts for me this year is that I just had to move in with them for a bit. I am grieving my own home and my own space terribly. I could be much more at peace with time to myself this Christmas if I were alone and not having them trying to engage me...

Time to yourself, even if you are feeling sad, may be nicer than you think. I imagine you don't get much of it.
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#13 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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While I don't want to spend the Christmas with friends, I can assure you they don't see it as being "interrupted by a lonely mama without her kids" In chirstmas people love the opportunity to give, share and be there for others, specially friends

Just ask, you might be surprised

Now, If you really struggle, you can do something like:

"You know? I am spending Christmas morning with my parents, but I am not sure what to do after that, do you have any ideas, places to go, things to do?"

Most likely they will ask if you want to go to their homes.
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#14 of 27 Old 12-23-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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I'll be doing a jigsaw puzzle. I used to love doing puzzles before I had kids. Obviously I can't do a thousand piece puzzle with little ones running around. I think I'll work on it while they're gone on a flat board or something and stick it under the bed when they are home. Take it back out again when they're with Daddy. Might be kinda nice.

Bethany, mama to M (9), J (7), S (4), and baby BOY 9/13/10!!
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#15 of 27 Old 12-24-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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My kids just left to their dad's and won't be back until Christmas morning.

It's been a year and a half since ex moved out but last year I had a boyfriend. it's hitting me hard this year. it's really my first holday being single in 11 years, and I'm feeling really lost and alone. for 9 years, ex and I had a routine at the holidays of visiting all his family the week leading up to Christmas and now there's not much left for me to do except Christmas day with my family. It's been so long since I was single and i don't have many single friends anymore and it just feels really weird.

I'll be working tomorrow and wrapping the kid's presents during the day and maybe in the evening I'll make them cookies or something. Or maybe I'll just mope around and watch movies, which I've been doing a lot of for the last week.

I remember the days when all I wanted was to be alone in the house and now all I want is to NOT be alone in the house.

Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
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#16 of 27 Old 12-24-2008, 02:33 AM
 
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My kids and I will be going to my xh's mom's house (which is where he lives also). They invited all of us, and though I'm not terribly excited about it, I think it will be really great for the kids for us all to be together.
The kicker, however, happened this evening, when xh told me that I could "put my name on the card for the manicure/pedicure gift certificate he bought for his mom". This, from a man who has paid $400 in cs since June.
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#17 of 27 Old 12-24-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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This is my first holiday season as a single mama. I am doing ok with it to be honest. I have always kept the holidays rather low key around here, so this is not very different than the norm. I wonder if I am at an odd peace because the seperation was such a long time coming and both my XP and I are such good friends still, or if it helps that I am dating someone, or maybe it is a little bit of both.
I had DD on our holiday, Yule, and she is also studying Hanukkah, so I am not missing out on our holiday. She is leaving for her dad's tonight and will be there for the next 4 days, and will be doing xmas with him, as that is his chosen holiday. I will admit though, that NYE is going to be the odd one as I have always spent it with her as a family thing, and this year, she will be at her dad's.
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#18 of 27 Old 12-24-2008, 06:37 PM
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Hey, it will get better. This is my third year on my own, the second since divorce, and it's so nice. A big part of it is getting used to taking care of yourself and enjoying the company of friends, rather than seeing your friends as a substitute for something else. I think it's harder, too, when you have that expectation of someone else's making your holiday, buying you gifts, etc.

We spent last night and this morning in front of the fire, painting clay bowls, making movies, and sewing sachets for dd's grandma and her grandparents' cats, wrapping presents. (Rose and lavender for grandma, catnip for the cats.) It was just so nice, so sweet. Last Saturday we helped decorate the synagogue for the Chanukah party, and went to the party on Sunday (mm, catered latkes). The kid's a dreidel bandit, she always wins my gelt. Friends from out of town are visiting Friday and Saturday. Dd's off with her dad and his family now for two days; I mean to shovel out my office and get a lot of sleep. My main client sent me a gift certificate for amazon and told me to spend it on something pointless, and I may spend some time figuring out how to spend it. There's emailed cheer from friends abroad. May go up to the mall later on, too, and just have a stroll in the merchandise museum. I hadn't planned on lighting the menorah without dd here, but now I think I will. Plus it's nice just to relax -- I have a job due, but not for a few weeks, and it's been sheer insanity with various kinds of work since August.

I think it helps, too, as the kids get older. This is really the first year dd is old enough to do much on her own -- it's not so much work for me, and she's a real sweetie.

I'm sorry it's rough now. It does get better, though.
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#19 of 27 Old 12-24-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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This is technically my first Christmas as a single woman. The divorce was final on Dec 26th of 07. He left in May 07 though.

I actually had a nice, simple Christmas season. I made some gifts for DD, bought some in co-ops, so I didn't spend much.

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#20 of 27 Old 12-25-2008, 04:14 AM
 
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me- and he has her too- which makes it harder for me i think.

GREAT MOM to dd (5) and )ds( [sept 26 2006]
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#21 of 27 Old 12-25-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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I just dropped the kids off at my MIL's a little bit ago to be with their Dad. Coincidentally it is also his first "visitation" since leaving us. I feel sick and depressed. Didn't help that 3yo dd was crying to go with me when I dropped them off.

I couldn't even look at him. I handed him their bags, handed off dd and got in the car.

Bethany, mama to M (9), J (7), S (4), and baby BOY 9/13/10!!
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#22 of 27 Old 12-25-2008, 06:29 PM
 
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#23 of 27 Old 12-25-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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This is my fourth Christmas as a single mom, and it gets better, I promise. It is so important to remember to keep connecting with worthwhile people.

I am always amazed that my life has improved, this Christmas I spent with my parents for the first time in 14 years. My X would have never "let" me do that, as it was always more important for him to keep himself in alcohol and pot than take a precious Christmas trip. This time, I did it myself...and I am so proud of myself for not letting another person control me anymore.

I am finally in a relationship with someone who sees me as an important equal, and that is so precious...everyone's situation is different, but in mine, there is no reason I should have had to sacrifice so much...I hope we all remember how important it is to respect ourselves.
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#24 of 27 Old 12-25-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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this is my first. Christmas has always been rediculously stressful and lonely though so even though I had to send the girls off at 2 it has been one of the nicest Cristmases in a long time. The kids loved their gifts and we just hung out and had a great time.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#25 of 27 Old 12-25-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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3rd christmas as single mom, 2nd christmas as divorced. i been lucky to have her the last 2 christmas's, this year dd is with ex on christmas eve and christmas day. i dont have any family in town and i dont feel like going to visit anyone. so the last two days i'm just doing my thing, i'm cooking, cleaning, laundry and packing for our trip to see my parents. i'm going to celebrate christmas tomorrow. i know it's silly but i just can't think of christmas and being all alone...
hugs to all the mamas

ps i did want to add as i'm sitting here munching on hummus and pita and realizing that for once in many many years i dont have to cook, host, clean, etc!!! i can eat whatever i want and sit around in my sweats and no makeup! hehe.

single mama to DD 5.09
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#26 of 27 Old 12-26-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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This is my first year as a single Mom. I had Xmas day tho and ex had Xmas eve for 4 hours. That is all he wanted. Next year ex will have all of Xmas day so imagine it will be rougher for me. This year was fine. I think I might take a Xmas cruise next year and pamper myself.

Lilly, mum to one handsome boyand to one of God's angels in heaven
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#27 of 27 Old 12-27-2008, 04:59 PM
 
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This was my first single Christmas...but I'm not a mama yet. I'm 8 months pregnant. My H left in August to explore greener pastures (greener meaning younger and not pregnant old hat of 8 years).

I had a really tough week leading up to it...I'm so uncomfortable and tired and just wanting to be loved, and I became so lonely once the reality of nothing to do on xmas surfaced. I had a little meltdown the other night and cried myself to sleep, because I wanted my last Christmas (which I don't even really celebrate!) before baby to be special and memorable. Ended up seeing H for lunch on Tuesday, at which time we decided to spend the holiday together.

Had no idea of what to expect. It's been a really painful split for me, but the last 2 months have seen a change in both of us, and we're approaching each other on a very loving level, putting the pieces of our friendship back together.

What transpired was a beautiful day of togetherness, heartfelt conversation and an invitation to spend the night. We spent a lot of time alone, but also with his family, and at the end of the night we bundled up in our sleeping bags to do some Christmas stargazing. At home, we laid together talking for hours; I got human skin contact, my belly lovingly cradled by daddy (who just 4 months ago demanded that I abort) as I drifted off, and he told me that he's really excited to meet our baby. If you read any of my posts from the summer, you'll know how huge this is.

So yes, it was really hard because I'm not THE woman in his life any longer, but we are best friends and I am the mother of his baby and I know what I mean to him. So all in all I got my special Christmas.

Next year, however, I have no idea of what to expect, with the new baby and how much the dynamics of all of my relationships will shift! He and I spoke a little bit about how we plan to address the holidays with her, and I think that if we can keep on this path, we should be able to spend it as a "family". Who knows!

: single mom extraordinaire, keeper of eew since 02/09
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