Sometimes I just hate my life. On the outside everyone thinks I am doing super awesome. After all I wanted to divorce right? I chose freedom from a disrespectful lieing, cheater. I have peace now, right? No one cares what is going on with me. I am pretty much alone. And I hate it. I have no real person I can vent to freely, let my hopes and fears out without being judged. I don't want counseling again. I went during the divorce and it got so boring. I want a friend. I have tried to make friends and it is just so darn hard with kids. Support groups are okay but always super Christian and I cannot be open enough about my life in them. Then I feel defective. For, wanting friends. Obviously I am not strong enough, obviously I am needy, for needing support, right? I tried to open up to a relative about some issues regarding my ex and I was told to just get over it. 9 months out from the divorce and I am suppose to just be all hunky dory, and I rarely complain or vent these days about the ex these days to anyone. I am super depressed about not working and providing for the kids and relying on the ex. I try to be grateful for the fact that my ex actually pays me and it is enough to live on, and I am back in college and hopefully have a decent job in a year, but it is just so frustrating. And I know now that when people say that single parenting is hard they are not just talking about the financial aspect. I know now why so many people get in relationships so fast after a breakup/divorce. I know with my ex I did not have a support system back then and jumped into a relationship a year after my mom died. And nothing has changed. I am Learning a lot about myself though. This self proclaimed introvert/hermit actually craves human companionship, I realize that now that I have truly been single for some months now.
End of vent
oh, I understand all too well. What's helped for me is posting here, since you can find some kindred's who get what you're going through and you can freely vent about your ex in a way that you can't anywhere else. It's also nice to find some IRL single mom friends, although I do find those relationships can be a little one-dimensional when that's the primary thing you have in common.
Mainly, I've found myself less lonely by making friends around the interests in my life and just spending my quality time only with friends who I feel happy being around and feel happy after we've spent time together, even if it means I spend more time alone. Dropping aside anyone/anything that sucked my energy or gave me bad feelings has opened up space for better to come along. I still get lonely for quality companionship quite often, but I'm less inclined to waste any of my precious time settling for space-fillers =)
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
Have you been to the Meetup website? You can start a group in your area for just about anything. Maybe you could start a single mom's group--you could meet with the kids. And you could ask the group members if they want to start a babysitting co-op--moms could take turns babysitting each other's kids so moms could go out on an evening and do something fun. You could plan a regular mom's night out and pitch in to hire babysitters.
I'm thinking of starting a single moms social group on Meetup in my area. I'm lucky to have some really good single mom friends and it would be nice to connect with more. We need each other.
Meetup is also a great place to find groups of people (not just single moms) who like the same things you do and meet regularly. One group I'm thinking of joining is a movie group that goes out to eat afterward. It's just a small group with mostly women.
Can you afford a babysitter so you can get out one night a week and take a class for fun, join a bookgroup at the library or a bookstore, or whatever it is that you like to do that would give you the chance to just have some human company? Going to the gym is nice but it doesn't give you conversation with other people. Interesting conversation is good, it can take your mind of your own problems for a little while and leave you feeling better.
Also, call social services agencies in your area and see if they have a single moms support group or know of one. Or if you can start one!
Being depressed about not working isn't good. You might try some short-term therapy just to work on accepting your situation as it is right now and not thinking too far ahead in the future. It will make you miserable and feel like a failure, and it's hard to attract new friendships when you are feeling down on yourself. And a therapist HAS to listen to you vent, lol! Try out different therapists until you find one that you can really relate to--like they're a friend who is happy to let you go on and on for an hour. You will feel relieved if you can let some venting out.
I am actually an assistant organizer for the local single parents meetup group. I have been to some events and organize some but the last event I went to, my ds didn't want to socialize or sit with the group. Also the kids are all different ages, one event I organized was kind of a dud because so many people showed up late and were trying to catch up to us at the zoo, it was really hard on my dd 2 and we barely saw any of the zoo. I will be hosting my second meetup on saturday, I made it very clear to be on time, and it is at a museum so not as intense as the zoo. As much as I like attempting socializing with kids, it is never really that easy. My friend has a dd my dd's age but she recently found out she was pregnant and had bad morning sickness so she couldn't hang out all summer long and when we do hang out, the kids take up a lot of our time. She just now asked to hangout again and now my schedule is busier.
On the therapy note, I already talked about that last time (me not working bit) I felt like I was beating a dead horse. And how many people want to hear someone complain they get to stay home with their kids eventhough they are divorced and a single parent? No one feels sorry for me and no one thinks i need anything (especially in my family) because my ex actually pays support. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, but I just would like more people to converse with me. I don't like therapy because I am optimistic by nature, I always see the good in everything, even when I am low and down, I always ask myself what I am learning, why am I here, that I should be thankful even for the bad times. So I don't really think I am depressed, it is just when I meet people and have to explain my situation at times it is a bit embarrassing at least I feel embarrassed, like I can't take care of myself.
You might consider finding a new therapist. Mine was lovely and understood exactly what I was going through and had so much compassion for me. I didn't really "need" therapy after the first few months but I really loved our sessions and felt buoyant afterwards. I did talk with her about how I sometimes felt like I was paying her to be my "friend" but that I didn't mind. Having a completely non-judgemental 3rd party sounding board was wonderful. I would have continued going if she hadn't left the clinic (she was finished with her clinic hours& going into private practice).
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
It really can be hard. For me, well, I don't have any family, but I guess that's no different from family who'll just tell you to suck it up. (For real! Awful. The karmamobile will be visiting them.) It also sounds like you're in a very Christian area, and there are ways that can be difficult for a single mom, too.
What saved me, the first few years, was synagogue. I'm not a bit religious and God, pfft, whatever. But faith isn't much of a thing in Jewish communities, and I'd just show up with my daughter every Saturday, know she'd be safe running around with the gang of little kids, and just unravel with adult company. And if you want to be able to be frank, hang out with a collection of east-coast expat Jews, oh boy. The hominess of the service was healing, too, though I don't go for that so much anymore. The only way I felt isolated was that I was the only single mom, and the general conversation assumed an income level I'll never see in my life. But nobody objected (much) when I called them out on it. (Repeatedly, till some got the message.) Just to have that for a few hours a week, really, a godsend.
One thing you might do -- if there's a women's center or some such on campus, or any group you have a natural affinity for, go hang out, not with the undergrads (who won't get your life) but with staff, see if they can find a little something for you to do -- any work will be little stuff, but you're really there for the company.. University/college staff are often very smart, capable women who do get it, and they're there partly because they are supportive people -- they have to be able to be supportive to students.
The other thing, really, is to give some thought to where you're going to live once you're done with school. It's important that the kids have their dad, yes, if he's a decent guy. But there are more and less supportive environments for single moms. In general, the more feminist an area is, the more support single moms have -- not just in terms of resources, but general attitudes, I think.