I never wanted to be a Single Mom; to me it was a personal failure, even though I needed to leave our home for my safety. I tried to find reasons to stay in my marriage, mostly for my kids. One of my boys was in a special school for his ADHD and behavioral issues, he was thriving in 2nd grade; I loved his teachers and he was finally forming friendships. My preschooler would happily run into his classroom each day, never looking back, and at pick up time would dive into my arms telling me everything about his day.
Isn’t this what every Mom wants for their kids, for them to be happy, so how were it that I could even think of moving them away from their schools?
I worked full time at my spouses business, working without a paycheck. I took care of our home both inside and out. The house needed to always be perfect, laundry always folded and put away, and always, everything was to be in its place. Prior to their father coming home from work, the boys knew to put everything away and I would walk through the house, double and triple checking, that everything was just so, or else. It was stressful; we couldn’t relax and we lived in fear.
We packed up and left, and after some time at my parents’ home, working and saving, I purchased a condo and we started our new life, the three of us. So why was it, that I still was felt uncomfortable with being a single Mom? It probably didn’t help that my friends were married; most of my family members were all married and I really didn’t have any single parent friends.
One Friday night, our family movie night, we ran out of popcorn; my son said "it’s to movie night without popcorn", off we went to the nearest convenience store in the pouring rain for popcorn! It was then, when I ran into the store, almost knocking someone over, I met her; it was a Mom from my old neighborhood, 150 miles away. Now a single Mom herself, she lived nearby and we exchanged phone numbers. Meeting her a few day later, she invited me to a Divorce Support Group, I immediately said, “No thanks!” Funny thing was my boys had fun playing with my friends’ kids as we chatted and begged me to go, “where they are going tomorrow night”, the Divorce Support Group. There was a kids program, and because my boys weren’t seeing their Dad often, I thought it might be helpful for them. I convinced myself I could tolerate it for my kids’ sake, we went regularly, my boys met other kids, “like them”, it was helpful and they made great friends.
For me, I too, made friends that I had much more in common with then I could have ever thought; single parents who have shared similar burdens, emotions and fears with. The people that I thought would be just acquaintances with, have turned out to be friendships that have now lasted over 18 years. I would never have imagined that a Divorce Support group would have helped both me and my children feel normal; surrounding ourselves with people that walked our same path helped us realize, we weren’t alone, that I wasn’t a failure and friends can help you though anything.
Kerry is a Certified Divorce Coach and the Founder of www.divorceresponseteam.com
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