I feel like a single parent
I Used To Feel Like A "Single" Married Mom » Read Now!
It’s the 21st Century, women who are working outside of the home is not an unexpected trend to society anymore. Many households with children have two full-time working parents – it’s not uncommon. However, what did become more uncommon (at first) were women choosing to stay home AND work. Since home-based business became more popular during the late 80’s and into the 90’s, gathering women together to have parties and sell goods, was the thing to do!
It was convenient, it got housewives and stay at home moms out to socialize, and women earned money doing these parties. So, with all the perks of staying home with the kids and having the opportunity to earn money without leaving them, I decided to start my own business.
So, why did I feel so alone and quite frankly… single; even though I was married?
My husband had a full-time job and mine was a full-time job at home with the kids and now a way to earn money from home working in my business. The same responsibilities apply whether or not we both work away from home or one chooses to stay home. There’s food to be made, kids to bathe, a house to clean, and time to spend together. Of course, I thought it’d be a joint effort, but as the years went by, I felt belittled about my role as a “Stay At Home Mom” with a “hobby”.
A hobby? According to the business plan, it wasn’t a hobby. Sure, it took a financial investment in the beginning, unlike a traditional job, however, it’s intention was to bring in income like a job. But I didn’t feel like my “job” was as significant, taken seriously, or even supported by my husband. I asked for his support and he undeniably said he did. However, I didn’t feel it.
This on again, off again, back and forth argument about what ‘support’ meant didn’t help the issue on the home front. After he was “done” with work, he stopped ‘working’. It’s like once he’s home, there’s nothing to do but relax and wait for the next ‘work’ day. But for me, I’m still cooking till it’s dark; I’m still corralling kids into the bath and bed well after 10 pm at night after fighting with them to pick up their messes. Then, I’m on call from midnight to 7 am when my ‘work day’ begins yet again. When is my “work” done?
But I didn’t say anything. I was casually asked,
What did you DO all day? Nothing seems to have changed.
Which I took as meaning: Why isn’t the house cleaned up? Why isn’t dinner ready within the next 5-10 minutes? Why is the baby getting into the cupboards if you are supposed to be watching him?
I answered… I took some time to work on my business. Which usually ended up with something like, well, if you can’t keep up with the kids and the house, you probably should quit. You’re not making money anyway, it’s just costing money.
So, where’s the help I need as if I was working outside of the home as well? Where’s the joint effort? Why am I married if I’m doing everything myself?
I felt as though I might as well be a single mom without the condescending “home life” I’m supposed to be happy in.
Here’s what I learned over the years: Not very many women are willing to share their feelings about the busy-balancing act we face when we take on kids, marriage, the home, and a business we desire to grow. We can talk and complain about the woes of motherhood and the uncooperative children who suck the life out of our days limiting our ability to get the business off the ground.
But what I found that I could not talk about was my strained marriage relationship and the deeper emotional struggles I was going through. Which lead me to think about life without my husband. Our disconnect with how we wanted to raise our children together, and my struggle with sharing how I felt about not ‘handling’ everything on my plate was just too much.
You see, I had the assumption that if I can’t “do it all” then I have to give up something and obviously, it’s not the kids, cleaning, or cooking. Though, I secretly DID have moments of I wish I didn’t have to “MOM” all the time. Assuming that if I shared how I felt, needing his physical help with everything, then I wouldn’t be ‘cut out’ to handle the home, kids, and business, and I should just ‘quit’.
And there were times… yeah, he concluded, I shouldn’t do anything else, I’m “busy” enough.
Not very encouraging from the one you want to spend the rest of your life with and live out your dreams with.
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I shifted my mindset, he became my #1 fan, supporter, and lover.
Now with nine kids in the mix and number ten on the way…he couldn’t be more prouder, honored, and blessed to have my business as part of my life. And I’m HAPPY to do this “mom” thang!
No, it’s not because of the financial gains that he changed his attitude about it. It’s because I stopped assuming he wouldn’t understand, and I stood my ground on my desires for my life that was not tailored around solely our children. And, I didn’t give up on US.
I may havefelt like a single mom, but it doesn’t mean I actually was.
You see, many of us moms can so easily get caught up in the lies and misconceptions that if we don’t put our home, husbands, and especially our kids ahead of our own desires we’re being selfish busy-body women. So, we make up for it by being at EVERY sporting event. Giving in to EVERY new device and technology they want. Submit to EVERY little whim they ask for. Because if you ‘balance’ the scale of what you want and what they get… it seems equal… right?
No… it’s really not. Because at the end of the day, you’re still burnt out, feeling unappreciated, and your family still demands even more of you.
Hence… trying to get rid of the mom-guilt feeling because you’d rather work than play Candyland. “Here honey, play on your phone.”
I got caught up in that lifestyle and I was miserable trying to prove myself based upon what I assumed he would never accept: my human inability & sanity to handle everything.
I gave up that mindset and just stopped living my life based upon my kids.
- I left the house messy and didn’t apologize for it. Rather I pointed to the kid responsible for that task.
- I assigned chores that I wouldn’t do and those that I would.
- I asked what my husband would do on his days off or what days during the week he would assist with the kids and home.
- I asked anyway and told him I needed that kind of support because we have a lot of freakin’ kids and I don’t have to do it all myself.
I don’t HAVE TO do it all myself. There’s nothing to PROVE.
I became thankful for every little task that I didn’t have to do. I didn’t think – well it’s about time. I just felt grateful.
Jeff became more aware and grateful. He became more aware of my desires and why I had these passions to grow a business.
He became aware of who his wife was…not the stay-at-home-mom he married.
He loves that woman and serves me like I serve him as we raise our children together.
Being single… is the day ALL of our kids finally fly the coop and live their own lives. That’s when I’ll feel “single” as a couple (and on date nights!).
You may not have realized this, but Your Kids Do Benefit From A Working Mom.
Photo Credits: AndiL.
What to Do When You Feel Like a Single Parent
Have you ever noticed that you're always the one taking care of the children? Your husband may be busy with work, and you end up being more by yourself than with the one you love. It's something that could happen to any mom, especially when you need to improve the financial situation of the family.
You start feeling like you're single again, and you go around telling your friends, "I feel like a single parent." However, you need to save yourself and your mental health from this unhealthy pattern. Here are some tips to help you survive when you feel single in a marriage.
Take Care of Yourself
Are you feeling like a single parent and you rarely have time to care for yourself and your own needs? Well, no matter what the cause is, you should find some time to take care of yourself. You will see just how much of a confidence boost you'll get by pampering yourself. You will feel like you're on top of the world and the most beautiful woman. For example, if you always go around having a "just woke up" look and you're not attempting to dress nicely, you will feel down. This doesn't help when you already feel so lonely.
Change your lifestyle a little and adjust your schedule so it fits both taking care of your children and yourself. You will notice a lot of improvement. In the end, the way you care for yourself will also affect the way you look after your family.
You may not like having your husband away for so long, but you need to be understanding. Your husband is most likely missing you as much as you miss him, even if he's not as vocal as you are. Understand that this is necessary for him and your family, and realize the fact that these times will pass, and you will be in your husband's arms again. Understanding your husband and the situation will make it easier to cope with.
Explain What Your Wants and Needs Are
Communication with your spouse is crucial. Don't expect him to simply guess your feelings. After all, everyone doesn't have the power to read minds. Be direct with him and let him know what's been going on with you while he was away. Tell him what your needs and wants are, and he may be able to help you out.
By doing this, you'll allow him to give you his input. You're a team, so you should solve these problems together.
Schedule More Family Events
Do you feel like you barely spend time together as a family because of your man being gone for so long? Well, one amazing thing to do is organizing family events whenever he's present. This way, you could spend more time together as a family and make up for the time you were apart. Your bonds will strengthen, and you'll end up feeling happier and loved.
Find out from your husband when he'll be gone again for a while, so you can mentally prepare for this period. If you do this, it will be much easier to handle his absence. Think about things that you can do to occupy your free time when it's only you and your children. For instance, make a schedule so you know when you will take care of the household chores, and when you will play with your kids.
In addition, the children need to be taught that even in their dad's absence, they will have to behave properly, because he is only a call away.
Don't Compare With Other Families
Comparing your family to another can be one of the worst things you could do. You'll only put yourself down more. Even if other women seem much happier and their husbands are more present, you have to remember that it's a different family. The spouses are different, the children are different, and their situation and circumstances are different too.
For instance, just because another family has special dinners every Sunday, it doesn't mean you should have the same event to have a perfect family. While others may feel amazing with such a dinner, you may not feel like making the same effort every Sunday.
So, you have to do what's right for your own family. You don't have to copy other families.
Ignore Judgmental People
There will always be someone having something negative to say, whether it's about your marriage, the way you raise your kids, assumptions about your husband, and so on. The negative thoughts will make things worse for you – like they weren't already bad enough to begin with.
It's easy to stumble upon judgmental people, especially on the Internet. But don't let them affect you. Ignore their negativity and focus on your family. You have to remember that people like this are insecure about themselves. Besides, they're not the ones giving you money for your bills, so they have no right to say anything.
Ask for Counselor's Help
Being a married single mom can be tough and trying to deal with it by yourself might be harder than you think. This is when you should ask for a counselor's help – he could advise you on how to improve your family's life and feel happier. A happy mom will take better care of her children than an unhappy one. Even if you're trying to hide your sadness from your children, they will still notice that something's wrong. So, talk to a counselor and try to get some help this way.
If the phrase "I feel like a single parent" is on your mind all the time, you need to take some steps to improve your situation. Being married and feeling like you're single is painful, but you can do something to make it better until your husband comes back. So, follow our tips and you will notice some improvements.
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"I like it!"
"I'm doing well, but I constantly feel alone, although I'm not alone" - most people can ascribe such a phrase to themselves. Where does this feeling come from and why are there so many of us lonely?
Now we can answer these questions. Research by the Red Cross in the UK has shown that one in five Brits feel lonely. Other studies show that chronic loneliness is bad for health and can shorten life expectancy. Fortunately, we are now well aware of this influence. nine0003
Most people whose experiences in childhood were ignored by their parents end up feeling lonely as adults. It seems to many that there is nothing wrong with the fact that adults do not respond to the emotions of the child.
However, this upbringing deprives him of important parts of the foundation on which relationships with others are built.
The consequences of neglecting emotional needs continue to affect adulthood, creating feelings of alienation and other problems. nine0003
Reasons why you feel lonely:
1. Your family did not talk heart to heart. It happens that relatives are very good at discussing plans for the future and practical issues, but if someone is sad and hurt, family members seem to scatter. Yes, it's hard to talk about painful experiences. This needs to be learned.
And if it was not customary in your family to seriously discuss feelings, you may simply not be able to do this. And because this skill is essential for building meaningful relationships (both friendships and loves), you find it difficult to connect with others, and as a result, you suffer from loneliness. nine0003
2. Your parents criticized your feelings and you began to shut yourself off from the experience in order to survive. As a child, you adapted to the conditions of life in the family, learning to suppress emotions so as not to burden your parents with them. But feelings are a kind of glue that binds people and allows them to build meaningful relationships. Without them, it is difficult to build those deep and lasting emotional bonds that everyone needs.
3. If your parents did not see your feelings, they would send a signal every day: “No one needs your feelings”. nine0026 Since feelings are the deepest and most natural manifestation of ourselves, we hear this message in a different way: “No one needs (needs) you yourself.”
Adults whose feelings were neglected in childhood feel, deep down, that they are less important than others. They sacrifice feelings, needs, and needs for the benefit of those around them. If you consider yourself worse than others, you seem to live in a separate world.
4. Another message your subconscious was receiving: "If something is wrong with your feelings, then so is you." nine0026 A person who grew up in a family where his feelings were not considered, from childhood feels deeply flawed. Because of this, he is afraid to open up to others, because he is afraid that they will see his insignificance.
Therefore, he maintains a "safe" relationship, but they do not bring satisfaction
5. You tried all the time to ask your parents for emotional help, which is completely natural, but did not receive it. Now, as an adult, you are afraid to seek emotional support from others. You are afraid to experience disappointment or rejection, so you rely only on yourself. Your motto is "I can do it myself." But being afraid to ask for help, you isolate yourself from others and, again, feel lonely. nine0003
6. You find it difficult to explain to loved ones that your emotional needs were neglected as a child. Because of this, it may seem to you that only you have suffered from such problems and no one can understand you.
But you are not alone. In fact, countless people are experiencing the same thing. Most of them seem to be healthy, resilient people. You meet them in the store, in the office, even at the festive table.
Learning to take care of your emotions is essential. After all, then you yourself will be able to give yourself that love and affection that was not enough in childhood. Once you decide to take this path, there will be no going back. Life will become richer, relationships will begin to bring joy, and your suffering from loneliness will end! nine0003
Text: Nikolai Protsenko Photo Source: Getty Images
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The great irony is that as we become more and more “connected”—on social media, video calls, and messaging—we simultaneously feel more and more alone. And while we may use technology to feel more connected, it may be exactly what makes us feel alone. nine0003
Practice kindness. In difficult times it is important to practice kindness. Blaming yourself when you feel lonely won't help. So stop your harmful self-talk, take care of yourself and take a little break. Perhaps a walk in nature or a day at the spa can be helpful in getting you into a mood of kindness.
Enjoy the moment. When you like something, immediately share it with others, and I do not mean that you need to post on social networks. You can share by calling or sending a message to a friend. Or share with the people you work with. Keep in mind that the positive things you can share don't have to be big. You could just wake up on the right side of the bed and think, "Hey, I feel great today. " By sharing these moments, you create a small connection with other people that can help you overcome loneliness. nine0003
Connect in real life. Connecting in real life may not be as easy as it used to be. We use our smartphones a lot - it's easier and it's now culturally accepted. But we can lessen our loneliness if we build stronger personal bonds. We do this by looking into people's eyes, by listening, by being mindful, and by being careful not to be distracted by phones or other technologies.
Rethink how you spend your free time. When we feel lonely, sometimes we just want to go into a corner and hide. Other times, our endless to-do list can leave us too frazzled to go out and socialize. We have created a life for ourselves that robs us of meaningful social connection, and the only way to get out of it is to start living differently. If instead we use our loneliness as a motivation to reach out to people, then we can strengthen our relationships. By choosing to cope with our loneliness by seeking social support, we create more social moments with the people in our lives that are important to us, which usually reduces our loneliness. nine0003
Do more things with people. Engaging in face-to-face communication improves our mood and reduces depression. Activities that involve other people, such as attending religious services or playing sports, can also have a positive impact on our mental health. So find ways to be around people more often.
Talk to strangers. A growing body of research shows that even seemingly mundane interactions with strangers, such as chatting with a barista or cashier, can beat loneliness by helping us feel more socially connected. So reach out to other people to say hello, ask how they are, or talk about what's on your mind. These small actions can make a big difference and help you reduce feelings of loneliness. nine0003
Be active online. Instead of passively surfing the web or social media, do something that involves the active participation of other people. For example, you can play games with other people, chat about things you care about, give advice on a forum, or chat with a friend via video. The more you communicate with other people online, the more connections you have.
Stop your negative thought cycles. We could repeatedly think about what we could have done differently so as not to feel so alone. We think about events, people, or reasons because we mistakenly believe that thinking about our loneliness over and over again will help us get rid of it. Unfortunately, it is useless to dive into our thoughts instead of taking the actions we need to feel better. To end these negative thought cycles, we need to take action - do something different that stops these thoughts and changes our perception of the world. For example: "If I'm feeling lonely, I'll go to the gym or schedule dinners with friends for the next few days." And it helps. nine0003
Spend money on experience. If we spend all our money on things, we will have nothing left to spend on experiences with others.