Thursday, April 05, 2007

On being a single mom.......

I am inspired by a post by Sara at The Estrogen Files. She believes that single moms should not date until the children have left home. I respect her opinion, for her own life. She lives in a wonderful marriage, she has a belief system and moral code that dictates she not divorce. I am happy for her. I wish I had chosen the right husband the first time around and would not have had to put my children through divorce. But that was not meant to be for me.

But, I also do not believe that my children would have benefit from me being lonely and unhappy until they left home either.

I did not choose to be a single mother. My first marriage dissolved after years of mutual emotional abuse. It was unhealthy for me, my ex-husband, and our children. He was unhappy, I was depressed, the children were a mess. He left and I picked up the pieces of my life. A year later, I met a wonderful man.....we knew we were soul mates. My children didn't meet him until almost 2 years after my husband and I split. We were all happy. But something happened and caused us to split up.

I had another relationship, never married, but had another child. That relationship was not good for a long time, but I tried really hard to keep it together. For the sake of the children.........only I found out later that I was forsaking the children with that relationship. They were miserable, as was I and as was he. I finally set him free, so to speak.

Now, I have reunited with the man I was involved with after my first marriage dissolved. We believe now, more than ever, that we are soul mates. We have forged a bond that is not to be broken again. We know that bond was essentially forged several years ago when we were first together. Now, if I had met him first, I may believe what Sara believes, that there would be no other marriage in my life. I know that with this man.........my children will only benefit, blossom, grow and flourish in the love that NewMan and I share. He believes in family and children and we have similar beliefs and moral code.

I do not believe my children would have been happy if I had chosen to be alone and lonely and bitter.....I do not think they would have been happy if I only lived for them.........a person, even a mother, has to live for themselves. This does not mean that I don't put my children first, it means I do what I believe to be best for them. In my life, what was best for them was for me to divorce my first husband, to try to find happiness, even if that means making a few mistakes along the road.

I know that different people have different life experience that brings them to different conclusions.....and for me, this is right.....for Sara, her beliefs are right for her. I truly do not believe in forcing my views on someone else, but in being respectful to everyone for their own beliefs.

8 comments:

Momish said...

Oh Iris, you are so right. A mother is a peson who deserves to find her happiness and peace each moment she is alive.

Yes, there are sacrifices and choices we make for the sake of the children, but we certainly are not expected to forgo our entire lives until they are adults. Unhappy parents make unhappy children. Throughout, you have to do what is right for your family, however, you cannot lose sight of the fact that you are a vital member of that family with equal rights.

Besides, being a role model is one of the most important things we do as parents. I know I want to pass on to my children that their internal happiness and integrity is so very important.

Crunchy Carpets said...

As a daughter of a single mom, I have to say I was glad till she waited till I was a bit older to hit the dating pool. That way I was detached from the whole experience..this was her gig and stayed out of it..unless they were total nobs!

As with anything a balance is needed between your happiness and the kids.

Jacques said...

Hey,

I have an old friend name Lori who "lived for her kids" when her oldest hit 16 after 7 years divoced, she realized she was alone and had spent all her time with her "kiddos". Balance...its always about balance

Becky said...

Iris-
As a child of parents who had an ugly and messy divorce (when I was but merely 11), I can tell you that it was important for my Mom to date other people, once she felt able to. We (my younger sister, brother & I) tried not to judge or be too jealous of the men she chose to date (although there were a few questionable ones). Most of them didn't have much contact with us other than the uncomfortable "hello" when they picked her up. But as a single Mom, she needed that adult time away from us.

Heck, even married couples need adult time away from their kids!

Cammy said...

There are so many truths in here, I'd like to print it and share it with every unhappy woman I know staying in a marriage because they think it's the right thing to do for their kids.

mum2brady said...

I'm so glad you've found your soul mate Rissy :) You sound so happy all the time - yayy!

Diana said...

My parents split when I was three and my mother didn't start dating until I was about 19, and I hated her for it. I wished she wouldn't have put it off for so long, even though I understood why she did it. (She didn't want us to get attached to someone and then things go the way they did with my father...)
I think my mother would have been so much happier if she had dated while we were still kids, but she is happy now. She's actually been with the same guy since I've been with my husband, we joke about the anniversaries.
I don't think it's wrong for mothers (or fathers for that matter) to date while the kids are still young, as long as it isn't affecting the kids in a negative manner. But everyone IS entitled to their own way, of course...

sara - The Estrogen Files said...

There are obviously different sides to this matter. Thank you for being so respectful of my beliefs. True, if I had been in your situation, before where I am at now in my life, things may have been different.

Iris, I am truly so happy for you and NewMan - I hope you have the happiness that you so richly deserve.