About 4.5 years for me now. In ways, it's gotten harder, because XH went from being a good ex and dad to being a deadbeat. I don't receive child support and have a lot more juggling to do, and no longer get time to myself every other weekend.
However, the kids are older and more independent, I'm stronger in who I am, and XH doesn't scare me anymore. I have no regrets about our decision to end our marriage.
I've been separated since Sep 07, divorced almost a year now. Honestly, the single mom thing doesn't feel like the biggest change in my life. I'm living with my mom again, for one, and I'm getting food stamps (something I'd always been able to avoid before, along with the "why the hell do you have three kids and no job" stares). More importantly, though, I'm a college student. I had no college before. Which is a good thing, because I would have had completely the wrong attitude, and if I'd discovered philosophy before I had kids I'd have climbed up in an ivory tower somewhere and never bothered reproducing.
It's a change, but an enjoyable one. I'm on my way to becoming eventually self-supporting, with no adult to make happy but myself, and that's a wonderful thing.
ex started improving since dd was around 3 and he is getting better and better. the thing dd has going for herself is his need for control and better. he doesnt want to look bad compared to me. he also loves his child. genuinely.
whew!!! financially its been really hard. along with other stresses. but OMG it really has been the best thing for dd and me. it has been worth all the stress and hardwork. ex doesnt like going out with kids. too much hassle. that's changing now. so i am grateful to have the one on one time i have had with dd. the time we have had together has been intensely one on one and i really have had a ball with dd. some of our v. special memories could not have happened if ex and i were together.
i have and still continue to juggle money- and it has been painful, but for some reason that does make me feel its been so hard. i have built up a community, i have made some really good friends. so emotionally i have gotten so much support and so many special moments that financial troubles dont seem as large as they used to. for instance most of the months my mid month i have no idea how i am going to pay my rent. then somehow something ends up happening and i find a way. somedays i have quarters to live on, somedays i stand in line at the food bank.... however there is so much joy in our life that that no longer matters.
so how shall i put it.
if an outsider looked at my life - they would think what a hard life i lead. but for my dd and me - seriously life is a ball. somehow all the hard stuff doesnt appear so hard.
however i do get support from ex. not a penny but sometimes he watches dd for me when i am in class or have a test. however now i have a lot of backup people so if he says no i have others who will step in. when i am tired of eating beans and rice, i can go over to a friends house and have them cook me something. or they actually take notice and invite me for a meal just so i can taste something different.
so in a sense all that has changed in the last 5 years is the freak out factor. i dont freak out any more. that's about the only thing that has changed. i feel sooo free that i got to just take care of my dd and not have to devote time to a partner. had my fill of dates. bad sex. not interesting. have made valuable friends. and yet... if someone interesting crosses my path, i am willing to meet him half way.
but for right now, i am content in my tiny little room where having a dining table in the common area calls for celebration. i always wanted an open house where friends come to hang out and i cook for them. that has come true for me and i am really enjoying that. and my dd the party animal that she is - is absolutely having a ball with the life that i lead.
i am a minimalist at heart. and it feels good to be able to lead that life and have dd willing to walk that path with me.
The ex and I split almost 4 years ago, the divorce has been final for almost 3 years.
How has it changed me? Well, I'm no longer a sahm. Life is both harder and easier. It's harder because I have to be away from kids all day. It's easier because I don't have to walk on eggshells worrying about when he loses control again.
My dd's birthday was this week, she turned 9yo. I left a five year relationship (never married) while I was pregnant with dd. So I guess this fall it will be ten years. WOW. I'm a little in shock.
What's changed, well plenty has changed in my own life, nothing much has changed with ex's relationship with dd. He played holiday dad until dd turned 4. Then we didn't hear anything from him for 4 years. Last fall dd and her dad reconnected, it was very regular, they talked on the phone, he came into town and stayed with us so they could spend time together. Then this past April he met somebody and we haven't heard from him since. They married a couple weeks ago. I only know information through his family and his facebook. Yeah we're "friends" on facebook.
The biggest change is me. My dd changed how I look at myself. I used to be so scared of change, of depending on only myself (not just in regards to being a single mother, but in my everyday life). I started doing things that were out of my comfort zone cause I had to, for my dd. Now I feel confident that I can take on almost anything. That's worth all the BS that my dd's father can throw at me.
About a month and a 1/2. So, it's pretty new. We knew our marriage was over a few months before he moved out (we discussed it), but really, having him move out has been a huge and necessary change. It is one thing to know your marriage is ending and another to have it end, ykwim?
I can say that in some ways I feel more at peace. In some ways I am scared (really, mostly about the future). I know I will be ok, but I am finding myself in a situational depression. I have very little motivation to do anything. And I am ok with that. This is hard and I am not going to blow smoke up my bum and tell myself it is any different. I think it is really vital to be present in my pain (or whatever the feeling is at the moment) so that I can embrace it, learn from it, let it go, and eventually move on.
Solo mom to ds who turned 17 this week. Divorced his dad when ds was 2yo... so totally on my own with ds for 15 years- no CS, no contact.
I was in a long term relationship for 10 years with a few "off" years during that time. He is dd's father and I've been seperated from him since before dd was born. He is an EOWend dad and pays CS so it's easier in some respects and more difficult in others with him.
What I learned is that I am OK by myself! I can do it all if I have to and I've been tested with fire.
Almost three years! The first 6-8 months were pretty durn rough--dealing with infidelity and lies, lies, lies. Then I started focusing on me and made some educational decisions to have a new career. That helped a lot.
After the two year mark, things improved significantly again. I'm so detached from him but we do co-parent. He just doesn't trigger me like he used to.
This third year has some new challenges as he is gone for 2-3 months and I won't get a break--and will still be working my ass off from home with inadequate childcare.
Will get the D in the spring when I get my tax refund and can afford my own health insurance. That will feel good.
So a natural progession really. We get along okay for the kids now.
What has changed in that time? Besides the obvious of giving birth and thereby becoming a parent, my custody situation hasn't changed (zero involvement from ex, who has no visitation rights). But I've become much happier, with time, steady employment ($ matters, yes it does) and appreciation for how good I've got it.
X moved out going on a year and a half ago. I was solo parenting most of the time, more or less from the beginning (though I realize solo doesn't = single).
What's changed? I'm mostly over the acute grief of giving up the dream of a family life that never was. I'm mostly ok with the change in career paths I had to make when I realized how little X would contribute to parenting. We've settled into living with my parents, and our intergenerational routines. I'm enormously relieved to be at the very tail end of the AWFUL divorce process (papers are just going through the court right now). The kids are thriving. They've got a loving, stable environment, and really doing very well. I'm up to my neck in studies and am really, really ready for it to be done, but am looking at quite a long road.
I have been divorced for 1.5 years but I was left just over 2 years ago. DD was 17 months old, but XH spent her first 12 months in Iraq, then from 12-18 months in Germany. So I have been doing it all myself the whole time except I had some help financially while we were married.
What has changed, hmm. I started working after DD was 3.25, which I am very grateful for the time I had to SAH. I survived on CS and my savings for over a year. Then when my savings was gone, I put her in daycare part-time (grandma watches her part-time too) and went back to work. It has been an adjustment but it has been great.
Amost 5 months.
When I first left, I drove 1200 miles away and was at my parent's house for 4 months. I've just recently moved back near my ex, so that I can go to school and so that he and see the kids. It has been challenging having to be around him again but also nice to be on my own and working towards a goal.
I have been a solo mama for almost three years, dd is almost three.
The most significant change is that I am more driven to be successful while following my dreams so dd knows the same is possible for her. I'm really working toward independence and financial security because I agree money matters, in my world.
We have been divorced for 3 months and separated 6 months before our divorce.
It doesn't feel like it has been that long but in some ways it feels like forever!
I haven't felt a lot of change because I've lived with my parents since I moved out. We are moving out on our own in about 5 weeks. My dad bought me a house. Well, he bought a house as "investment" and I pay a portion of the mortgage. My sister is moving with me
I think so far I've gotten more of myself back. I'm not as tense. I don't lose my temper. I'm happier with myself. The boys and I are doing well (though it will be better once we move out).
Oh, and I realized that my children having an amazing childhood is much more important to me than I thought. I want them to look back on these years, and even through the heartache of divorce, be able to say "I had the best damn childhood ever!" It is how I feel about my childhood and I want the same for them.
I guess once we get moved I'l have to check back with you!
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