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Single motherhood can be challenging.

Are you happy? If so, how do you think you found happiness? If not, what steps are you taking to get there?
 

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Good question.

Sorta.

I am darned proud of how I have held it together, gotten back in a (new) career, am mostly providing my children with a structured, safe and decent childhood.

I have good, supportive friends and a wonderful neighborhood and a rewarding if exhausting/draining/demanding job.

I would like a better balance, though, because my kids aren't getting enough time and attention from me and I see the consequences.

So work in progress. I am not unhappy, I can say that much. Happier than when I was with him? In a sense because I am not *constantly* reminded how awful it was -- he was so checked out. And I didn't even want this divorce.

Go figure.

Long answer ... hope that's ok.

M
 

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I am really happy, I absolutely love the family dynamic of the girly world shared by dd & myself.
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I think the first step toward my happiness was accepting our reality of being just us two, which took quite some time. As time goes on each step I take toward independence (signing a book deal, doing well in school, getting a new car, etc.) bring HUGE blessings that assure me that I can do this!

So many tools have helped me reach the acceptance and strides toward independence, but the most helpful item has been Julia Cameron's The Artist Way --- her morning pages are life changing for anyone and each chapter has helped me know myself a bit better. Learning to clear the emotional clutter has allowed me to be more centered and thus more productive and more present with dd.
 

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I am so very happy! I am happily divorced. Have I mentioned I'm happy? LOL


I recently started working and while it freaked me out a bit (been a loooong time since I've worked ft) I really love it.

For me, the thing is that I'm living MY life. While there are certain areas where I do have limitations, for the most part I make all my own decisions and do what I want. I have control over myself and my future, I make it happen. Sometimes that can be overwhelming and I think we see it in a negative way...we feel stress and pressure. But if you turn it around, it is a good thing, an amazing thing. And then it all just flows.
 

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Yes! What helped was an honest assessment of my many blessings: the freedom of sole custody (no co-parenting, whether with husband OR current husband; no sharing money or home) in addition to my home, friends, health, profession, reasonable financial security and rights (that is, living in the US in the 21st century; in other places and times I couldn't vote, own property, parent alone, go to grad school, wear shorts...). And time helped too - the first few months after divorce were painful, especially because I was then unemployed and poor. But now? My dd often tells me how glad she is that we have the specific blessings we do (that we live where we do, that she's an only child, that we are just two, etc.) and frankly I agree with her. In hindsight, I would have created my family exactly like this: just two. (I would have skipped the marriage and used a donor, in hindsight, though.) And knowing that - that I wouldn't want my family structure, my life, to be any different than it is now - is what really makes me happy and feeling blessed, lucky for each day I can be in this family.

I really like what grisandole said about the flip side of "it's all up to me" being incredible freedom, and pride in one's (solo) accomplishments. Single-handedly raising a family, making a home, $ providing for that family, and being a good friend, artist, employee and community member - doing all those roles competently and in balance - is a wonderful thing. As in any other part of life, identifying and then meeting a challenge - climbing a mountain, learning Spanish for a trip, single or solo motherhood - is exhilerating!
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I am content, satisfied and full of bliss! (I have issues with the word, "happy").

How did I get there?

Reading (Thich Nhat Hahn was my godsend), meditation and a couple of amazing friends that held me accountable, and kept me aware, when I slipped back into old patterns of behavior.
 

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I am happy.
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I spent time with myself, got to know myself and got to really like who I am. It is a work-in-progress, but I really like the person I am right now and how I contribute and interact in the world.

Taking the focus off anyone/anything else and going within is what really helped me get there.
 

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Gotta say - we've had some great discussions lately on this board. I love how, rather than just individual tales of woe and victimhood - perhaps the cliche of single motherhood that outsiders see - we instead reveal here happy, complex people who are leading our lives with conscience, wisdom (sometimes hard-won), careful thought and appreciation.
 

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I'm still a bit up and down. I'll feel fabulous much of the time! Then I will have some intense deadlines, the house falls into borderline squalor while meeting those deadlines, finish project, deal with house, rinse and repeat. Add in a loud, demanding 4 year old who asks 250 questions a day of his introverted mom... I do get overwhelmed.

He's starting to mellow and will be in kindie next year.

Am I happier than when I was married? For the most part--O do miss his cooking (OMG!!) , laundry help and having real conversations about the kids.

I'm working on being able to better maintain my emotinal balance. I can see and feel all the good stuff--just not as consistently as I would like.
 

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You caught me on a really tired morning, after about 10 days of the flu and earaches.

Am I happy? I would say I'm mostly at peace with my life, though I have some real frustrations and do feel there are some holes.

While I'm blessed to have my ever-helpful parents - they are very generous and are wonderful grandparents - the fact that this living arrangement is almost sure to last another three years can be very frustrating at moments. They went away for two nights and I really enjoyed having the place to ourselves.

I'm enormously relieved to be out of my emotionally abusive marriage. I've nearly forgotten what it's like to walk on eggshells
I've been enjoying a bit of a social rebirth. My X was anti-social, and was very reluctant to, and obnoxious about, either participating in social events or watching the kids so I could. It was VERY isolating.

I do want a partner. I haven't yet dated - I don't want to until the divorce is final. Frankly, I don't know how dating will even work - living w/my parents, two young children, etc...We'll see. But I'm lonely. I would really, really like someone to make decisions with jointly, to relax with at the end of the day, and so forth. I have great friends, but they're all busy with their careers, babies, and husbands, and it's not the same as a partner. My X doesn't parent - he just visits when convenient for him, so there's no "co-parenting" going on. That is mostly a good thing - it limits how much I have to deal with him, and limits the impact of his poor judgment and amorality on the kids.
 

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I am happy. I don't beleive that happiness depends on our circumstances, rather on our view of them. I think happiness is available and accessible to us in each moment....but that it can be more difficult for our mind to access it in certain situations. I try to recognize and appreciate the small, miraculous things going on around each moment- the sun pouring through the trees, my cute baby girl's wobbling walk, my son's big grin, the taste of fruit. Happiness is available each moment if we choose to reside in it.
My son is just learning about feelings and asks me a lot "mama, you happy?"....it is such a simple reminder to treasure these times.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by yoginisarah View Post
I am happy. I don't beleive that happiness depends on our circumstances, rather on our view of them.
Yes! It's about saying, truly believing, "I want to be here. I choose to be here. I love it here!" - wherever "here" is.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by yoginisarah View Post
I am happy. I don't beleive that happiness depends on our circumstances, rather on our view of them. I think happiness is available and accessible to us in each moment....but that it can be more difficult for our mind to access it in certain situations. I try to recognize and appreciate the small, miraculous things going on around each moment- the sun pouring through the trees, my cute baby girl's wobbling walk, my son's big grin, the taste of fruit. Happiness is available each moment if we choose to reside in it.
My son is just learning about feelings and asks me a lot "mama, you happy?"....it is such a simple reminder to treasure these times.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
Yes! It's about saying, truly believing, "I want to be here. I choose to be here. I love it here!" - wherever "here" is.

I absolutely agree with this AND think it is important to feel what you feel. I am in mourning right now. I recognize it and embrace it. This is really the first time in my life that I am accepting how I truly feel instead how others think I should feel. I am actually feeling my feelings and that feels great (even though those feelings are sadness and anger sometimes and they feel like crap to feel, but the point is is that I am honoring those feelings). I am more at peace than I have ever been. I thought I would be doing more "positive" things like riding my bike and pilates and yoga--all things I love, but I have absolutely no physical motivation to do them at this time. I am fricken' way exhausted. I do know that I will move through this and when the time is right, I will be doing the physical activities that I love.

I am love, love, loving the alone time (especially at night) I have with my dd. And that, truly makes me happy! It is so interesting to me to be able to hold the space for having more than one feeling: deep sadness, peacefulness, and utter joy and happiness. Life is difficult right now, but it is truly good.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by yoginisarah View Post
I am happy. I don't beleive that happiness depends on our circumstances, rather on our view of them. I think happiness is available and accessible to us in each moment....but that it can be more difficult for our mind to access it in certain situations. I try to recognize and appreciate the small, miraculous things going on around each moment- the sun pouring through the trees, my cute baby girl's wobbling walk, my son's big grin, the taste of fruit. Happiness is available each moment if we choose to reside in it.
My son is just learning about feelings and asks me a lot "mama, you happy?"....it is such a simple reminder to treasure these times.
Yoginisarah,

I cried when I read this. It's so true!! Thank you SO much. I really needed to read this today...
 

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I'm still working on this one. I find happiness within at times but sometimes the external circumstances pull me away from that. It is difficult that everytime i get myself in a good place with my family the ex comes along to do whatever he can to disturb our balance. I have singlehandly raised our four children without his help in any way for nearly three years. Then he reappears to take me back to court. The court fights are ridiculous and full of his lies and manipulations and it is such a waste of my time and energy. Because the kids are out of school they have to run around with me to the courthouse and the Kinko's for faxing everything out to my lawyer. It is so viscious. He is dragging us all through it and i feel like he doesn't get that right because he has not complied with a single thing the courts order nearly three years ago. But i'm stuck spending my summer in a court battle with a narcissitic jerk. Hopefully i will at the very least get child support ordered and enforced. I've received nothing and he still claims to be unemployed and living with his mom ( a lie of course) but yet he is requesting the kids for the whole summer. How does an unemployed man support four kids for a summer? He says his mom will watch them, his mom is a convicted drug felon who attempted suicide and was institutionalized three years ago.

Ok, so that turned into a bit of a rant. I'm about to have a new babe, life is what i make of it and i intend to do whatever i can to make sure my kids can have a peaceful upbringing and i will happily do whatever i can to make that happen.
 

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i am content. i looooove my life. i am excited by everything that happens. some days i am happy, some days i am sad. some days i am all stressed out. but bottom line is i can sleep at night and there is a spring in my step.

it took me a long time to get here. it has a lot to do with my own personal growth and spiritual life. many many books helped me. i had no 'one' to help me. i had listeners so i had a couple of places to vent. what happened was i started seeking. joining groups, womens work, meditation, single mama's group, taking classes that interested me - meaning jewelry making, pruning trees....

it took me 2 years to get out of the dark place. the only thing that did it for me was reaching my 'fuck it' level. i was tired of playing victim. i was tired of complaining. i was tired of always wanting.

that's when everything fell into place. and since then i have made one realisation after another. shit happens. at the end of the long tunnel is light. however at the end of the light there is another tunnel. so life is full of ups and downs. for me what mattered was taking care of my body. not allowing myself to freak out any more because it took a huge physical pound of flesh out of me. and i was no longer willing to do it. i want to live, live long and healthy to enjoy my life and my dd.

today i dont aspire anything. really the one thing that has changed is that i consider myself as a person too who needs to be cared for as much as my dd. i tried going down a lot of paths which many adviced me to but i hated it. one of the things that i hated was doing the gratitude thing. it wasnt natural to me. it felt like a 'should' thing.

instead i would take care of myself. i would treat myself. if i wanted an icecream even though i shouldnt i would. i purposely wake up at the cost of sleep to meditate and have tea with myself lately. AND to have a moment of peace away from my sweet loving yet IRRITATING right now whiny child who can only tolerate a couple of inches distance from me. aaaargh!!! and i find i automatically fall into gratitude. i dont have to seek it.

i just look at how incredible my life is - little things - fuuuuuul of small blessings and the other stresses just dont matter any more. life taught me that. it really WILL be ok.

i loooove trains. i loooove meadows. i have a lot of dreams of train journeys going thru meadows. i wake up feeling so incredibly grateful that i am in tears. and yet the train stops at stations. and life goes topsy turvey. and yet you get back on the train and it goes thru meadows and mountains again. and while you gaze out you wonder what the next station has in store for you. and it becomes a challenge. will i be able to keep my cool or will i freak out.

in one word my life is an adventure. and i love it.
 

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I am happy. I'm a lot more stressed, and I'll admit that I'm a bit resentful (I did not create these children on my own, and yet I am raising them, paying for them, doing everything on my own, and it is NOT how I pictured my life to be AT ALL), but I'm a firm believer that you have to play the hand you are dealt, and I can be angry and upset all the time, or I can choose to be happy.

Most of the time, I try to choose to be happy.
 

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I am happy. Things aren't perfect, since we're only 9 months seperated now and have resolved nothing in terms of child custody and marital asset distribution. But it is so amazing to no longer live to please someone else. I don't tiptoe around a man's depression and emotional abuse now. I am so thrilled that my girls will have a better chance to break out of the cycle of seeking out emotionally abusive partners, like my mother and I both did. Yup, I am happy now.
 

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Depends on the day of the week for me. Just seeing my son's smiling face makes me know that everything is ok and that he doesn't care one way or another, mommy is all that matters. Plus I have wonderful friends and family who remind me constantly that I am worthy of being loved fully and completely with no shame.
 

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Some totally awesome posts!!


Mostly, yes, I am happy. Of course it's each moment, and all that... things are not easy right now. I'm terrified my ex will get 50/50 and the children will suffer, his constant barrages of how awful I am can get exhausting, I'm watching myself go more into debt and I'm so tired of borrowing money.

But... yes. Through all of that, I am happy. And it's so easy for me to say that right now, with my little sick redhead sleeping next to me all snuggled up. I feel a lot more peace, fulfilledness, contentment and just plain appreciation for life the last several months than I have in years.
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