This may sound cliche but to all the single moms out there, let me tell you I know exactly how you feel right now. I've been there and I've also weaved too many a scene on how to get back at my ex. Yes, I've also cried tears of pain, shame, regret and fear. The anger inside me was too deep that if words can kill, I will be spending 10 life sentences in solitary confinement.
I came across this article by Ana Santos and it hit home. Her no-nonsense survival tips on single motherhood made me laugh and because I know this will be a big help and will encourage a growing number of brave and beautiful solo moms out there, I'm reposting it here.Happy Even After
A solo mom’s attempt to balance teddy bears while teetering on stilettos.
“How did you do it?” It’s been 9 years and that’s the question that I am most often asked now. The wonder that accompanies this question, which sometimes borders on amazement, still surprises me. It’s such a departure from the range of emotions that marked the early years.
In the beginning, I was not even 30 and had walked out of my marriage with my 5 month old daughter in tow. I was assailed with questions: What happened? What now? Are you ok?
Back then, things were a lot simpler in the sense that I had one blanket answer to all of the above; a re-sounding: “I don’t know”.
The answer to the question, “How did you do it?” is much more complicated now. Surviving a failed marriage and single motherhood involve a combination of ingenuity, grit, and spunk – a cocktail of guerilla tactics softened with — if you can muster it – a dollop of humor.
So here are some spoons full of sugar to help you swallow the bitter pill of a failed relationship and the daunting role of single motherhood, sans the cliché. Because really, everyone’s offers of “Let me know if there’s anything I can do”, won’t cut it.
1. Detach yourself.
Yes, that’s right. Detach yourself from anything and everything that will deepen your misery starting with the negative people and the malls.
At the start, you will be barraged by questions and slapped with heaps of judgment and unsolicited advice. You will get enough of the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” to last you a lifetime. Sniff out these people – and snuff them out. Avoid their company at all costs — they won’t make you feel any better and really, you don’t need any of the pontification.
Oh, and resist the temptation to go to the mall to do some “window shopping” to make you feel better. When your self esteem is sagging, the SALE sign may spring hopes of salvation, but your credit card bill will nuke that.
2. Look good. Feel good.
My mantra was and still is: I can’t be ugly [losyang] AND separated.” The horror of such a thought would get me through the days when depression prevented me from even getting out of bed.
This is not the time when you will want to wear your emotions on your sleeve. And no, looking good should not bust the bank. This is not the time for a mindless spending binge. However, looking good will require you to re-adjust and perhaps downstream your tastes a bit.
The beauty of living in a country like the Philippines is that there are a number of substitutes. There are always cheaper versions of things. (More about the Laws of Substitution in post coming soon)
Your major fashion investment should be fashion clips from a magazine or a style website. Just look at the trends, go to the nearest bazaar or SM, copy and paste.
3. Work The M.I.L.F Syndrome
You may find yourself catapulted to status of MILF, without joining the rebel group. Men will view your vulnerability as being an easy lay, a lonely woman who is in dire need of a man’s attention. They have absolutely no clue that on most days, you can’t even remember if put on your underwear, much less be enticed by the idea of taking it off for someone.
Some people may argue that the best way to get over someone is to be under another. Hold that thought. Wait until you’ve put yourself together and gotten your life back on track. You’ll be in a much better position to be under, over, or on top of someone when you do.
4. Idle time is the enemy…sometimes even more than your ex.
The hardest part is getting used to doing things by yourself after years of being part of a couple. It is the mundane things that you never had to think about before like — what to do on a Friday night or suddenly realizing that you don’t have a ready companion to a company function – that may pull you into a tail spin of sudden depression.
Find things to do that will keep you pre-occupied. Read a book, learn a new skill or language, run a race – anything that will keep you from thinking too much. Running, or any other sport, actually has the benefit of making you too tired to think.
5. Learn to do ”man“ things
6. Sometimes you have to will yourself to feel better before actually do.