Becoming a single parent can be just downright frightening. Being in the house at night with my kids and no partner was the thing I hated the most. What if someone broke in? What if there was a problem with a dog? What if a smoke detector started beeping? All these things would keep me from sleeping my best. My kids were safe, snug in their beds, and I tossed and turned worrying about all that garbage. Until I didn’t.
What happened? Well, the smoke detectors started beeping. Each one of them, over a period of about 3 weeks. They had all expired and needed to be replaced. I was at the hardware store 4-5 times buying $60/pop smoke detectors. And my kids helped replace them. And we were fine. The dog puked in my bedroom. And I cleaned it up. There’s no stain or anything. Just the memory of that super-effective alarm clock sound of a dog about to puke. And thankfully, no one broke in.
What did this teach me? It taught me that I can handle things like this, all by myself. Just me. Single mom. Killin’ it every day. I got to test my own mettle, and I passed. How did I feel about it? FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC!
This set the stage for even more ‘success on my own’ projects and accomplishments. I put in a new garage door keypad. I got a new mailbox. I hung up the paper towel holder like I’d always wanted. Small things–big feelings about them. I got rid of junk that was hanging around. We cleaned up the garage with no arguments! We put things away where I wanted them. We no longer had 5 years worth of Windex. We were doing things, as Frank Sinatra famously said, MY WAY.
I now get to set the tone for my household. I set boundaries. I encourage discussion. I don’t tolerate any meanness, name-calling, or passive-agressive BS. Not just from my kids, but from anyone. We are peaceful. Helpful. Kind. Loving. Gentle. Happy.
I am becoming myself again–a competent, loving, funny, successful, capable woman, who could problem solve and get things done. That’s who I was before I got married. I’m steadily getting her back.
The new me [or should I say, the REAL me] is appearing at times I don’t expect. When I referee a fight between the kids. When I make plans with friends. How I handle conflict. There’s a light that goes on in my head when I am faced with yet another chance to ‘do it better’. Gaining the ability to take a moment–just a moment–to choose not to repeat old patterns from my marriage and consciously decide that I want to show up differently is literally life-changing. I’m beginning to live for myself, creating a life that gives me joy, and ditching all the stuff that just doesn’t fit anymore. You can do it too.
Are you ready to explore what a truly fulfilling life looks like for you?
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