This feels almost 'too easy' - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been a single mom for a couple months now, my kids are younger and one has some special needs. I've been reading and really appreciate all the advice on here.

 

I feel like I keep waiting for something to come up and show me what 'reality' is- because so far being single is way easier than being married. I have full custody, no child support, though I do have family near by to help on weekends if needed.

 

I was in an abusive marriage, but he had stopped physically abusing me for the last few years, so I thought I should stick it out because 'he was trying to change'. But this is so much better for everyone!  But it almost seems too easy! This is normal, right?

 

If we have free time, we go and do some child centered activity (go to the park, etc), bring appropriate food, and leave before they're over tired. We dont' spend the time talking about how xyz (which is too expensive, too far away, and/or not good for our aged kids) is SO much better, or nitpicking every sign, rock, tree, grass, person, dog, building at the park.

 

They needed health insurance, I just got private high deductible insurance for all of us, without griping about cost, how unfair it was that I pay taxes and this too, announcing that doctors make too much, or deciding that I'm just going to take my chances and leave us uninsured.

 

If they wake up when i'm working (I work at home) I stop what I'm doing and help them get settled in on the couch.  There is no grumbling, drama, grudge holding, or stopping of work because of one little interruption.  

 

The budget works- we have a tight budget so we wait until we have all the money needed to cover the next month's rent, bills, etc before we do something fun, go out to eat, or support our hobbies.  We are still content.

 

We can spend 20 minutes getting out the door without any {adult} having a meltdown because everything with kids takes longer.

 

We budget our time and mostly do our work before playing.  We don't put off things like paying bills, working, or doing car maintence until there's an emergency.

 

If the kids seem bored, we get on the floor and play, color, or get out a game. We don't feel the need to 'teach them about the real world' and declare war just because they acted out.

 

We go to church, and even though the sermons don't match up 100% exactly as we believe, we still enjoy it, the people there, and there... once again... is not nitpicking and complaining on the way home/the next day/the next week.  

 

We eat healthy food without complaining. We have occasional treats, but nobody gripes if there isn't 'any good food' in the house and it's not necessary to go on snack runs every day to indulge whatever the whim of the day is.

 

When we don't need something any more, we can donate. We don't need to save everything for 'just in case' and then move/clean/organize/house it all.

 

We are happy. We are content.  We seem to have everything we need, though we had much more space and *things* when we lived in a two parent house.  I'm honestly amazed! It's work, having both kids on my own, but my *mental space* is so much clearer.  I was so nervous about my kids being raised by 'a single mom' that I put this off for way too long. This way of living is obviously much less stressful on them!

 

I'm planning their birthdays now, and for once it's a joy and I feel like I have time to plan rather than it just being one more thing that needs to be accomplished.  This is what inspired the post- I was amazed at how much my attitude about this one simple thing had so noticably changed from last year to this year.

 

Thanks for all the support :)


upsidedown.gif DD 9/06 bouncy.gif  DS 11/08 heartbeat.gif Expecting 2/2014

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#2 of 9 Old 08-10-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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Yeah for you!  I'm not there yet (still living in the same house) but hope to be so soon.  He needs a job and an apartment.  I have told him this in Feb.  So I think I might have to be a bitch soon.

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#3 of 9 Old 08-10-2011, 11:10 PM
 
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Wow, thanks for posting.  I am in a similar situation and your post reminded me of the intial feeling of spaciousness that I noticed after I kicked out STBX.  Life did seem sweeter and less stressful, less looking over my shoulder and worrying about how the kids were being perceived.  It has only been three months, but I think I have already started to take the peacefulness for granted.  Plus I have been somewhat depressed and feeling overwhelmed-- I don't think I am as functional as you seem to be.

 

I am curious-- how did you know it was time to leave the marriage?


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#4 of 9 Old 08-10-2011, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had been working towards it since he was first physically abusive- it took me a while. I needed to support us (I'd tried getting assistance, but the housing wait list was like years long!), part of this was also getting counseling to help me see what my reality was so I could make good decisions once I was out.  The Gift of Fear, and Why Does He Do That are books that helped too.

 

He had a history of extreme violence and I honestly finally got fed up with being nervous that the next time he came home/upstairs/etc it would be with a gun aimed at us, so I packed some clothes and the kids and took off.  It sounds crazy now that I'm out of it, but I was so used to that kind of thought process (anger/threats/being unstable and then justifying it) and being in survival mode that I don't think I ever had time to think about how messed up the situation was.   I thought it was me, and I'd always find something to be scared of, or something to be overwhelmed with... but so far it's been great!  

 

 

I'm so happy to be single! :) And I really hope this feeling doesn't go away!

 

 


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#5 of 9 Old 08-11-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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That pretty much covers it for me. As much as I loved him, life is just easier without him. Less stress, less fighting, more stability. For me, THIS is the easier life. More support would be nice and the finances occasionally get tough but I'm happy with my life.

“What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.”
- Buddha
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#6 of 9 Old 08-11-2011, 07:17 AM
 
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I've been divorced for almost a month now, and just got my own place, and it is exactly how the OP describes. Blissfully peaceful at home!! Moving was especially more peaceful than if he had been involved. No fights over what to keep and what to get rid of, no arguing about whether somethings would fit or not, no fights about getting the trash to the road on trash night, no weeds growing higher than my head and no hatred from the neighbors, I can listen to happy music w/o feeling judged, no arguments about "spoiling" DD. Right now he's still in town but he moves out of state in about 2 wks, and all I have to deal with is that he doesn't put her diapers on tight and they fall off when she gets home. Other than that, life is good! Finances are super tight...I'm basically trying to support us on child support because of my disabilities until hopefully I get approved for SSDI. We're on the section 8 housing wait list and they're still on Feb '10 applicants, so it will be well over another year before we get assistance, but for now Foodstamps help a LOT. I need to call and find out what kind of deals I can get through the utility companies. 


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#7 of 9 Old 08-11-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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Freedom from abusive and toxic relationships is so sweet. Enjoy your babies, your freedom and your newfound self-respect and self-worth. I'm so glad you found the strength to leave. 

My ex wasn't exactly abusive (though plenty toxic) and I felt such that same sense of relief when he finally moved out. He felt like a black pit of depression taking up space on my sofa and drinking whiskey every night. The house felt so free and easy when he was finally gone. And no more cleaning up his messes, paying his way, listening to his selfish and illogical rants, etc, etc.

I know some single mothers don't like it when a married or partnered woman says that she "feels like a single mother." But in my case, I felt way more like a single mother when I was living with my son's father. Now I've got a wonderful community of supportive people all around me. When we were still together, seeing him physically there but not remotely pulling his weight just really threw into stark relief how I was doing all the work, paying all the bills, etc.

As challenging as single parenthood can be, my life is a million times better now.


Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#8 of 9 Old 08-12-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!! ALL of this. It feels SO good.


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#9 of 9 Old 08-17-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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I am so happy you feel that way. I hope I get there soon...one thing on your list made me chuckle, tho...we can finally eat healthy food now, too without being griped at...also I can sleep a full night w/o having to listen to horrid snores!!! I just feel there is a stigma to being a single mom and when ppl look at me and realize I am a single mom of three boys, I get looked down on.

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