5 Tips For Recently Single Moms

For the past year or so I have had the privilege of waking up to the warmest hug and the most gentle smile I have ever been subjected to. This is due to me having had the opportunity to raise my daughter alone. She is the kindest, most loving, fun, creative, temperamental and all round unpredictable human I know. I love her like I have never loved before. 

I came up with a list of 5 things that have help me after my divorce, which I believe can be of assistance to any person especially women after a divorce or separation from your spouse. This list helped me get through what I felt was the darkest time of my life, and I'm hoping it helps someone out there who finds themselves not knowing what to do after they’ve decided to call off their marriage.

My daughter's dad and I decided to get a divorce a little under a year after we tied the Knott. This was undoubtedly one of the hardest decisions we had to make, but what made it even more difficult for me was the fact that I didn't want to be a single mom. I swore I would never go through the struggles I saw my mom and dad face after their separation. 

After we decided to end the relationship, I must say It wasn't easy getting started on my own. There were times I dreaded the road ahead and felt overwhelmed, even with the incredible support of my loved ones and my friends.

I learned that the best thing you can do for yourself before making any major decisions like getting a divorce which has the potential of affecting your children, would be to get counselling first. Then consider my go to list for a less rocky path through a rather thorny valley
1. Moving out
I decided that the best thing to do was to get a new place, because I was not going to stay at our old place of residence alone. Coming back from a long hard day at work and be welcomed by memories of what used to be, that's something I wasn't ready for. Some women choose to stay, which is totally up to you as an individual. But remember choose what works for you by following your inner guide.

2. Divorce Lawyer: Let the professionals sort it out
Let’s just say I learnt this lesson the hard way. I wanted to get the divorce finalised on my own, but I had never before in my life been in a court room, until the day when my case was postponed because I did not have all the supporting documents and signatures. The internet makes it look really simple but getting a divorce isn’t meant to be easy, but  “with the right legal team its simple”. I know that sounds like a catch phrase but it’s true. Pay someone to sort the legal stuff out while you focus on you.   

3. Forgiveness
There will be times when self doubt and blame show their ugly heads, don’t panic. Tears and anger are also part of moving on. I went through times when I was more angry at myself than I was with any one else. Forgetting that I needed to me in my corner cheering me on, now more than ever before. It’s the  woman looking right back at you in the mirror that needs those reassuring thoughts. I had to learn to love and forgive myself, because I felt like I had failed dismally.

4. Love again
It’s ok to date, and even love someone else again. This may seem obvious but I need to say this because there were days when I felt like I did not deserve love because I had let it slip through my hands. I felt like I owed It to my ex-husband to be single for the rest of my life. It took me a while to remember that love is the essence of life, it’s in our make up. 

5. Accept help
Our society has conditioned us to believing that single moms are warriors, and more often than not they find themselves wanting to do everything alone. I remember not wanting people to feel sorry for me, I did not need that kind of energy. So I drove to Midrand, dropped my daughter off at school every morning, had a nine hour work day, drove back to Pretoria, ate takeaways for supper, then fell asleep on the sofa. I’m glad I have incredible family who encouraged me to accept their help and now because of that I even have time to get my nails done on my way back from work. 

Sometimes relationships end, sometimes they go on forever. I’ve been through the former, it took what feels like every thing from me to get to where I am today. Back at love again. I hope that my 5 step guide will help someone else that finds themselves an instant single parent. To all the single moms out there: God is here and he wants you to know He loves you because to Him you are still His daughter.

Article By Londiwe Nyoka