If you’ve been through a family separation, you don’t need me to tell you how awful it is. The transition period from partnered mum to single mum is quite some journey, and certainly not all good.
Yet, once you find your new single mother groove and settle into your new life as a single parent, things may not seem too bad after all. In fact, for many, life is much improved!
You are not alone if you wonder what would have become of you if you had persevered with your failing relationship or (and this is a common one) stayed together for the sake of the kids.
The longer I have been a single mum and the more goals I smash as an independent woman, the scarier the thought of still being married becomes.
Here is why. You may feel the same.
I LOVE BEING PART OF THE SINGLE MUM GANG
A hard part of the separation process is losing friends as some take sides and others think you may pounce on their husband. Unfortunately, losing friends after divorce is all too common. But, over time, you make new friends, many of whom are like-minded single mums who totally get you.
I love sharing my world with these strong, independent women who have overcome huge challenges and have lived to tell the tale. They are my people.
Plus, there are so many of us now! The latest census from ABS.gov.au says:
“Of 5.55 million families recorded in 2021 census data nearly 1.07 million are single-parent families, and in four out of five of those, the parent is the mother.”
If I hadn’t separated and become a single mum, my life would be empty without these wonderful souls.
I MIGHT NEVER HAVE ACHIEVED ANYTHING
In my married life, I was a mum with a job living in a rental property. It wasn’t a job I loved but it worked for us as a family. I didn’t want to rent but my husband wasn’t ready to buy. Everything I was doing was a compromise that worked alongside my husband’s and children’s needs.
Had I stayed married, I would have continued living this same compromised life until, well until … I dread to think.
Instead, once the waves of separation settled and life was calm again, I was able to get clarity about what I really wanted, and then work towards achieving it.
For me, this was a home business I could run alongside being the best single mum I could be and owning a property that myself and my kids could call home.
It’s scary looking back at where I was and where I might still be, compared to where I am now and everything I have achieved.
MY STRENGTHS WOULD BE UNDISCOVERED
If you’ve been a single mum for a while now, try this:
Think of three words to describe yourself when you were married/partnered.
Then, think of three words to describe yourself now.
I bet your three words now and then describe a different person.
The reason for this is because you have changed so much as you evolved into single motherhood. You will likely have been too busy to notice, which is why the three-word game above is so cool.
I have discovered strengths had no idea existed while I was married.
I am actually really good at this independent gig. I have a business brain that I would never have tapped into. I am a lot more capable than I ever imagined. Oh, and I can paint a wall, fix a tap and mow the lawn as well as the next guy … thanks YouTube
I COULDN’T HAVE FOLLOWED MY OWN PATH
Being a single parent means that you can follow the path that you want for your life, instead of negotiating with a partner to ensure it works for you as a couple.
Basically, you do it all your way!
We are single mothers. We always put the needs of the little people in our worlds before our own. Then, in the time we have left we concentrate entirely on ourselves and what we want/need.
I love having a clear path to pursue my own dreams. It means they can be reached much more easily and I won’t be left with a million “what-ifs”.
I WOULD MISS MY NEWFOUND FREEDOM
Being a single mum can feel suffocating as you juggle all the elements of your life without dropping a ball and stuffing everything up.
Yet, alongside this comes a sense of freedom and liberation. It is this feeling that makes many single mums think long and hard about jumping into another relationship too quickly.
Ok, you might have to make the kids dinner, but you have the freedom to give them cereal, take-away, or cake if the mood takes you. Of course, it’s about so much more than what to have for dinner. Your life is your choice now. You have the freedom to do things your way and learn from your own mistakes.
Is it any wonder that your old, partnered life seems stifling in comparison to the one you have now?
Yes, the very thought of still being married scares the hell out of me so instead I focus on all the good parts of single motherhood … of which there are many.