Just Turned into a Single Mom....

Updated on September 09, 2009
C.P. asks from Riverside, IL
6 answers

I need help. My daughter is 16 months old. Her father (boyfriend) and I recently split. I left him cause I was so unhappy and miserable. He is a wonderful father and a lot of help to me with our daughter. I tried counceling with him for the sake of her and it just wasn't there anymore. some may say i am selffish but i moved back in with my parents to maybe try to find myself again.....be happy with myself so I can be the best mommy ever. Since we left, she is happier already! If course, I am working with him and letting him see her when he wants and told him that I really don't want to go the legal route cause he doesn't have the money. he is devistated and I feel terrible. I am going to be 30 years old, and I do care for him but I kept on thinking why should I waste another year with a man that I have no intention to marry? She was an oops that is for sure but in all honesty, she came to my life for a reason and I wouldn't change that for anything. I feel for my daughter. I was and have always been daddys little girl so it breaks my heart to know that she won't see her daddy every day. I don't want to go back but single parenting is hard especially when you are used to someone being there to help. I am a first time mom and I wanted to see if anyone could give me some positive feed back, tell me I am doing the right thing, or refer me to a book or something that I can read about getting through this and how to be a good single mother. I am lost. I tried and tried....but I couldn't. did i ruin her life forever. not to mention I hurt him so bad too. There is no one else.....i just felt my self smiling in the outside and crying in the inside and I didn't want that to effect my daughter.

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answers from Chicago on

I got divorced when my son was almost 4. I remember feeling depressed and just dreading how I was going to get through each day before I made the real decision to leave. It was the best choice I EVER made, for myself and for my son.

1)Be PRACTICAL. This is a time in your life where you can change your WHOLE WORLD. You have a wonderful chance here to make your life better and to make a better life for your child! She is counting on you, and you should be proud of yourself for being brave enough to do this, even though it is hard.

You say you are at home now. I hope your mom and dad see that this is the best choice for you and are supportive. Don't wear out your welcome by relying on them for everything. See what options there are for you to get assistance to get some childcare help, get back to school and get an Associate's Degree in something practical like Dental Hygiene and get yourself a good job with insurance. Make sure your daughter is signed up for whatever Child insurance program your state offers, so you don't have to worry about her medical care and shots. Many of those programs will cover you as well, while you are in school, until you can get a job. Your parents are much more likely to help you if they see you working towards a goal and not just staying home being sad. I know this sounds like a tall order, but working towards something good is better than sitting around being sad anyday! You can do it!

2)You are worried about your daughter not seeing her father. Why won't he see her? Many men are lousy partners, but still loving dads. That is just the way it is.

Is he paying child support? He SHOULD be. Go to your local DCFS office and start plowing through the paperwork. It can be overwhelming at first, but ask for a counselor to help you through it if you need to.

It took TWO people to bring your wonderful daughter into this world and he owes her not just his love, but practical financial support as well. If he is really a loving daddy, he will agree with this.

Unless you are afraid he will steal the baby or is not safe for her to be around, can you not arrange visitation? When you say you don't want to 'go the legal route' because he does not have the money- you are setting yourself up for a WORLD of trouble for yourself and your daughter.

You want her to be as happy and secure in her life as possible, right? Then do NOT shortchange her- safeguard her interests by setting up a regular child support payment through the state disbursement unit. Even if he doesn't make much money or works as a musician or artist or something like that, he makes SOMETHING, and a fair share of that should support his child. Also, hate to say it, but maybe this responsibility will help HIM to be more responsible too. He controls what happens to him- not you.

This issue has NOTHING to do with you or your ex or your personal feelings about each other. It is about what is best for your daughter. Please, please trust me on this one.

I, and other divorced moms I know, have gone the 'friendly' route - only to see our kids get shortchanged time and time again. Don't make the same mistake!!!

Supporting his child is a father's responsibility, PERIOD. Don't take on guilt here for him- you have to be responsible to your child FIRST Corrine- not your ex, no matter how bad you feel about things. If he truly is a good dad, he will feel the same and won't pressure you not to 'go the legal route'. Your daughter comes FIRST now, not him.

3) This too shall pass. Right now, everything is super hard and heated and miserable. I have totally been there. But- IT DOES GET BETTER. Honestly and truly. You have family and friends who love and care about you and your daughter and they will help you. You are a strong, smart mommy who wants what is best for your little girl and you can get that and take care of yourself too!

Even things with your ex will get EASIER. It will never be how it was before. But remember- you are not a couple anymore- but you will ALWAYS be the parents of your little girl and can keep that in mind and make choices that are best for her.

Almost 5 years now, since my divorce. We had some tight times, etc. but now his dad is remarried and I am engaged to a WONDERFUL, responsible man who has a great relationship with my son! He also gets along with his stepmother and although we will never all be best friends, we are polite and support each other as parents and meet for soccer games and school concerts and it is all fine.

I got a better job, my fiancee and I bought a house in a great school district and my son and I moved out of our one-bedroom apartment (I had been sleeping in the living room for almost 3 years!). My son is a gifted student, loves his pet dogs and guinea pig and is a terrific, happy kid.

I NEVER would have thought all that could happen when I first left my husband. But we are all so much better off now. Be brave and think of your daughter and you can be too. Good luck and God Bless!



answers from Chicago on

The earlier you break up the better. I also split from my sons father when he was 18 months, and we worked it out just fine. You're lucky you have parents that'll take you in. I'm in a situation where I wouldn't have that as an option. You're daughter will be just fine bc you aren't making it a nasty environment conserning her dad. You let her see him, etc. that's when it gets bad when you limit the relationship. You have to be true to yourself. Being a prisoner really sucks. When my sons father and I split he was happier instantly, they can feel it. so you'll know

good for you for being true to yourself and not wasting any of your precious life with someone you don't want to be with



answers from Chicago on

You are right that smiling on the outside and crying on the inside will affect your daughter. I was in a situation where I felt untrue to myself, and I went to counseling for about 5 months. I went into it with the goal to improve myself, figure out techniques to manage my life and choices better. It was some of the best money I ever spent! I recommend the same for you, if you have the means. I went through Catholic Charities; they charged me based on household income.

Because I'm a romantic, I believe that you guys can make it back together if it is meant to be. If you take this opportunity to figure out your life, and he does the same, who knows what could happen? You guys were together for a reason, he clearly still has feelings, and you are setting out on a journey to find yourself. It has all the makings of a great love story.

Eventually you'll know if this was the right decision or not. In the meantime, you take care of yourself and your daughter, and stay civil/kind to your ex. I'm glad for you to have your parents to help in this situation.

Best wishes!



answers from Chicago on

I can hear the pain in your letter. You can't help it if you are just not feeling the love. You've tried counseling and, for whatever reason, it didn't work. It doesn't sound like you are being vindictive and, for the sake of your child, you will be allowing regular visitations. My biggest concern is to work out the parenting-visitation part" and "child support", legally, because your child, legally, is entitled to that.

I believe that, everything happens for a reason. You mention the "oops" but have not had any intention to marry. Marrying someone for the sake of your child, could be a far bigger "oops". Doing the right thing isn't necessarily the popular choice - you could have married but, your heart has told you differently. You say you were "so unhappy and miserable" - you are a good mom to recognize that your daughter deserves to grow up to witness role models who are strong and confident, who raise each other up, not tear each other down. This may be a hard time for you and you need to reach out and talk to others, stay busy so your thoughts don't bring you down, belong to a Church, even continue counseling so that you can strengthen your mind and determine what it is that you want in a partnership, for the future.

Now that you have chosen a path, a whole bunch of circumstances will stream from that decision - some good, some not. You just have to find the confidence, within yourself, to decide if the decision that you made is the right one for you and your daughter. She can still be "daddy's girl" but... that's HIS decision should he choose that route and spend quality time with his daughter. "Letting her be "mommy's girl" is equally important. I realized, as an adult, that my own mom took a back seat to our relationship and encouraged that "daddy's girl" image. Call me selfish but, I never wanted my children to choose one parent over the other - just as I won't play favorites with them!

No, you didn't ruin her life. You need to find strength and direct your energy on being the best mom that you can be. It won't be a daily walk-in-the-park but you will manage. You just have to stay focused, find a path and follow your instincts.

Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

hello my name is K. i am 23 i was living with my bf not the father of a my 8mnth old she was close to him because her dad does not even see her but anyways i had to move back to my parents house yesterday its hard its not my first time of this happending but i came up with the idea of finding like mom groups or just having other moms to just hang out with or just to talk to take the kids to the park together or start walking together just to get my mind off of things so if you need anyone to hang out with or just to talk if i am close to you i would be glad to listen or just be a new friend who you have a shoulder to lean on we can exchange numbers or w/e i moved back to cedar lake where you from?



answers from Chicago on

I am at a lost for words. I'll do my best though. I was in a similar situation. I loved my kids father but I was not in love with him and deep down I knew this was going no where. We lasted 12 years. At the time my daughter was 10 and my son was 14 months old. I had had enough and decided to break it off. He was devastated but I was just so tired. I will tell you this.....my daughter suffered, my son was too small so he did not know any better. I stuck to my guns and promised to be the best mom I can be. Surprisingly enough their father dissapeared from the face of the earth. Does not contact them at all. I did not expect that but my gut feeling of the type of person he is was not wrong. I explain to my children now (16 and 6) that although I wanted them to have a father in their lives, I could not keep being married to this man, I was not in love and I had to find myself (as you stated). Some people might find that selfish but I do not believe so. As the saying goes, you have to be happy in order to make your children happy.

After we broke up, I went back to school, finished my degree, bought a house and car and I can honestly tell you I am sooooo happy. As for my kids, they were in counseling to help understand why some fathers choose not to be in the picture. I am glad this is not the case with you. I hope I helped at least a little. I really do understand what you are going through. It is not easy but it is possible. Good luck.

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