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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Single mamas, please give me some advice. I have a friend (actually my dh's cousin) whose husband just left her. We are not very close, but I do see her weekly at church, and I don't think she has many close friends in the area.<br><br>
She has two small children and is pregnant. She was a SAHM. Her husband left with her friend and cleaned out their bank accounts. So she is struggling in many many ways right now.<br><br>
What did people do/say to you that was especially helpful or unhelpful when you were newly single?<br><br>
She is currently looking for a job and is planning at this point to move into her husband's parents basement temporarily. (She says they are being very supportive.) I guess she has to stay in the area for 6 months because of divorce proceedings, etc, but then will be moving across the country to where her parents live.<br><br>
I have offered to watch the kids anytime, and dh will help her move out of her apartment, help with car repairs, etc.<br><br>
What else can we do for her? I just feel so awkward talking with her like I might say something to hurt her further.<br><br>
Help!
 

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Well, I think the biggest thing is to not to offer to help, but insist on it. Say, "lets set up a schedule so that I can have a playdate one time a week or two or whatever with the kids every Friday afternoon." I have had a million people offer to help watch dh, but how do I actually ask for it when I need it? And never think I need it THAT bad, so I feel bad asking. But, in reality, every mom needs a break, esp when dealing with being left, as I was. It is a very emotional time.<br><br>
Same with any gifts of hand me downs or xmas presents or whatever. Just bring them when you see her, and tell her you just had them stacked up and wanted to get them out of the house and she can donate them if she doesn't want to use them. Say that even if you go to a consignment store and buy her kids some winter coats. It is hard to accept help, and hard to ask for it. It is also impossible to ask for it if the help offerred is not specific.<br><br>
Does that all make sense?
 

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Amen to everything Spring Sun said.<br><br>
I don't know if she will have a separate kitchen her folks, but even if she doesn't maybe a group could get together in prepare some "Let's Dish" meals for her freezer--saves her money and time.<br><br>
I also like the idea of finding ways to help her out with Christmas for her children's presents ... and helping as the baby is due.<br><br>
And regularly scheduled "playdates" for her kids is a brilliant idea.<br><br>
M
 

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Maybe ask when she has prenatal or attorney's appointments and schedule playdates then. It might be nice for her to have playdates with you there, too. She probably is lonely and could use an ear and some company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, Ladies. I was worried that I would seem pushy, but since you all agree on initiating playdates, I will do that. I think you are right.<br><br>
If there are any other tips, keep them coming!<br><br>
I just feel so sad and angry for this mama<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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If you can, set up a play date and hand her a gift cert for a mani/pedi. Or an appointment at her stylist (your treat) . I know that sound superficial, but it will help remind her that she needs to be taking care of herself... and that someone cares enough to help make that happen.<br><br>
The biggest thing for me when I was suddenly a single mom, was ALL of us being invited somewhere.<br><br>
Then after all the shock wore off, I found a friend that I could count on for anything. She has a handy husband who she would just send over to do various jobs, cleaning the gutters, unsticking doors, making sure my car was in good shape.
 

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i didnt read all the posts so forgive me if I repeat the same info. I am newly added to this same sad scenario, no kids yet but pg. dont just offer help be there. You dont know how many people say let me know if you need anything or let me know if I can help. When I do ask for help they are too busy or some other excuse and it makes me feel worse. What is really nice is just to show up one day with help. Maybe it can be cooking a meal or getting a few groceries or perhaps helping with laundry or house cleaning. its the little things that help. Maybe helping with the kids or chores. I dont know your or your friends financial situation but considering her ex stole her money (mine did too) and if you can afford it how about a small donation? perhaps if her kids are in need of something like school supplies or clothes help by providing hand me downs or finding a discount store or something. Everyone needs different type of help so if you dont know ask. that leads me to my next suggestion. be there as a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear. People say they care and never call to see how you are. check in on her. if she doesnt want to talk dont pry for info but a lot of the time she may want to vent. Be there for her. I know you may have not been close before but there is no time like the present and esp when there is a crisis like this to draw closer to someone and help out. who knows if and when you will need the favor in return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again mamas for the advice. I have taken your advice to set up regular playdates at her house, and also have been calling a few times a week to check on her. My husband has also been able to help her with a few items.<br><br>
I would still love to see more suggestions. Something along these lines would make a good sticky. I don't think I'm the first or last person that has wandered into this forum looking for the right words to say and the right things to do.<br><br>
Blessings to you all!
 

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Bring her food! I really appreciated it when a few people brought food over for the kids, they knew I wasn't feeling well with the pregnancy/separation, and that it'd be hard to do the mundane things in life. I appreciated the food like you wouldn't believe. Gift cards are great too, I got one dropped in my mailbox, no clue who gave it to us, and I really appreciated that. It got my kids shoes, socks, and some clothes for winter.<br><br>
Call her up when you are out and say, Hey Im at the store, do you need anything like toilet paper, bread, etc..." I have a friend who does this from time to time, and I appreciate it because taking four kids (with daycare kiddo) to buy 3 things is a huge task!<br><br>
Volunteer to babysit when she has appointments, and just to relax at home if she wants. I have people always begging for my kids, personally they make my days brighter, so I don't usually give them up, lol. But I know some enjoy the time apart. Mine see their daddy, and that gives me alone time so to speak.
 

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Lot's of good advice here. I really needed people to talk to and often felt like a burden because i was always upset in the beginning. Being there for her and really listening could be helpful.<br><br>
Also i would recommend to her to move first and do divorce after. Once she files where she is she will have to stay in the county or state where she filed. She would have to file a move away with children and have permission of the court's or the father before being able to move.And if the father decides to ask for any custody at all then this could become a huge issue. If she wants to move and he has left with no contact then she should go now and file a divorce with abandonment where her parents live. That way she can stay there and not deal with move away and custody issues.
 

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Great advice! I second what others said about insisting on helping - so many people (co-workers, acquaintances told me "if you ever need anything just ask..." but I couldn't imagine how I would just ask someone for help. I was pregnant when my husband left and one of my big concerns was who would be at the birth with me - I had moved only a month before my husband left and knew hardly anyone in my new town. In the end the wife of my co-worker was my birth partner. It really helped knowing that I would have SOMEONE to call in the middle of the night if I went into labor -<br><br>
Support...just someone to listen - it amazed me that when I went through the situation some people who I was not so close to ended up becoming some of my closest friends because they really cared enough to listen to my confused ramblings when I felt like I was going crazy. Other friends who I had previously considered close said they cared but seemed too absorbed in their own lives to actually give me what I needed (which was listening ears, comforting hugs and a shoulder to cry on). Check in often - time slips by so fast in life but in times of crisis it often feels like you are in a time warp...<br><br>
Bring a gift of healthy snack food for her. When people are emotional they seem to either lose their appetite or want to overindulge in junk - either way having some healthy snacks may help her if she is skipping meals or eating too much junk at a time when she needs to keep her body in shape.<br><br>
YOU ARE AWESOME FOR BEING SO ATTUNED TO THE FACT THAT SHE NEEDS YOU!!! I am sure you will do the right thing!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 
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