I have been a single mom for 9 years now.
Nine years of paying for the roof over our heads, the food in the fridge and the gas in the car, alone.
Nine years of driving to gymnastics, dance camp, baseball games, swim classes and volleyball tournaments, alone.
Nine years of doing the errands, shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry, alone.
Nine years of going to Christmas concerts and parent-teacher meetings, alone.
Nine years of holding her hair back when she was sick, checking her hair for lice and holding her trembling hand in the doctors office, alone.
Nine years of celebrating her report card, alone.
Nine years that I wouldn’t take back for the world…or change a thing.
Being a single-parent is the best thing that ever happened to me.
I love that it is just Haley and me.
I love how we laugh together, talk about our days together and sit read together.
I love our friendship.
I love our bond.
I love our mother-daughter nights. Our games nights. Our movie nights.
Our vacations, our shopping sprees, our spa days.
I love that my daughter tells me her secrets.
I love that she tells me all about her day.
I love that we share a home.
My daughter is my best friend in the whole world and I am extremely proud to be her single-mom!
More about my story:
When I became a single mom, I felt alone, desperately trying to keep myself and my 6-year old daughter afloat. I had never imagined my future would hold a failed marriage, along with losing my house and my full-time job as a designer, all within a year. I felt very confused, and I felt very alone. My friends were all married and couldn’t comprehend. My family was disappointed in my dissolved marriage and our friends were being dispersed between myself and my ex-husband. There seemed to be a stigma attached to being a “single mom”. I suddenly felt like an outcast.
Everywhere I looked, I saw happy two-parent families. I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with me. Why did this happen to me and how was I going to make it alone? One of my lowest moments was waiting in line to pick up donated toys for my daughter at Christmas. I felt a deep sense of despair. Although I was deeply appreciative for the help, ultimately I felt horrified and like a failure because I couldn’t provide for my daughter.
That was five years ago. Since then, I have gone back to school, graduated with honours and have been working full time both as a designer and as an art teacher for children. This year, my daughter is 11 and we had the wonderful experience of volunteering at the same toy drive and gave out presents to other families in need. I felt a wonderful sense of balance.
When I look back at those first few years, I remember vividly the struggles, the sadness and anxiety and the stress. I needed emotional help, a support system, guidance, encouragement and direction. Since that time, I have been blessed with amazing women in my life. I have met and built wonderful friendships with other single moms. These women and their children are my extended family and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support.
About this guest blogger:
Beth Hudson is a local single mom who lives in Burlington with her daughter. She is one of the founders of INCITE – A Single Moms Support Group. All single parents are invited to a focus group with INCITE at the Ron Edwards YMCA, Wednesday March 30, 2011 from 7:00- 8:00 p.m. to share their stories and challenges. Visit the Incite website for more details.
Additional resources for single parents:
- Access Counselling and Family Services
- Halton Family Services
- Reach out Centre for Kids
- Public Health Agency of Canada: Because Life Goes On: Helping Children and Youth Live with Separation and Divorce
- Programs at Ontario Early Years Centres: locations
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