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a message of hope on mother

Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms

a message of hope on mother's day

Courtesy of Brooke Kelly Photography

We have all the odds against us, but we are going to beat those odds.

 

“Four years ago, my life fell apart. I was married with a 3-year-old little girl, and we lived in an adorable gated neighborhood in the suburbs, just 4 miles inland from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I could cross highway A1A at work and eat lunch on the beach. My Jeep always had sand and seashells in it.

I felt so fortunate to have this opportunity in life after working my way through nursing school, and eventually finishing grad school with a newborn. I finally had my dream job as a pediatric nurse practitioner. My career took me to Nashville, Kansas City, and that’s where we ended up on the beach. Sounds like an amazing adventure, right? Well, little did I know, my husband was living a double life and my world was going to come crashing down on me very soon.

I was on my way home from work on a Monday afternoon, just 2 days after my daughter’s luau birthday party, and I found out we had been evicted. All of our belongings were thrown out like trash, even her new birthday presents. I wasn’t allowed back in our home, and I was told the locks had been changed.

I felt sick and like I had no control, like I had been stabbed over and over and I was moving too slow to stop the bleeding. After questioning my husband and our landlord, I discovered that we were 3 months behind on rent and other bills, despite the fact that I was shelling out money to him for our living expenses. He couldn’t answer where the money was going, but all of a sudden, things made sense. His erratic sleep habits, weight loss, running errands all the time. He always had somewhere to go and never wanted us to tag along.

I did some digging and found empty pill bottles and many empty beer cans in his car. The car that drove my child to daycare. The car that always parked in the guest parking spaces in our neighborhood instead of the driveway. I also found several years worth of MY mail in his trunk. He had been keeping random letters from collection agencies, bills, and birthday cards from me for YEARS. Why did he keep all these secrets from me?

Confused, hurt, and angry were my only emotions for the next few days.

I was running on fumes and couldn’t eat or sleep. I felt so stupid for not seeing the signs. I had been so busy with raising a child and building my practice at work. I was married to a drug addict who abandoned us in a Target parking lot 4 miles from the beach.

He had been lying to me for YEARS, and my credit was unfortunately ruined because of it. I had no idea how easy it was to open credit cards and take out personal loans in your spouse’s name. I thought I had stayed on top of my bills but had no idea he was secretly hiding things from me over the course of our 7-year marriage.

I later found out that he had another daughter! He lied about being in the Marine Corps, he lied about his education and his job. I had been living nothing but lies for almost a decade of my life! I thought to myself, ‘How could life be so cruel? How could I be so dumb?’

That first night living in a hotel, I made a Walmart run at 8 p.m. to get clothes and toiletries for us to survive the next few days while I planned my next move. I washed clothes in a hotel sink. My daughter and I tried to make the best of our ‘vacation’ as I called it, while I cried over the things we had lost, wondering how in the world I would sort through this mess. My sweet baby girl lost everything, and we had no support there.

Our closest family was in Tennessee, about 10 hours away, and my soon-to-be-ex-husband left us alone to fend for ourselves without showing any remorse. At night, I would just think of all the things we had lost. I cried silently at night, in the shower or while I was driving. I missed my belongings, and I missed the part of my heart that was stolen. I could never get those things back.

I cried for my daughter because she didn’t deserve this as part of her story. I worked so hard to get where I was, career-wise, and everything was just ripped away. Why couldn’t I just go back and change things sooner? He was a con artist, and I got duped.

I tried to smile through the pain and be strong for my daughter.

I tucked my tail, hung my head, and began my journey home. At 32 years old, I moved back into my old bedroom with a 3-year-old. I was so ashamed of myself. I left the beach and moved back to crummy ole Tennessee. To make things worse, it was SNOWING when we moved back. It was March and snowing in Tennessee. How could this situation get ANY worse?!

My daughter, on the other hand, was thrilled to make snow angels and ride in a makeshift sled with grandma and grandpa. My parents were ecstatic to let us come home. My daughter had her own playroom and slept with mama every night. (Fortunately, my parents keep EVERYTHING. Her playroom was like taking a peek back into my childhood. We’re talking original Cabbage Patch dolls, a Little Tykes kitchen from 1985, y’all. It was glorious!)

Since I had to work diligently on getting my nursing licenses in order, I wasn’t able to apply for any nursing jobs for the next few weeks. My plan was to take an assignment as a travel nurse to save up some money and pay off these old bills that I recently discovered. In the meantime, my daughter and I were going to the gym and the park almost daily.

My heart was bruised, and I needed to slowly put my life back together. I needed to show my daughter that this was our new normal and that living with grandma and grandpa would be a fun adventure. I was trying to convince myself of this too.

A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms

I desperately needed to find some friends, but I had no idea where to even start.

I finally texted an old guy friend from high school (actually, I think I went down my Facebook list and sent messages to everyone in town. I was THAT desperate for adult interaction). I jokingly asked if he knew any hot single dads. This wasn’t even relevant in our conversation, just a random thought that popped in my head. To my surprise, he said yes and immediately gave me a name.

Good heavens, was I ready for this? I was SO newly divorced, but hey, I needed friends and I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to get out of my parents’ house to meet people. My Facebook detective brain got to work. This single dad had a daughter, who appeared to be the same age as mine. After showing my mom his Facebook picture with his daughter, she screamed, ‘I KNOW THAT LITTLE GIRL!’

Come to find out, his ex-wife’s sister does my mom’s hair, and my mom had seen pictures of this little blonde girl. We live in a big city, so this is a rare occurrence. My mom wanted some juicy gossip, so she pushed me to meet him. (If she thought meeting a stranger was OK, then surely it was fine, right?!) I sent this random guy a Facebook message, and he answered back. I gave him my number and HE. CALLED. ME. So, awkwardly, I answered the phone.

He said he wanted to talk. Like, with his voice. What in the 1990s was going on?! We talked all night just like teenagers. I think it was 2 am when we finally hung up. Maybe it was sleep deprivation, but I felt like one tiny piece of my heart was placed back.

Two days later, we met for lunch. I was a little rusty on appropriate first date clothing, and I was raiding my mom’s closet for most of my attire since I was just starting to rebuild my life and wardrobe. I happened to have a job interview that day, so I wore some comfortable black flats and a pair of my mom’s black dress slacks. Yup, slacks. With pleats down the front. I also wore this shirt I lovingly call ‘the curtain shirt’. This was my 1st first date since I met my ex-husband, 10 years earlier.

He was on his lunch break, so he showed up wearing police gear and a gun on his hip. I was intimidated at first because he is a big dude with a beard and a lot of tattoos, and again, this was my first date in a decade. I am a nurse practitioner and I had never had any type of personal interaction with a police officer in my whole entire life. Now I was on a date with one!

He insisted we take a selfie that day to send to Brian, the guy that introduced us.

We went to the Bayou and sat on the patio. I don’t remember one thing we said during the entire date because I was nervous and trying not to make a mess. I ordered a shrimp po’boy (I couldn’t have ordered something messier, right?) and I don’t even remember if I ate half of it.

I just remember looking at him and getting butterflies. He had the prettiest hazel eyes and I had never dated anyone with a beard, so I’m sure I stared at it. When we were done eating, he walked me to my Jeep and gave me a hug.

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

After lunch, I was on cloud nine. I had the biggest grin all day, and I was smitten. I could not stop thinking about him! Was I ready for this? I thought, ‘There was no way he could be interested.’ After all, I was just damaged goods. With my awful credit and all the baggage I had, surely this guy would just move on and there was no reason to get my hopes up. I just couldn’t stop thinking about him, but I definitely wasn’t ready to jump into a relationship.

To my surprise, he called me that night. (What is up with this guy? Why can’t he just text?) We had our second date on Friday night, and our first kiss. I knew at that time this was something special. However, I wasn’t quite ready to trust him, and I certainly didn’t want my tender heart to be yanked out of my chest again.

I saw him again on Sunday, which happened to be Easter. We decided to let our girls meet each other that afternoon. My daughter needed some friends too, and they became instant best friends. We looked at them playing, and then looked at each other. Huh, these girls could be twins. I could feel my heart slowly starting to grow back together.

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

On Mother’s Day, he told me he loved me.

I knew I was falling hard and fast. When you know, you know. But, I wasn’t quite ready to let my guard down. He gave me a key to his house and told me to ‘snoop away’ while he was at work. And…I did just that. I went through every piece of paper in that house, and I couldn’t find anything. He always left his phone unlocked, his email pulled up on his laptop, he was an open book. He did not have a thing to hide.

He showed me his credit score, his bank account, and his up-to-date mortgage payments. He was a genuine, honest, open, loving person. I was damaged goods with a credit score of 300 and a deadbeat ex-husband. But, for some reason, this guy loved me and adored my daughter. I was slowly letting him into my heart and he was helping me rebuild, piece by piece. I certainly didn’t need to be saved by anyone, but he swooped in and saved me.

We discussed moving in together, but I just wasn’t sure. Things were still new to me, and I just had to protect myself and my child. I couldn’t move her again if things weren’t going to work out with us. And plus, staying in Tennessee wasn’t part of our plan. This was supposed to be just a pause in our story. Or so I thought.

He asked me to be his forever wife.

We were sitting on the couch one morning in June before he went to work, and he pulled out the biggest sapphire ring I had ever seen. He asked me to be his forever wife, while my daughter watched E.T. and clapped for us. At that moment, I knew my intent to move out of Tennessee just wasn’t part of the plan right now. Something brought me back home and love was going to keep me there.

My daughter and I moved into his 3-bedroom, 2-bath bachelor pad, which he insisted that we call OUR house. He had almost no furniture and nothing on the walls, so he told me to ‘go nuts’ with it. I had so much fun starting over from scratch. Losing all of my belongings had been so terribly painful, and I got a lump in my throat when I thought about my things just being tossed out like trash.

I shed millions of tears over the things I would never get back. However, it ended up being a blessing in disguise. I had a blank slate so that we could start OUR home. Funny how life works out sometimes.

We talked about getting married just to make things official, and I started researching courthouse weddings. I knew we needed a photographer to capture our special day, so I emailed a husband/wife team to check their availability. Well, they had 1 available date for a wedding. August 15. Wow. This was less than 2 months away and my heart skipped a beat knowing this was actually happening. I called Steven and asked him what he was doing on Saturday, August 15. He said, ‘Marrying you.’ That was all I needed to hear in order to make this happen.

We decided to elope on August 15, 2015, which was about 4 months after our first date.

I could not believe how my life had changed in those few months. I survived a failed marriage to a con-artist, moved back in with my parents as a single mom, and was now planning my wedding.

The plan was to keep our marriage a secret until our Halloween Party, and then surprise everyone by dressing as a bride and groom and showing off our wedding pictures. However, Steven refused to take off his wedding band and we just couldn’t keep it a secret longer than 2 weeks.

We got ready for our special day in a hotel room at the Peabody and walked to Court Square Park where a family friend performed the ceremony. Our little blonde girls were the flower girls and the bridesmaids. My new husband and I danced to our song playing on his phone in his shirt pocket. ‘Fall Into You’ by Brantley Gilbert. Yes, it’s cliché that we live in Tennessee and danced to a country song, but have you heard it?!

Courtesy The Kennys Photography

The girls went home with my new mother-in-law for a slumber party so we could spend our first night as a married couple, kid-free. We had an amazing dinner, laughed over drinks in the Peabody lobby, and I could not wipe the smile off my face. This was not a dream, but my real life. The entire day was perfect.

We eventually bought a bigger house with a pool, and then right after my 35th birthday in 2017, we found out that we would be adding an ‘ours’ to the mix. We had our 3rd daughter, Junebug, and completed our family. We had our little blonde bookends, and this brown-eyed baby girl is the perfect caboose.

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

Some people will tell you that our marriage is doomed. We both have extremely stressful jobs (his more than mine). We are both divorced and got married 4 months after our first date. We both have ex-spouse drama and are currently involved in a custody battle (I am winning). We have all the odds against us, but we are going to beat those odds.

People are always curious to hear our story, so we just look at each other and smile. Usually, our story goes, ‘We met on a blind date and got married 4 months later.’ In the end, love wins.”

Courtesy of Becca Goedecke

The post Becca’s Story: A Message Of Hope And Love On Mother’s Day For All Single Moms appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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3 Mother’s Day Tips For The Freshly Divorced

mother's day tips for the freshly divorced

 

Spring is a time for growth, re-birth, renewal and the blossoming of new beauty. I would like to personally offer my best wishes for a happy, love-filled Mother’s Day to all the moms who are embarking upon their new journey as a single mother.

Is this a scary and overwhelming time?

Absolutely but not today; today we focus on the beauty. The beauty of possibility, change, motherhood and most importantly, the beauty of you!

The first Mother’s Day following your divorce or separation is likely met with some mixed emotions; most of them probably not all that positive. Mine certainly were. I found myself missing our old traditions, and I had taken for granted that my husband had historically planned the day for me.

Now, like everything else in my life, I had to take matters into my own hands and figure it out.  From my personal experience and some trial and error, I offer you, moms, the following tips to help make your Mother’s Day special.

Mother’s Day Tips for the Freshly Divorced

1. Buy yourself a gift!

You deserve it! How liberating that this year, you don’t have to drop not-so-subtle hints for weeks in preparation, to only wonder whether you were not-so-subtle enough. Now, you get to buy exactly what you want and you know that the gift is coming from someone who truly appreciates all that you are. Have it gift wrapped if you’re the kind of girl who loves ripping off the paper. In fact, even if you’re not, get it wrapped anyways. You would be surprised how good it feels to rip that paper!!

2. Ask your kids how they would like to celebrate Mother’s Day.

Even if your kids are young, this is a great way to get them involved in the planning and it can really help to make both you and your kids feel special. You may have other family obligations on this day, but really do carve out a little time for just you and your kids to do something all your own, that you plan together. It could be as simple as taking a walk or participating in an activity that you love to do together. This is YOUR special time and it’s meant to be cherished and enjoyed.

3. Throw out Expectations of your ex!

Go into this day with zero expectations. While perhaps easier said than done, toss out any nostalgia about how it used to be. Whether your ex acknowledges your special day or not, don’t hold on to any hope or thought that he will or should. This can lead to disappointment and hurt, which quite frankly, you have no room for on YOUR day. You don’t need anyone acknowledging all that you do (though admittedly it’s a very nice feeling). All we have to do is look at our children to be reassured that we’re doing a great job.

Some days we may come up short of doing our best, but we always try, and that’s what you should celebrate this Mother’s Day. Focus on your wins, no matter how small they may feel in the moment,  a win is a win!

So as you embark upon this fresh new road ahead and start to build your tracks, trail blaze into this Sunday with no road map, no history, and no expectations. See where the day takes you. Out of challenge comes strength and this Spring, embrace the blossoming new beauty that is you. Happy Mother’s Day!

The post 3 Mother’s Day Tips For The Freshly Divorced appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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7 Things You Can do for a Divorced Mom on Mother’s Day

7 Things You Can do for a Divorced Mom on Mother’s Day

I wish I could erect a wall of remembrance and fill it with names of all the dear single moms I know. Like soldiers, they have gone through a battle, fighting valiantly for health, happiness, light, life, truth, safety, peace, and recovery for themselves and their children.

The post 7 Things You Can do for a Divorced Mom on Mother’s Day appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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mothers day gift guide

Your 2019 Single Moms Mother’s Day Gift Guide

mothers day gift guide

 

Single Mom Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2018

No one is more deserving of a great gift this Mother’s Day than all the hardworking single moms out there. They are especially deserving of being remembered on their special day. So, if you know a single mom you love and care about, make sure she knows she is cared about and respected for the hard work she does daily.

Not sure what to get a single mama in your life? We’ve got you covered. From inspirational posters she can frame to pretty trinkets that show your appreciation, you’re sure to find something on our list for the superhero single mom you know.

1. Badass Single Mom Coffee Mug 

This mug is an homage to all the strong, do it all, badass single moms out there!

Get the badass coffee mug here.

2. A Selfie Stick

Why are Moms never in the picture? Because they’re the ones behind the camera taking the pictures. Give a Mom a selfie stick and the chance to show up in images with her kids.

Get that selfie stick here.

3. A Gift Card For Stitch Fix

Let’s face it: Personal style gets the short shrift when you have a busy single mom’s schedule. Remedy that with a gift card for Stitch Fix. Based on the style profile she creates, she’ll receive five hand-picked clothing items selected by the site’s team of professional stylists. She’ll get to keep what she likes and send back the rest.

Get the Stitch Fix card here.

4. Amazon Gift Card

Nothing says I love you like a gift card from Amazon.  Most single parents rely on Amazon so they can make their lives easier. Really, I don’t know one single mom that doesn’t use Amazon, and if they don’t, you will introduce to them the best invention yet.

Get her Amazon card here.

5. Single Mom Baby Bird Necklace

This necklace represents the single mom and her kids on a family tree branch.

Get the Single Mom necklace here.

6. You Can’t Scare Me Poster

You can’t scare me, I’m a single mom – a funny DIY card or poster in chalkboard-style

Get the poster here.

7. Shutterfly Photo Coasters

These adorable photo coasters are perfect for any mom to use around the house or on the go. Personalize with photos of kids, pets and more for a unique, individualized gift.

Get them here.

8. Maid for a Day

Life is stressful and so is keeping a clean home. A maid for a day could mean a few weeks less stress over a messy house for a single mom.

Get maid service here.

9. Socks, Socks and More Socks!

Like any good pick-me-up, funky socks will make her smile every time she puts them on.

Get her socks here?

The post Your 2019 Single Moms Mother’s Day Gift Guide appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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How To Celebrate Mother’s Day As A Divorced Mom

mother's day as a divorced mom 

 

When Mother’s Day comes in the midst of divorce proceedings, there is not enough you can do for your divorcing friend. There are treats and cards. If the children are with their father then umpteen invitations will be showered upon the almost single mother. What about the next ten Mother’s Days after divorce? Some parents have put in their parenting plans that the kids spend Mother’s or Father’s Days with the parent that is being honored. Others do a trade for the day without a legal mandate.

My first Mother’s Day happened during a contentious divorce with my husband threatening to pull out of collaborative proceedings for a battle in court. It was very unsettling, and I barely remember that holiday. We did what we usually had done and went to an elaborative Mother’s Day brunch.

My mother made sure that I had a present from each son, so had taken them out shopping earlier in the week. She gave me something nice, too. Two years later we started new traditions to make the day seem more like it belonged to us. We exorcized the ghosts of Mother’s Day past and did not do anything like we did when I was still married. We shook up our routine and had a simple meal out followed by an anticipated movie. This year we will have a celebratory latte and lunch followed by Paul Blart’s film, “Mall Cop 2.” Celebrate in a new way, whether or not you have the kids with you.

How to Celebrate Mother’s Day As a Divorced Mom:

1. Have brunch at your place and invite other women, whether or not they are mothers. Make it extra festive with some champagne or Bloody Marys.

2. Ask your children for suggestions on how to celebrate this occasion in other ways.

3. If you have family nearby, get together with them and the kids will have fun with cousins.

4. When I was little, I treated my divorced mother at a reasonable family restaurant every Mother’s Day in a more rural area. It was a beautiful drive and the cost was within my allowance. Give your kids the chance to do something nice for you.

What do You do if You’re Alone on Mother’s Day? Below are 6 Ideas:

1. Consider taking a mini trip somewhere.

2. Do something to distract you that is interesting.

3. I know two divorced women with grown children who live in distant cities who are off to France this week on a packaged tour. These lucky ones will be celebrating Mother’s Day on the Riviera. There are travel agencies that have trips for singles in wonderful locales. It is nice to have the camaraderie of a group.

4. Some folks choose to give back to others which takes the focus off themselves. Volunteering is a way to feel fulfilled, particularly if the kids are with dad and a new stepmother.

5. My mother worked on this holiday as a nurse, when I had visitation with my father. If you can work on Mother’s Day and take a day off when you’ll be with your children, perfect!

6. Some nail salons are open on Sundays, so a manicure and pedicure can be just the ticket to raise up one’s spirits. Sometimes there are free concerts or craft fairs on this day which are fun to attend.

One thing to a avoid: Giving into the temptation of dulling the ache of loneliness by self-medicating. I know of a circumstance where the father was engaged in parental alienation and the daughter did not contact her mom on Mother’s Day. This woman had an accidental fatal overdose of medications, including combining anti-depressants along with alcohol. Over-imbibing does not get rid of a problem, it merely postpones doing something about it.

Decide if you want to stay busy, or laze around on the couch reading the latest bestseller. Whatever you decide to do, high-quality chocolate will make it even better!

The post How To Celebrate Mother’s Day As A Divorced Mom appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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single mom wants for valentine

14 Things Every Single Mom Wants For Valentine’s Day

single mom wants for valentine's day

 

Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day to celebrate the love of a couple. It’s a day to celebrate love all around. So if you’re single or you know a mom who’s going solo this year, spread the love with a few things that she might actually want.

14 Things Every Single Mom Want For Valentine’s Day

1. A word of encouragement

Everyone can use a little encouragement, especially on a day that can make being single feel more lonely and less appreciated. Show some love with a card or note that simply says what a great friend and mom she is. Leave it on her door to find or send it via snail mail for a welcome surprise.

2. Flowers don’t have to come from lovers

Who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh rose or carnation? Hit the florist for an arrangement that can be sent directly to her work, or try getting a bunch of loose flowers to drop off for a group of your favorite gal pals.

3. A trip to a day spa with a friend.

Being a single mom is tough work and should be rewarded every now and again with some relaxation. A day at the spa is just the treat to lift spirits and make her feel her absolute best. There’s no need for her to go it alone. Schedule back-to-back appointments for a massage or see if you can get an appointment at the same time for a manicure/pedicure.

4. A gift card.

What single mom wouldn’t enjoy a gift card to her favorite store or shop? Give her the opportunity to do something she doesn’t often get to do…go shopping and buy a tricket for herself!

5. A night out with the girls.

Sometimes a night out with the girls is all it takes to remember why being single is so great. Organize some time with the girls getting drinks, seeing a movie, hanging out at home or just doing a little shopping – without the kids.

6. Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

There are few out there who wouldn’t enjoy a 10-pound bar of chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Grab a bar or two – maybe not a 10-pounder – and give them out with cute phrases attached. Your single friends will be grateful.

7. No pity!

One of the greatest gifts you can give a single mom is to refrain from any remark of pity. Many women out there choose the single life and love it, so give encouragement as a friend that she is a remarkable person.

8. Photos of her true loves.

Every mom loves a picture or two – or a hundred—of her adorable kids and friends. Get some printed, wrap them up in a card or pick out a cute frame to show off fun faces. Better yet, if you’ve got time to devote to something special, create a photo album of all the people who love her best with special notes from them all.

9. A kid free day.

Handmade gift certificates for a kid-less day or evening can do wonders for a single mom. Give her a list of dates you are available for her to redeem her coupon, plan a few activities for the kids and let the evening of fun begin.

10. Something made with love.

Anything homemade or handmade is sure to be a hit with the gal who knows all about how important time is. Think soaps, body scrubs, candies, etc. If you’re into jewelry or have special talents in knitting, put your skills to use making something nice to give. She’ll appreciate the time and effort you spent thinking of her.

11. A special activity with her kids.

Single moms may like to just have a day to hang out with their littlest loves, so a family friendly date may be just the ticket. Consider giving a gift card to a local bowling alley or an interactive museum.

12. Tickets to a show.

A couple of tickets to a comedy night, local play or great band may be perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift. Plan ahead so she won’t be going it alone. Either schedule time with her and yourself or grab an extra ticket for a close friend of hers.

13. A maid for a day!

Unless she’s Wonder Woman, chances are she could use an extra set of hands around the house. Things like laundry, dishes, and cleaning chores pile up unless you have a dump truck on lock to dispose of them. A thoughtful gesture would be to provide her with the gift of a cleaning service to do some deep-down scrubbing of her home.

14. Something to binge on.

If none of the other ideas are striking your fancy, she’s sure to be up for a copy of her favorite artist or chick flick. Add in some popcorn and candies for a sweet gift.

Being a single mom doesn’t mean she should be singled out of Valentine’s Day. Use one of the items on this list to make her feel included, special and an inspiration for the love brought on by this special holiday.

The post 14 Things Every Single Mom Wants For Valentine’s Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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7 Single Mom Valentine’s Day Ideas

7 Single Mom Valentine’s Day Ideas

Your single mom Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be sad or lonely. Use these 7 unique ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day whether you have a partner or not.

The post 7 Single Mom Valentine’s Day Ideas appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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alone on valentine

There Are Worse Things Than Being Alone On Valentine’s Day

alone on valentine's day

 

The history of Valentine’s Day and the story of its patron saint is shrouded in a lot of mystery. We all know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. The gifts of chocolate, jewelry and love between men and women on this particular day can leave us, single moms, feeling singled out as lonely and at times unlovable and unworthy.

For that reason…

On Valentine’s Day, every mom of every age should be issued one tall, dark, handsome somebody to share long, loving looks and dinner over candlelight. Cold pizza in front of the TV isn’t so bad, most of the time. That particular day, though, has the power to leave a single mom feeling hopeless and unloved — and cold pizza just doesn’t cut it.

It seems everywhere I look lately I see red, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and lovely cards with pink hearts reminding me of the day set aside for honoring love. For me, Valentine’s Day brings to front all the romantic longings and yearnings I’ve kept tucked away in crimson-colored recesses of my heart. Romantic longings and yearnings that can rise up like a title wave to overwhelm me.

But then I remember that Valentine’s Day is about LOVE. It is about love for ourselves, our friends, our family, those who have helped us, those who need our help and those who, by birth and friendship, are our family.

It can be better to be alone on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day can also be a day of remembering situations worse than being alone. It is better to be…

  • A woman alone than a woman whose husband belittles her.
  • A woman alone than a woman being dragged down by negative emotions.
  • A woman loving life than a woman who dreads each day spent in an unhappy marriage.
  • A woman who gives her heart to her work, her children, her friends, and family or any good cause other than a husband who won’t cherish the heart she has to give.

So, if you are alone this Valentine’s Day, don’t spend the day pining away for a knight in shining armor or some tall, dark handsome someone to share loving looks and dinner over candlelight. Don’t spend the day brooding over what you wish you had, but spend it celebrating the love you already have.

Take your father a box of chocolates. Send your mother a single red rose. Give the girlfriend who helped you through your divorce a gift certificate for a pedicure. Cherish and celebrate the loving bond with your children. Share the love you have and you will never be alone. Not on Valentine’s Day or any other day.

The post There Are Worse Things Than Being Alone On Valentine’s Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Tips to Beat the “First Valentine’s Day Alone” Blues

Tips to Beat the “First Valentine’s Day Alone” Blues

All holidays are tough in the first year post separation or divorce. Valentine’s Day can be especially hard for many new singles. Here are some tips to beat the blues on the so-called “Day of Love.”

The post Tips to Beat the “First Valentine’s Day Alone” Blues appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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have a splendid valentine

How Divorced, Single Moms Can Have A Splendid Valentine’s Day

have a splendid valentine's day

 

During my marriage, Valentine’s Day was a big deal in our home. I made mini heart-shaped cakes that my husband and I would share with our children after he and I had been out to a special Valentine’s Day dinner.

We didn’t focus so much on romance but on showing each other love. The children received a new plush toy on that day, I got a special dinner with my husband and, at the end of the day, we all had a sweet treat and time together as a family.

We carried on the tradition after the divorce only I didn’t get the special dinner and although I felt like my heart had been ripped out, I still had to make those mini heart-shaped cakes and buy plush toys.

What I really want to do was go to bed and pull the covers over my head. There is no better reminder of how unlovable you are after a husband leaves than Valentine’s Day. And the last thing I wanted was a reminder of how much life had changed since our last Valentine’s Day together.

I also knew that, I didn’t want my next Valentine’s Day to be a reminder of the past or my station in life so, the following year, I changed things up and made a promise to myself that I’d not wallow in pity but make the day the most splendid it could be regardless of my marital status. Here’ how I did that.

How Divorced, Single Moms Can Have A Splendid Valentine’s Day

Be kind. Pay attention to your inner dialogue and the things you say to yourself. When that inner voice is saying something negative, stop and ask yourself if you would “talk” to your girlfriend that way. If the answer is no, then don’t say it to yourself. Instead of thinking, I’ll always be alone or no one will ever love me or Will I ever find love again? Try reminding yourself that you are loved and reassure yourself that the right person will come along at the right time.

Treat yourself. Do something nice for yourself, anything. Pamper yourself with a pedicure or massage. Take a bubble bath. Visit your favorite coffee shop armed with a good book as company. Go for a long walk. Treat yourself to dinner and a movie. Buy yourself a fancy cupcake or a piece of chocolate. You deserve to enjoy good things. You deserve to spend time participating in activities that are life-giving and create peace in your life. Stop waiting for someone to do it for you—do it for yourself.

Create a new tradition with your kids. Valentine’s Day does not have to be all about romance. Take this opportunity to celebrate with your children. Make pizza at home. Decorate cupcakes or watch a family movie. Clinical psychologist and divorce coach Deanna Conklin-Danao suggests that focusing on your kids is an excellent way to combat the loneliness that can creep in around this time of year.

Phone a friend. Surrounding yourself with positive people is a key way to practice “emotional hygiene.” Enlist the support of a good friend and plan an evening or afternoon out. There is nothing like some good girlfriend time to remind you of how wonderful you are.

Work out! Exercise is a proven mood lifter and is essential to maintaining one’s physical health. It is an excellent way to demonstrate self-care. You don’t have to join a gym or go to a class—start with a walk outside. Go for a run. Climb the stairs in your house. Rent an exercise DVD. It doesn’t matter what you do—just move your body and you will feel better.

Make someone else’s day. Another great way to elevate your own mood and to feel encouraged about your situation is to do something for someone else. Make and send Valentine’s Day cards for our servicemen and women who are away from their families. Plan and host a Valentine’s Day party at a women and children’s shelter. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Serve meals to the homeless. Bake cookies, and take them to your local firehouse or police station. Send thank-you letters to your children’s teachers.

Holidays can be difficult for divorced single moms, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Creating new traditions on these special days is an excellent strategy for combating the blues and building a wonderful new life for you and your children. This Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to start the tradition of celebrating your love for yourself. Filling up your “love tank” will give you plenty of love to pour out on those around you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The post How Divorced, Single Moms Can Have A Splendid Valentine’s Day appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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