J.A. asks from Harrisburg, PA on March 25, 2009
Any Single Mom Support?
I am a single mom of 2 gorgeous girls....one who is 2.5 yrs, and the baby who is 7 months. I have been single since I was in my 2nd trimester with the 2nd (their dad, my ex, decided he wasn't ready to have the responsibilty of being a father) and have been raising them physically and financially on my own. I do have a small support group of friends and family....but sometimes it's hard to talk to them because I don't want pity or sympathy. I just want someone to understand what I'm going through. I work full time and don't usually do much other than be with my kids (which I really do love!!) I love my children with every ounce of my soul....but sometimes I can't help but feel trapped and sad that I'm missing out on being a "normal" 24 year old. I also am scared that I'll never find anyone again because...well, I think I'd have to leave the house to ever do that! I want them to have a father someday like my dad was for me. I try my best but after 4 hours of sleep a night and all the stuff in between, I sometimes feel beat down. I guess my question is...is there anyone else out there that has been through this and can offer some advice? Reassure me that it will someday get better or easier?
And please....if you feel the need to respond with negative comments about personal views on me being a young, un-wed mom, don't bother. I'm proud of my decisions and am blessed with my children.
*This may have reposted twice, I didn't mean to send out the first one. Thanks for any responses!!!
So What Happened?™
I just want to thank EVERYONE who took the time to respond. The support that you all have shown me is amazing....it really made me feel so much better. Sometimes I take things for granted...but reading your replies reminded me that what I'm doing is the best thing ever, and I am so lucky to have my daughters in my life. Sometimes the bad days outweight the good ones....but putting things in perspective makes me realize that as long as I have my girls...there are no BAD days!! Thanks again, I really really appreciate all the positive reinforcement. :)
N.H. answers from Pittsburgh on March 26, 2009
Another thing to remember is that they do grow up fast. When they start school things will be a lot easier. I am not saying to wish the time away, I am just reminding you that it won't always be this hard. It is something I lost sight of when I was a single mom at age 18. Now she is 32 and I have three granddaughters! The rewards are bayond compare!!! and definitely worth all the struggle I went through.
You will get there!
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D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on March 25, 2009
Of course you don't feel like a "normal" 24 year old! Because you're NOT! You're an awesome hardworking single mom to two precious girls. Sounds like you are doing a great job and I just wanted to offer you a few words of encouragement.
I'm 45 with a 6 yo son and I don't feel like a "normal" 45 year old either! LOL
It will get easier as they get older. These will be crazy hectic years for you, I'm sure. Try if you can to schedule a little "me time" each day. Even if it's just a long steamy shower after the girls are in bed or a nice walk at lunchtime with a co-worker. Maybe from time to time you can get a sitter and go out and kick up your heels. Look at it this way, you'll be a young mom to older girls some day and the "you" factor will definitely kick up a notch then.
Sounds like you are doing an amazing job juggling all that you have on your plate. Hang in there. This will probably be the most difficult time in your life so it's all easier from here!
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S.G. answers from Tampa on March 30, 2009
Im only 17 years old and continuing my last year in high school with a 3 month old, yes i know, pretty young. My son's father, decided he was not ready to be a father either and left both of us hanging. It's very hard, because I dont have a job, and being a full time student is not easy either. The only person who supports both my son and I is my father; i try to appreciate everything he has done for both my son and I. My son is definitely a blessing to me, all children are. It's the beauty of nature. I am also afraid that i wont find anyone out there. But with me being so young and having a child, im just in that "adult" stage, where i have to focus on my child, education & work. I dont want to be alone, i hate being alone and I want my son to have a father, someone who will always be there for the both of us. I filed child support on my ex, because he hasn't helped out since he was born. He wasn't there for the birth of my son, which is absolutely horrible. But anyway, people have told me, that i'd be surprised who would want to date me, with or without having a child. They say, to give it time. Your kids are the most important thing to you :) Don't beat yourself down; you did nothing wrong. Im sure there's a guy out there, who is looking for you, and will love both you and your children just the same. Keep your head up high, God always has a plan :)
God Bless & Take care!
2 moms found this helpful
B.W. answers from Erie on March 26, 2009
I'm married now, but I was a single mom for 5 years, when my kids were 3 and 1 up until they were 8 and 4. I've been married for almost 20 years now to a wonderful man (doesn't this sound sappy?) whom I met in grad school. Yes, it can happen.
What's really hard as a single mom, is that you are spending your life juggling work and home, doing everything for everyone. You live for getting them into bed so you can relax, and then you realize there's nothing to do. No one to talk to, etc. Boring and depressing . . I used to get the kids to bed, and then walk around my empty apt thinking, "Why was I so looking forward to this?"
Going back to school was one of the best things I could do for myself. Yes, I met my spouse there, but more importantly, I interacted with people, I thought about stuff, I studied, I developed a confidence that my failed marriage had taken away from me. And I healed during that time, too. I learned to be a single me, and be proud of it, and that I didn't need a man to make me feel complete. I could live successfully without one.
And it was at that point, of not "needing" a guy, and not "needing" to lean on anyone else to have a life -- that one asked me to consider a life together. And, honestly, I did NOT want to sacrifice the me I had just gained, to go back to being half of a whole. So we took our time . . . and I set boundaries. Never again would I give up what I sacrificed to try to make a failing marriage work. I was tough. (and loving) And it worked. I am married to a guy who does housework, who raises children, who works hard, and mostly to someone who is demented enough to absolutely love me -- no matter what I do or don't do. I don't always agree with him, he's not me, but I always respect him, always love him, and we are always faithful to each other.
The other thing that is cool about school, is that with or without meeting a "special guy" there, it is a place where people are thinking and talking and doing, and it's a place to meet some people who will encourage you, and challenge you. It's tough, cuz the truly "single" people there are out doing stuff for fun while you have responsibilities at home, but you'll get through that. And it will help you to grow, not just chase the clock, the job and the children. And when you are actively builidng your own life, you are setting a fine example for your children, who will be incredibly proud of their mom, and incredibly proud to follow in your footsteps, or to make a path of their own, because you have shown them by example that it can be done !
Good luck ! I hope you link up with some very smart and courageous women on this sight, so you have people on your pc you can chat with !! But I hope you are also able to link up with some friends who will challenge and encourage you, swap babysitting, etc., and be face-to-face friends, because we really need local friends when the chips are down as well as when we want to plan fun stuff to do with our kids.
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M.M. answers from Pittsburgh on March 26, 2009
One day at a time. You have good core values, you sound v stable and motivated in great directions. Some things you may wish for yourself may not come quickly and easily but they will come.
I can't fully agree with the idea that you need to take a half hearted, irresponsible person to court and force them into a child's life. I choose the opposite when the dead beat dad choose other things. I asked for a renounciation free and clear of all financial ties. I do not regret my choice and have had 15 years to reflect carefully upon it. I did meet someone, the person I was supposed to be with. He raised and LOVED my daughter and I am grateful that my dd knows this. He adopted, raised, unselfishly supported her.
Tossing a child into an unwelcomed relationship for weekends off will never yield acceptance from someone who is unwilling. If the willingness changes, then there is room for amending. I don't disagree that the bio should be held to some financial accountability to help you through this. The courts WILL support you on this and it is wise to have your options on the table. I choose otherwise as the adult partner was not interested and the rejection is much more damaging to a child than having new clothing. It is ok and healthy for your children to see you cry at times, to have moments. But if you show your children strength, solid choices and actions through example, a few tears will teach them compassion, understanding no weakness.
It is hard, God watches and cares and will help you through your journey. One day at a time.
I have been a single parent of one for 8.5 years,with a home, full time job.
I am now a widow, with a job, a small business and a 1/2 time student working on my BFA.
My oldest in college just leaped out of the nest and my youngest are 7 & 9.
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A.J. answers from Williamsport on March 26, 2009
Hey, awesome lady!
My step sister, 28, mother of two awesome boys, is in the same boat. She JUST got through her divorce, relocated to be near family and started a new job. She has no interest in dating yet, but I'm hear to say, it will be more work for her to keep the men away, than to find one when the time is right. Or rather when the man is right-she learned a valuable lesson form jerk #1. Her next man will be amazing.
The beauty of your situation is that you have your children, which makes you an even more valuable package. Because you are young, you will be skipping all the shlocky guys out partying you may have dated who wouldn't be able to handle a "chick with kids" (after losing one like that-but thank God for your beatiful kids he gave you). Your standards should be ultra high as in finding an awesome mature man to be the example to your kids you need. Thank goodness you know this and mentioned it. And also because you are young, you don't have to panic about how long that will take. And because you are doing so many things at once (sounds like me at that age!!!) You will have many new skills and a lot of maturity once you do meet Mr. Right, and you will be standing on your own two feet, as you are now.
I'm sure every woman's prayers who reads this are with you through this rough time. It's hard even with a dad in place! Keep your loving vibrant attitude, and be very picky about the ones who come along. And they will. Your world seems small with just your little circle right now, but the possibilities are endless. Take very good care of yourself and health. You won't be able to let yourself go to pot-and that's GOOD! Give yourself beauty treats, you like any woman, are more than just a mom, you're a complete woman. Continue counting your blessings and being strong, the rewards will come.
I'm sure you already know, you'd be getting tired of the concerts and stuff soon. The young people out partying don't have the beauty you have. As time passes and your budget increases (since you are working and going to school, you will be making good money) there are always fun things and concerts to do. You're not missing them! My husband and I take off and go to Europe whenever we can with the kids-you can do things like that and all the concerts you want one day! Keep your standards high and make sure your future men work as hard and are as selfless as you are!
Meanwhile, you've got your babies and your youth all at one time! Try to enjoy the present and don't worry what the future will bring. You're an awesome woman, it will bring great things.
1 mom found this helpful
A.P. answers from Pittsburgh on March 26, 2009
J...I want to echo the others in saying how much I respect you for what you are doing. I also want to add that very soon it is going to get so much easier. You are in the HARDEST stage right now. My kids have the same age difference as yours and I can tell you I really struggled when they were that young. It is just plain HARD. Once they are potty-trained and really talking and communicating it gets much easier. Soon they will be great little playmates for one another and not need your constant attention. They will become more independent and you will be able to do things like take a shower without worrying what is going on. My boys are 5 and 7 now and I am having SO much more fun with them now to be honest. It is just so much easier and now I have time for me also. So hang in there and good luck.
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M.C. answers from York on March 30, 2009
I am a mother of four. I am lucky that my children have their father but he works all the time so sometimes it feels like i'm a single mom. Hey I don't know where you are located but if you ever want somwont to talk to you can e-mail me at ____@____.com . I will be glad to help if I can. Hang in there. You will find some one some day just don't give up.
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M.H. answers from Sharon on March 26, 2009
No judgement here, I'm actually PROUD of you for supporting your kids completely on your own, physically an financially, way to be a strong woman!!! :D
A lot of the single moms I've ever met are almost always single by choice, and usually it's because they walked out on the father because "they weren't the one" and they wanted to date around some more, or they cheated on him and then walked out on him because they couldn't stand to keep their pants on when he wasn't around. :P They ALWAYS take the kids and sue "that good-for-nothing bastard" for child support. Overnight their ex goes from the father and the lover, to an unlimited access resource that the woman's entitled to and "that good-for-nothing bastard," even when he's done nothing wrong.
But you aren't them. Those women are weak, spineless, and I'm ashamed for them. YOU I am proud of, even though I don't know you, because you've shown strength in standing on your own two feet. You don't need him, and you're proving it quite sufficiently by living well and living happily ON YOUR OWN. I salute you! :D
God bless you, J., and may more single mothers find the strength and courage that you have.
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