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Hi, I'm Leah from Lovely Life of Leah. This post was a difficult one for me to write. I'm going to talk about being married and making the decision to get divorced. It was not an easy decision. It is actually the most difficult decision I've ever made. What do you do when there's no physical abuse, nothing that would make someone from the outside would say "Get out of there now!" For some couples, there is a time when you both grow so far apart that staying together is not good for anyone, especially their kids.
That's how it was for us. I went to counseling, the whole family moved to a different state, but the 'geographical cure' somehow made everything worse. We realized that he would never be the husband or father that I needed for him to be for me and our son, and I wasn't the wife that he wanted me to be either. What I knew more than anything, was that at three years old, this was not the life we wanted for our son to grow up in. We didn't fight, but didn't agree on much either. Our son deserved to be brought up in a family of love and support. The only way for that to happen for our son was for us, his parents, to separate. So we did. And two years later, the divorce was final.
There is of course much more to the story, but today, I want to tell you what it's really like being a single mom. In movies, and in the media in general, single moms get a bad rap. Always being portrayed that we are over worked, have no time for ourselves, are stressed out, broke, or hitting the club every night or spending our days on online dating sites. More than anything, I feel like single moms are portrayed as some sort of victim.
I am here to let you know what life is really like as a single mom for my son and I. To let you know how happy we are, how close we are, and that getting divorced can actually be a blessing. Disclaimer: No, divorce should never be an option when you get married. It's till death do us part. However, when kids are involved, it is important to put their well-being and happiness before all else. I would never recommend or suggest a couple getting divorced, however; I can help with finding resources if you find yourself in that situation.
As a mom of course you still always put your children first in any situation. But as a single mom it is so much easier. You set the schedule, you create the rules and the consequences. Your time is never divided, and your child is allowed to be the recipient of all of your attention and love.
When your child goes to the other parent's house, that is great too. You know your child is in the care of their other parent who will shower them with unconditional love, and attention. Your child benefits, and as a mom you finally get a break.
Yes, it's a little bit taboo to talk about moms needing a break, but believe me everyone benefits. Getting to watch the Food Network, E! or whatever Housewife marathon is on at that moment. To get time to relax, take a nap, take an uninterrupted shower, and even getting a manicure (I did a whole post almost two years ago about a manicure, I was so happy to have the opportunity, finally!)
And if you do choose to start dating again, as I did, the support from others is amazing. Family members volunteering to watch my son so I have a chance to go out with someone new; to try a different restaurant. It is exciting, fun, and a whole new world.
Once you've been married, the whole rush down the aisle isn't there anymore. And if you have a child, that pressure society puts on us to 'be married by 25, and have a baby by thirty' is gone too. Maybe you haven't felt it, but for me, it was there. So now that the fairy tale wedding, and having a baby is checked off my list, I feel free to take my time. To not rush anything. To actually enjoy my life, my son, and my job.
I've learned to be a better and happier person. To enjoy life, and to have fun. I've learned to be the best mom ever, and guess what? That attracts the right people into my life. My son is awesome, I am awesome, and anyone, let alone a new guy, would be lucky to date me and hang out with my son and I.
Yes, there are things I miss. Little things. Like I miss wearing a big diamond ring. My ring finger literally feels naked most of time. I miss living in a house. I never thought I'd be 32 and living in an apartment with my son. But these are all things I can change. I feel empowered to know I'm the one in charge if I want to buy jewelry, or a home.
Divorce is never an easy decision. I am guilty of judging others who were divorced, and never in a million years thought I would be a single mom. I didn't get married with divorce as an option. I am not 'that girl' but as life has it, here I am. And I have never been happier.
I have reconnected with someone I went to high school with 15 years ago. He absolutely adores my son, and me. Instead of feeling like I had to conform to someone who I wasn't, I am now free to be myself. A woman who dresses bright and colorful, who wears red lipstick, loves Hello Kitty, and dancing through life.
Being divorced has taught me to be a better ME. I'm a better mom, partner, daughter, co-worker, and friend.