This blog post topic was a request from a young lady who follows me on Instagram.
I’m so delighted to share what I know about this.
I’ve had 2 single phases in my life. The first was technically not a single phase. I met my ex-husband in medical school when I was seventeen and he was twenty one. We dated for eight years before we got married. That was an exclusive relationship on my part. So, was I single? I guess, by definition, if you’re not married, you’re single. Unfortunately, our marriage ended in divorce fifteen years after. I was just about to turn forty years old when it ended. My second single phase then started, and it lasted for ten years. I just re-married two months ago in April 2020.
My ten single years were awesome years of self discovery. I had two daughters to raise—they were six year and twelve years old at the time of our divorce. My parents were my rock through this time. Even though they were both elderly, and in their early 80s, they still gave me and their granddaughters all the love and support we needed.
Divorce is hard! It stinks! It stings! But after I was able to reset my life, and process the reasons I got divorced, I was completely at peace with the decision and I settled into my new normal with peace and freedom.
We did move from our spacious townhome into a 2 bedroom apartment, and even though we had less space, we were happy to restart our new life.
So, how did I stay strong during those ten single years with two young kids?
1. Prayer. Prayer.....and more Prayer. I’m a Jesus follower, and I gave my cares and my stresses unto Him. There’s enormous power in prayer and faith in God. Don’t underestimate how prayer will completely transform your life for good/
2. Help and Support. I explained above how my parents were my solid rock. They supported me in my decision to end my marriage and they stood by me with prayers, their presence and love. I also had one or two close friends who I really trusted and who gave me lots of support. I must also emphasize the importance of help for your kids, so you can have some rest and respite. It’s very easy to get exhausted and depleted if you are always on the go as a single mom with kids. You must make time for yourself every single day, and practice self care and self love, so you can have the positive energy to share with your kids. I hired college students from a nanny website, and they helped me drive my daughters to and from school, did my grocery shopping, light household duties etc. This helped me make time for exercise, naps, and just me-time. Seek professional counseling or therapy. Pay for coaching and mentorship, if needed.
3. Nourishing your Spiritual and Physical Lifelines on a daily basis. Once you have the help and support as explained above, then nothing should prevent you from preparing and eating healthy meals, drinking lots of water, sleeping a minimum of eight hours, and physical activity for at least 30 minutes. For your spiritual nourishment, aside from prayer that we listed first, journaling, reading, taking a walk in nature, meditation etc. are also ways to nourish your spiritual life. This is so crucial. If you don’t nourish your spirit and body every single day, you’ll quickly run out of both fuel and the excitement and zeal for life.
4. Financial independence. This one is Gold. Gone are the days that women should be entirely dependent on their spouses for money and financial upkeep. If you want a happy marriage, it is imperative that you work on having your own income stream. This is extremely essential for maintaining your own self-worth, self-respect and sense of self. Marriage should be a partnership and inter-dependence between two people, not a co-dependent relationship. This also gives you choices in your life, especially if the unfortunate decision of divorce is inevitable. Having your own income stream prevents you from feeling like a captive who has no way out of toxicity. So, as a single mom, you’ll have the ability to provide for yourself and even your kids if you have to.
5. Start dating again. Why not? Even if you’re in middle age or older, who says there is no good man out there for you? Please don’t believe the Lies. You’re worthy of love again. You can, and you will find love if you believe you will. Take care of yourself, find your femininity again, dress up and go out on dates. Obviously, don’t have sex with these men until you’ve discussed exclusivity with the ‘one’. Don’t rush into giving your heart away. Just go on casual dates, so you can feel good about yourself again and just make friends. Please do not get attached emotionally too quickly; otherwise you’ll end up with a broken heart again. Give yourself a minimum of two years as a single mom to heal and rediscover yourself before you start an exclusive relationship again.
6. Lastly, take it one day at a time. Time heals all wounds. Don’t overthink your situation. Don’t beat yourself down about any mistakes you may have made in your past. Set your gaze forward, have fun again, laugh a lot and don’t be hard on yourself. Be present in your life and take life one day at a time.
I hope these tips help you if you’re a single mom in the midst of painful emotions.
This blog post does not replace the advise of your primary care physician. If you’re feeling sad and unwell, please call your doctor immediately for a consultation. If you’re feeling suicidal, please call the Suicide hotline immediately.
May we all be permanently happy, and may our pains create a passage into our own purpose-driven life.
See you on the Blog next month.
Lots of love,