FAMILY & PARENTING

I’m A Single Mom And I’m Teaching My Kids That Single-Parent Households Are Totally Normal

by Sarah Bregel
Sarah Bregel is an editor at LittleThings.com covering entertainment, trending stories, adorable stuff, parenting, and more. She is also a freelance writer, mom of two, dog mom, feminist, and deep-breather.

There’s a common misconception about ending your marriage — especially when you’re a woman. It’s that when you end one marriage, it’s usually because you’re looking for a better one.

For me, that’s not necessarily the case. Not at all, in fact. While sometimes I feel that having a partner would be nice, the truth is, I’m not looking for my next husband, and I don’t think that my kids need two parents in the same house to have a happy family home. Honestly, my home feels a lot happier now that it’s just the three of us. I’m not looking to change that anytime soon.

I have no idea if I’ll ever get married again, and I’ll never say never.

But I actually quite like living, and even parenting, completely on my own. There are absolutely parts of it that are challenging — particularly the financial part. But I’ve found, over the past two years of being single and running my home the way I like it and see fit, that there’s freedom in being the person who is in charge. I like that freedom. I might even like it too much to ever have a man move in. And I think that’s OK!

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When I was married, I definitely realized what a strong-willed, independent person I was. Those don’t sound like bad things to be. But for me, I couldn’t exactly find the balance of how to maintain who I was while remaining in my marriage. Or at least, remaining happy in my marriage.

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I felt like I was constantly compromising my feelings. I felt like I always gave too much. If I didn’t, my kids suffered as a result. I couldn’t just toss up my hands and say, “Oh well!” It was having the same “mental load” battles that happen in so many homes. To me, it felt exhausting. And I found myself angry a lot of the time.

 

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But now that I’m on my own, or on my own with the kids, I don’t feel that way anymore. I get to just enjoy my kids without butting heads with my spouse, because, well, I don’t have one! As a result, I’ve felt my relationships with my children relax tremendously. And I feel closer to both of them now in our own ways.

I know a lot of single parents who talk about the stress of parenting alone, and of course I can relate. However, I also genuinely like who I am as a person and as a mom now. And I think that’s a really important part of parenting and life in general, for that matter.

It kind of makes sense. I mean, it’s hard to like yourself when you’re constantly mad at your husband. Trying to exist in a bad marriage can wreak havoc on your self-worth. I saw that happening. It happened for years upon years until I decided that enough was enough.

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He’s berry sweet.

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Now I’m enjoying the freedom that comes with having a one-parent household. I rarely focus on needing someone to fill a void. I mean, I have two kids running around here — there’s not all that much of a void to be filled. Sure, companionship would be great. But I have a lot of amazing people in my life to meet my need for connection. It doesn’t have to be a romantic partnership.

Perhaps there is someone out there whom I could live with again. My mind just isn’t in that place. While my kids are young, I’m focused on the happy home we have together — just the three of us. It’s not perfect. But it’s sturdy and stable. That feels pretty good right now.

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🤘🏼

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Dating is one thing, but as for someone taking up half the drawer spaces in my bedroom, half the bed, and half of everything else … yeah, I’m pretty set on that. It’s truly hard to imagine, if I’m being honest. Maybe I  just like my freedom too much. But so what?

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35 and still alive.

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I have to wonder if, as soon as a man gets divorced, people wonder right away when he’s going to marry again. Perhaps they do, but I also think that as a society we’re generally more accepting of men loving their freedom. I’m here to say that sometimes women love it, too.

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The most important thing to me is that my kids have a happy home. I’m confident that they do, and it feels great to say that, because certainly, there were times over the past few years when I wasn’t sure. Now it feels like a powerful lesson to show them, rather than just tell them, that you don’t need two parents in one home to not only make it work but also be genuinely happy.

Personally, I think my two kids and I do a pretty great job of that.