Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Single Parenthood is NOT for Sissies!

From December 1, 1991 until June 1, 2002 I was a single parent to my wonderful children. I am so proud of who they have become and how much they have accomplished in their young lives.

My parents were my backup, helpers, sitters, taxi drivers and even homework helpers all those years they helped with raising Kourtney and Brian. I can never repay them for all they did, so I say thank you a lot and remember that I could not have raised my children without their help.

In December of 91 when I flew back to the states and moved in with mom/dad, things were rough. I was emotionally beat up, mentally messed up and didn't trust anyone outside of the family. I took a job in early 92 with Big Lots and worked there until I could land a job with State Government. I can honestly say that my job was stable in those years of being a single parent and yet another thing I will always be thankful for.

I had to tell my kids no a lot when they asked for this and that at the store and had to teach them early the difference between a need and a want. School was difficult because the kids saw their classmates with a dad at events and would ask where was my dad. I often told them the truth or just said, "he was at work".  Even in the 4 years that #1 was living in the same county as we did, he rarely asked for the kids more than once a month and even then he only kept them for 6 hours on a Saturday.  It broke my heart that he didn't want any more time with them than that.

When the kids asked why are you not together any more, I simply told them that their dad had broken his promise to me and chose to leave me and marry someone else.  I did my best not to 'trash talk' him in front of the kids.  Yes, I had melt downs where I cried on my parents back porch because I just couldn't handle it one time. I was so angry at him and just wanted to make him face me and all that he had put me and the kids through.

1997 would be the year that #1 moved to Arizona and I felt I could freely go to the grocery store without wondering if he was there or not.  That divorce had been final since February 10, 1993 but with him still living in the area, I walked on egg shells the entire time.

1996 is the year my daughter wanted to join Girl Scouts and I would become leader of troop 1901. That troop of Girls would be a shining light in my life for many years.  So, I then became busy doing all the stuff that a Single Mom, GS Leader, Full Time Employee and Parent does.  I lived my life for my kids to be sure they had everything I thought they would need! My son would join Cub Scouts in a couple years so that would keep us busy as well.

I stayed busy keeping the kids busy so that we didn't have time to think about what we didn't have in our lives and just kept living. Then in fall of 96, I would sign up for college classes to get myself closer to a degree so I would have more for the kids. Now my parents were keeping the kids 3 nights a week, while I was in class.  That lasted 5 years and I am glad for the opportunity but I never finished, never graduated and that is totally ok.

Staying busy is how I coped and did the best I could raising my children.  I tried to keep them in church as much as possible and did my best to teach them right from wrong.

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