Photo: outtakes from my favorite photo sesh with my boys. Chaos that is my beautiful life 💙
I would say nobody grows up and imagines their life and thinks “I want to have kids, but I want to do it alone!” We don’t set out to be single moms, but so many woman end up as such. With very little research you can find that there is 13.7 million+ single parents in the US (2011 census). A majority of those are women. That’s a lot of kids with split houses or just one parent! I hate to see it every time, but at the same time, what an empowering role to be a single mom. I have been on my own for almost four years now, and I truly never knew what I was capable of until this happened. I didn’t take the decision to leave my husband lightly. My circumstances were very unique in that I found out about his affair just days before I found out that we were expecting our second child. Talk about an emotional week!
Let me be perfectly clear in the event this is read by certain wandering eyes; YES! originally he was leaving me. There were a couple months that I was the only one wanting to make it work, a couple months we both wanted to make it work, and then when I realized he wasn’t completely changing his ways, I decided enough was enough and called it quits.
I went back and forth on how to handle it, what would be best for my oldest son and unborn child and then I remembered something my mom told me years ago. “You should be the kind of woman you want your kids to be or marry. And marry the kind of man you want your kids to be or marry as well” I knew if my son ever treated women the way his father was treating me, he would have bigger problems than he could imagine. And if my second child ended up being a girl, I didn’t want her to ever think that she HAD to commit to something she wasn’t truly happy with because of what others might think. (Yes, I understand I could have set the example that you can make it through anything and preached that later. But my heart was so broken, and I didn’t have the fight in me anymore)
I hope that anyone going through a tough situation thinks rationally about it for a long time before deciding either way. I hope that if kids are involved you think twice as long. But do not think you have to stick around because you have children. Affairs are hard. Abuse, of any kind, is unacceptable. You may not see it now. You probably can’t imagine having children alone in the beginning. But you can do it. You can make it work. I had everything stacked against me. My support system was 1,000 miles away. I was unemployed. I had been diagnosed with a lifelong disease just 3 months prior. I just found out I was pregnant with my second child. And I decided to walk away from it. And there have been hard days, and times I realize “oh, swim lessons with two kids would be easier with two adults”. And with their father still thousands of miles away, I never have “every other weekend”where my kids have an obligated baby sitter. I have to seek out help when I want or need it. Oh and dating? Yeah….That’s a story for another post. 😂
Some days I think about if we could have made it work. I’m pretty positive we could have, but that feels like it might have been settling. We might have been a happy “normal” family….But when it comes down to it, there is never a day I regret my decision.
Do whatever you think is right, and no matter what choice you make, chances are you will be just fine. You aren’t the only woman going through it, and you don’t have to do it alone. I am praying for you, and would be happy to talk with you if you need an experienced ear! After all, if you are making the best decision for your kids, you are making the right decision. And it is perfectly fine if that decision is different than the one I made. I am still here for you!
❤ MS Andrea Jackson