I wish I'd given myself the respect and love, care and gentleness that I deserved during that time. Almost 10 years ago, I became pregnant for the first time in my life. At 33, I was not a teen. College-educated with a good job that I'd held down for six years, I even owned my own home. But I was divorced and in a brief dalliance with a man who was not parent or partner material. Being pregnant meant that I was also going to be a single mother. I'd wanted to have children, but I'd always imagined having them within the structure of marriage.
At 33, I was not a teen. College-educated with a good job that I'd held down for six years, I even owned my own home.
But I was divorced and in a brief dalliance with a man who was not parent or partner material. Being pregnant meant that I was also going to be a single mother. I'd wanted to have children, but I'd always imagined having them within the structure of marriage. And believing the doctors who said that my polycystic ovarian syndrome diagnosis meant I couldn't conceive without help, I hadn't thought I could become pregnant within three months of a fling.
Almost 10 years have passed, and I'm not gonna lie: Single motherhood has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do. It's been daunting, frightening, and frustrating.
But it's also been positively challenging. I've grown as a person in ways I never expected. And it's extraordinarily rewarding seeing my son unfold as I help guide him.
As he and I move into his 10th year, enough time has passed that I can reflect on the challenges and triumphs of the early years. Here are five things I wish I'd done differently. A complex amalgam of pride and shame had me accustomed to "accomplishing" things alone in my life. I'd swallowed whole both the Superwoman myth and the Strong Black Woman myth, and I equated vulnerability with inferiority.
These beliefs and fears led me to avoid asking for help and support when I truly needed it, during my pregnancy and the first years of my son's life, but to either reject it when it was offered to me or judge myself when I did accept it. For example, I let my friend drive me home from the hospital and leave me there with a newborn without asking if she or anyone else could stay the night or the week or the month.
I drove around, shopped for groceries, cooked, and took care of a newborn completely alone while recovering from a C-section, despite having family, friends, and a faith community I could have turned to. That's craziness, people!
And I didn't get any awards for this feat. It led to missing time focused on bonding with my kid, and it actually increased my vulnerability, which brings me to No. The shame I felt in being another single mom kept me bonded to a relationship that should have ended during the pregnancy.
My son's father was alcohol-dependent and intermittently financially dependent on me. Although I made him leave my house when I was five months pregnant, I could not bring myself to completely cut ties with him. And my "do it alone" philosophy during the early weeks after my son's birth left me vulnerable to his father's promises to help, which led me to allow him to return. I hoped that the baby might "change" him and that somehow I might miraculously not be a single parent anymore.
Dear Amy: I married a single mom. Now that I am in the thick of it, I find I want out. I grew up an orphan, so I have found that navigating family life is challenging. I am 35 now and am getting.
This mistake caused me and my son heartache that could have been lessened. Now for most people, this one will seem like a no-brainer. I had a great job, my own two-bedroom home, and lived in the same city as my immediate and extended family. Have I morally committed myself to the relationship? Dear Regretful: Yes, you have morally committed yourself to the relationship.
Stepparenting is the most challenging form of parenting there is, and you are insightful to realize that, given your own upbringing, you lack the tools necessary to cope with the demands of family life.
And because you lack any context, you may believe that marriage and family building should be easier than it really is.
I assure you, many a young parent has wanted to flee in the night. Do not feel pressured to purchase a home unless or until you feel more stable in the marriage.
Because you seem so distressed and disassociated, it might be best for you to separate now, but, please, only do so with some therapeutic counsel and support.
Man marries single mom - and now wants out
Start on your own and then invite your wife to join you in order to discuss your unique challenges. Be aware that you carry your history with you everywhere you go. Your challenges will not flee, even if you do. Your goal should be to live an integrated and emotionally balanced life, but you will need support to get there. Jackie asked me not to contact her, and I respected her wishes.
A few months before Jackie ended our friendship, I started decreasing the amount of time I spent talking with her.
Most of the time, she and I talked about depressing events such as gun violence or superficial topics like Kim Kardashianand we would talk about these events for days.
I felt depressed and hopeless though not about Kim Kardashian, of courseand it just was not healthy. Fast forward to now.
I am engaged. While this is an exciting time, I also feel an overwhelming sadness that my best friend is not with me. I just miss my best friend. What should I do?
My mom had this problem throughout most of my childhood. She'd meet a guy, and as soon as they found out she had kids, they'd bail. This was after dating for a while, after several successful dates. Mind you, my mom wasn't looking for me to have a dad-I had a pretty decent, albeit completely female, support network growing up. What a great board, I'm sorry I haven't chimed in earlier. Being a single mom has made me stronger, more passionate, and happier than ever before. Dating is a joke and why waste time with jokes when I have a wonderful 10 year man at home who makes me laugh harder, louder, and loves me unconditionally. Started dating this single mom right after I bought my house. We were very different, she works in a bank, has a lot of routines, nice apartment etc. I do dog sledding, live in a very old and cold house, physical jobs, spends hours a day travelling to/from work, don't really have much money, live kind of off the grid.
Dear Bride: Weddings and other important or ceremonial events often bring on grief and sadness for the people who are no longer in your life. It is simply part of the poignancy of a major life transition: Happy and sad seem intertwined.
Regret dating single mom
Brad and I hope you will share this special day with us. You should not have any expectation that Jackie will attend your wedding, or even respond to your invitation, but you will feel better knowing you had sent this open-ended kindness her way. Not at all. Or the henhouse. Thank you. Send questions via e-mail to askamy tribune.