Married and Single with Two Kids
Jen is one of my very dearest, long time friends. Her husband has been in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor the past 3 years while she raised 2 kids alone, going to school full time and now working as a L&D nurse (awesome job). Besides being a total rock star mom, she’s also a blogger deep inside that refuses to start her own – and so I’m letting her use mine. Until she starts her own. Someday. 🙂 But seriously, her story is amazing:
When Diana asks for guest bloggers, I totally jumped at the chance. Simply because I don’t have a blog of my own, and I’m too technologically challenged to start my own!! I went to high school with her, and I love staying in contact with her and stalking her blog for updates on how she’s doing. So, here’s my take on being a single mom. Please to enjoy:
My husband (Justin) and I were infertile royalty…or at least that what it felt like at the time. We tried for 2 years to get pregnant, and with the help of many procedures and 3 rounds of Clomid (and a total of 8 pregnancy tests), we were finally expecting!! Our son (Tyler) was born in June 2007, and we moved to Ohio in August of that year. I became extremely lazy when it came to taking birth control. No surprise here when our little girl (Mikaylen) was conceived in April of 2008, although it wasn’t something we had really planned on.
In July 2008, we had just bought a house, Tyler was now 1 year old, and I was enjoying every minute of being pregnant. Then Justin came home from work one day and told me he had been laid off. I felt every single emotion of grief, and honestly thought I was going to miscarry because I was so overcome with stress, sadness, depression…you name it.
He searched high and low for jobs in our town, but there was very literally NOTHING available. He had a friend that was in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor and he made really good money by working over there. We had exhausted all other options, and so we made the decision to have him work overseas for 1 year, and still look for jobs that became available during that time in our town. Meanwhile, I was 6 months pregnant, going to school full time, working part-time, and taking care of our son on my own.
When Mikaylen was born in December, Justin was not able to be there, but my sister had come to stay with me and be my full-time nanny for the 1st 5 months after baby girl was born, and she was honestly the best blessing to us. That whole 1st year was a blur, and I still can’t wrap my head around how I was able to cope with being a married single mom. The time came for Justin’s contract to be up, and we were back in the same predicament of still not having a job to come back home to. So, he signed another contract for yet another year, and I resigned myself to being totally self-sufficient.
Being a single mom is absolutely the hardest job I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. I have an excellent support system, but day-to-day living is stressful, even on a good day. I love the time that I spend with my kidaroos, but my patience with 2 toddlers is limited, and I’m pretty sure my kids will need therapy before long, let’s be honest. I don’t get a break, grocery shopping is a nightmare, running errands sucks a big one, and to top it off, my kids are little toddlerexics (thank God for Flintstone vitamins).
Justin comes home for good in August, and his total time over there will be exactly 3 years. He has missed the majority of Mikaylen’s life, and Tyler is way more girly than I’m willing to admit to most people. We are in desperate need of some good, quality daddy/hubby time. Especially me, because I’ve got baby fever like it’s nobody’s business. Yes, I realize that sounds crazy, but give me a break. The kids stole my sanity a good, long time ago!!
My hats are off to all of the single moms out there, regardless of the length of time they spend being the sole provider for their children. It’s not easy, and some days I feel like I hold the record for epic parenting failures. But I’ve become much stronger, more independent, and more in tune with my babies. I wish I hadn’t had to go through this, but I’m glad I was able to grow as a mom and as a person.