As a mom period, we make sacrifices for our children. We put them in front of us, and sometimes, we sort of forget ourselves for a while. Ok, more than sometimes.
Mothers all experience difficulties or hardships. Whatever the case may be, as mothers we experience our own personal "motherhood" trials and have our very own paths to tread. This is why it is so crucial to not compare ourselves to other moms. Our children are different. Our situations are different. We are different. No two moms have the same situation in life.
But as a single mom who is divorced, I can say that there are a few sacrifices/hardships that many single moms may have to make or go through, regardless of their or their children's own individual personality traits. It's the nature of single parenthood and divorce that tends to put single moms in these particular situations, time and time again.
Saving Face For the Other Parent
Even married couples have to watch what they say when the kids bring up the other parent, but if you are a single mom, you will be saving face time and again for the other parent. You don't want to ever speak poorly of the other parent, even if he or she is making bad choices, and you don't want your children to feel any hurt from the other parent or the situation in itself. There are times however, when you may need to be honest and not "save face" but for the most part, being a single mom means learning this vital skill and using it, again and again...and again.
Giving Up Traditions
A friend of mine married someone outside of her religion. The couple celebrated both holidays together. Even after separation and divorce, the mom celebrated all the different traditions, giving her two sons the same upbringing they had when they were part of a married family. However, out of spite or anger or sudden religious fervor, the other parent decided to legally change the holidays that the couple had originally agreed to, keeping this mom friend of mine from celebrating former family traditions and holidays.
If you are a single mom, you have may have went through this particular battle or at the least, had to hash it out over who gets what holidays and when. It's not the most fun part of divorce, that's for sure.
Saying Goodbye to Former Family
Unfortunately, families will take sides even if they don't know the other side's opinion or outlook. Even if you really were close to other family members, it's not unusual for you to be cut off or have limited interactions with former family you liked. Hopefully, your kids will still interact with these family members. The fact is though you are not responsible for keeping your children in touch with your former spouse's family. That is actually that individual's responsibility but, if you are still in contact that would be even better for you and the kids.
This is the one of hardest aspects of divorce. You may have to downsize your home, your lifestyle as well as your kids' lifestyle. This includes activities and private schooling. You will certainly feel the financially pull on your resources for quite some time, until you get on your feet. Some moms will fare fine and others, will be hard-pressed to pay rent each month. No matter what, most moms of divorce feel the financial heat for some time.
Learning to Live With a Quiet Home
Some single parents have their kids 24/7. Others have joint custody. If that's your situation, you will be facing an eerily quiet house for some part of the week or weekend. Learning to get to know who you are outside of your marriage and outside of your role as mom is going to be a crucial aspect to finding joy and a full life during these "quiet hours" or days.
Coparenting With a Potentially Difficult Coparent
You may have once had a great relationship with your former partner, but people sometimes change drastically during divorce proceedings. A person you once could easily communicate with, you may not be able to communicate so easily with, anymore. This means you may have to learn the fine art of "coparenting" via emails and texts. This can be extremely frustrating. It's much easier to talk to someone than it is to communicate solely through writing, but sometimes it is necessary.
Explaining an Absent Parent
For some single parents, you may have to be the bearer of bad news when a former parent doesn't show up. This doesn't happen all the time thankfully, but sometimes it does. When it does, it's difficult for the mom who has to deal with a heartbroken kid.
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