You didn't think this series was over just because I'm no longer single, did you?? Noooo...I've still got little gems of wisdom to share!
This post is a shoutout to my single mom friends who go from fearful and anxious to liberated and empowered the longer they do it alone. From what I've observed (and from what I've experienced myself), it's basically inevitable.
It's funny, isn't it? The media, society, and our brains are wired to send this message loud and clear: Being alone is a Bad Thing. It is Even Worse when you are meant to be responsible over Things, or People, or both.
Think about it - even action movies have to require that the protagonist end up falling in love (or at least lust). Most of the world's greatest stories are the same way. In fact, some have plots driven entirely by the protagonist's desire to find love (I'm lookin' at you, Bridget Jones). Basically a story (AKA life) isn't complete unless there's a kiss at the end (AKA someone to call your life partner).
But this does not reflect the reality of society these days. A lot of us are single for a much longer time than our parents and grandparents were. And quite a number of us become single again sometime later on in life, after we have children added on to our list of responsibilities.
The sad thing is, unlike the movies, single parents can do just fine without a partner to do it with! Some might say it's not ideal, but I beg to differ:
|Photo Credit: MajaHuse.com|
- You get more time to yourself
Your time and attention that isn't given to your children and/or career can now be solely focused on you! This is often painted as a Scary Thing, because what can a person do all on their own? Well...actually, anything. You can still watch TV at night when the kids are asleep, you can still enjoy a nice dinner with great company (people called Friends and Family), and you can even have Orgasms all by yourself (yeah, I said it!). The best part is, you can do all this on your own terms. You don't have to consult anyone else. Which brings me to my next point...
- You get to raise your kids the way you want
No debates. No arguments. No undermining. No power struggle. No other person to get on the same page on. Imagine being the Big Boss of your own household without sharing any of the Power. MUAHAHAHAAAAA. Now, this isn't a licence to go absolutely drunk with power - the dynamics are often a little confusing to get used to. I know I used to be the 100% Good Cop but I have now comfortable gotten used to the role of Mostly-Good-But-Sometimes-Bad Cop. This is because when you are alone, you must both comfort, and discipline. You are both the Nurturer and the Warden. Plus, doing it alone means you are the only one with liability if shit hits the fan, so you really want to get it right. But honestly, the freedom to raise your kids the way your gut tells you...it's amazing. I genuinely think I've become a better parent for it. Which means that...
- You become more confident
This is something that will seem almost impossible when your marriage is on the verge of ending, and you're looking down the dark abyss that is Life After Divorce. Confidence? When your self-esteem is torn to shreds, and waking up every day seems like punishment? Impossible! But believe me...the longer you do it, the more you will believe in yourself again. Each day that you wake up, run shit, and go to sleep without any disasters, your self-esteem will build itself back up without you even noticing it. And one day you'll wake up, happy to see another day. And you'll say to yourself, Adriana was right. Yep. I am.