Encouragement for single mom – Maryland – United States – Together Letters | Together Rising

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: United States, Maryland
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I could really use some good vibes. I'm a single mom with 2 boys. Being a parent is hard. Being a single parent is hard. On top of that I'm about to make a huge life change that is going to affect my boys. I'm leaving self-employment and going to an office job. Trying to better our financial situation. I know that's good but my boys are young and they've been through a lot already and I feel like putting them in care and seeing them less is going to further hurt them. Instead of feeling like a success as a mom I feel like I'm making yet another change to their lives that will have a negative emotional impact. I'm struggling with feeling like they are proud of their mom. I'm struggling to see the silver lining. I feel down and lonely as a mom a lot. I need to hear from other people that I'm doing the right thing for our little family. I need to know that there are moms/kids out there in my situation who have success stories to share when it comes to how being a single parent didn't stop them from raising happy kids and having a good relationship with them. If anyone has encouraging words/stories to share I'd love to hear them!


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  • Jennifer
    Hello Maryland, it's California!
    I relate so much that I felt the need to share. I've been single parenting 2 kids (now teen and tween) for10 years and your post reminded me of the earlier days when I had to go back to work full-time after being a stay-at-home mom. I had scrambled hard to find work before my savings disappeared, and find care that I could afford while at the time receiving no child support. I was miraculously successful, but instead of feeling like a badass for managing so much, I felt sad and guilty that I was leaving them for so many hours during a time of stress for them--I remember running to the bathroom in my new office to throw up during the first few weeks, more than once, from anxiety and overwhelm.
    My friend, I want to let you know that I believe your kids do see the badass. And the thoughtful decision-making, prioritizing, time management, affection, effort, vulnerability, and occasional mistakes that are so important for them to witness for them to be whole, thoughtful, motivated people as they grow up. You're giving them gifts every day, though I know (SO know) that it's often hard to see it because there are so many other possibilities that we can imagine that we are not capable of providing. It's our burden as humans to be able to imagine what is possible that we don't yet have the tools to achieve.
    So thank yourself for making this change with an eye on better times for your family. Your boys will see you making a meaningful change in your lives, and they will understand that the reason for this improvement your are attempting is that they are important.
    More recently, I spent two crazy years in grad school so I could change careers for the better. Once again I had to leave them far more than was comfortable, while having constant doubts whether it was going to be worth it or just bankrupt us. I knew, as I ran (literally) between internship and paying job and classes, that I wanted my kids to attend my graduation and see where that effort culminated. I wanted them to know what they could accomplish if they wanted to.
    About office jobs: my fifteen year-old tells me he has fond memories of the times he came to work with me when he was little. I, of course, felt bad that I couldn't find or afford more "fun" care with activities and other kids on those days. But he remembers getting to use markers and printer paper, chat with my coworkers, visit the big fountain and little park near my office at lunchtime, and sometimes grab a treat at the local Starbuck's. He felt it was a "little adventure." I remember visiting my dad's office as a kid and being thrilled to use the stamps and stamp pad, and make drawings that I could staple and stuff into a business envelope, while his coworkers would jokingly offer to get me a coffee. You never know what will leave an imprint.

    Hang in! It is hard, but you are building so much.
  • Jackie
    Would love to send card. Please forward address to rombough320@bellsouth.net
  • Deirdre
    Amy,
    I'd love to send you some encouragement and love on you for this holiday season!! Please send me your address to: DeirdreLovelace@gmail.com
    Look forward to hearing from you!! ~Deirdre :-)
  • Stephanie
    My daughter and I would love to share some encouraging words with you! Will you please email me and let me know where to send them? My email is anders.steph@charter.net.
  • Amy
    Lesley, Kristin, Marty, Katie, Amy, Michele, Nikki, Laura, Krystle and Heather …
    Thanks from the bottom of my heart for taking time out to write. It really means something!!
  • Amy
    Heather! Thanks SO much for sharing your story. I'd really love to write you back! Can you send me your email? Mine's amyhhawk@outlook.
  • Amy
    Heather! Thanks SO much for sharing your story. I'd really love to write you back! Can you send me your email? Mine's amyhhawk@outlook.
  • Heather
    Dear Amy, I became a single mom when our daughter was 4 months old. The separation was sudden and shocking (due to an affair he came clean about) and as hard as it was to ask the man I loved and married to leave, I knew that I could not let him stay - that the animosity would eat me alive and ruin me for my most precious gift, my baby girl. This left me emotionally destroyed but forced me to pull it together fast (had only a month of maternity left at that point!), figure out how to financially support our lifestyle and to move forward. My world really felt like it had come crashing down. I was left to take care of everything financially, (a court battle was sure to cost more than trying to settle things outside of court) and I was dealing with an ex who was not in a place emotionally to fully acknowledge and accept responsibility for what he'd done to our family. Needless to say, 3 years later we are all doing just fine (he and I worked through the custody issues and are in a good enough place to still spend family time together on occasion). I am working full time in a high stress job but a job that pays what we need, & I've learned that I'm a better mom when I am professionally fulfilled and feel good about what I can provide my daughter. I'm 100% present when I'm with her so while I'd love to have more time with her, the quality is what really matters. The other day when I was racing to get her to school I broke down in tears when I realized that due to a series of mishaps, I'd miss my bus into the city and be late for a meeting and she said to me from the backseat in her carseat, "Mama, don't cry. You are such a good mama and you work so hard and I love you so much!" What I heard in that sentence was this, my daughter loves me, she knows I love her and she is proud of me just as I am of her. YOU are doing the same thing. Our babies will grow up one day and be able to understand the sacrifices we've made to make life better for them. We all make mistakes but you are doing what you must to create a future that will allow them to grow and flourish. While I know putting them in care is tough, there is something wonderful that can happen- they learn to socialize, they learn healthy play and how to share and perhaps they'll end up making lasting friendships. I have been where you are... lonely, worried, confused and I had to trust my gut, move forward and keep the communication open with my daughter so that she knows no matter what, I'm always here for her, will always love her, be her biggest champion and every single choice I have made since she was born has been for her- to make sure that I'm providing for her, and giving her the best of who I am so one day she can look back and be thankful and proud that I loved her enough to make the tough choices. You mama have got this and you are making the tough choices now for the sake of the future and sometimes we just can't see that silver lining until we make the changes and see how life has a funny way of working things out or offering up opportunities for change. Would love to hear how your journey progresses! Sending you lots of strength as you embark on this new path.
  • Krystle G.
    Darling, things will look soooooo different in a few years. In the meantime, let me stand with you sister and tell you how not alone you are and give you hope. I too, have been through what you’ve been through. <3

    Krystlegolds@gmail.com
  • Amy
    My name is also Amy and I also have two boys! I grew up with a single mom and one of my favorite memories was eating "cold dinner" in front of the TV with my mom and my brother. Cold dinner was basically a plate of snacks, like cheese and crackers, fruit, etc. My mom arranged it all in a cute way and I loved it. It was only in the last few years that my mom confessed to me that "cold dinner" was actually "cheap dinner" because money was tight. So what you think of as burdens or struggles for your kids may actually turn out to be some of their best memories later in life!

    I would love to send you a card or something in the mail. E-mail me: amyjo98@hotmail.com
  • Katie
    Amy, I relate to this so much. I know what it is like to juggle work and single parenting! Thinking of you! Please email me katieherriott76@yahoo.com
  • Marty
    I would love to send a card! My email is starsappearing@gmail.com.
  • Amy
    Kristen,
    Thansks so much for taking time to say such nice things! It really helps! I'm looking forward to one day hearing from my grown up kids that I made good decisions for them :)
  • Amy
    Oh my gosh, Lesley, that's above and beyond and so kind of you!!
    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I think the fear takes over and keeps me from finding the positive things that can come out of change. Thank you for pointing out the good parts :)
    I don't even know what to ask for. It's so hard to do things for myself when there are 2 little people who feel more important. I need to think about that a minute haha. You can email me at amyhhawk@outlook
  • Amy
    Oh my gosh, Lesley, that's above and beyond and so kind of you!!
    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I think the fear takes over and keeps me from finding the positive things that can come out of change. Thank you for pointing out the good parts :)
    I don't even know what to ask for. It's so hard to do things for myself when there are 2 little people who feel more important. I need to think about that a minute haha. You can email me at amyhhawk@outlook
  • Kristin
    Just by reading this brief passage, I can tell you are a great mom. You are considering all their needs and doing your best to meet them. They know how much you love them. And down the road, when they are older, they will appreciate everything you have done for them. Keep going. Keep your head up. And don’t forget to take care of yourself, too! You can’t help them if you aren’t happy/healthy. Find a mom(s) you relate to and make them your support group. You need to have a life too. Hang in there, Mama! You’re doing great!
  • Lesley
    My mom had to work 6 days a week for my sister and me. From her I learned a great work ethic, the value of one’s word, taking pride in what one does, and prioritizing needs and wants. She always did a good job explaining how adults need to work and went for quality over quantity when it came to time with us (making crafts, taking “explorer walks”, etc.). You are doing a great job. Love is not just conveyed one way.

    I would love to send you a gift card or something of your choosing for some mama self-care time. Pedicure? Target trip for new office job shoes? Please let me know how I can help! Love to you.