I Don't Want a Divorce. I Want To Be a Single Mom
In December of 2021 I had an 18-month-old daughter, in my first trimester with our second child, and living on autopilot in an unhappy marriage.
I remember sitting on the floor of my bedroom.
By this point, it was my bedroom. We hadn’t slept in it together since before our daughter was born. And I was writing out my intentions for the next year.
I kept rewriting the phrase:
“I want to be a single mom with full custody of my kids.”
But, I never wrote the phrase, "I want a divorce."
Somehow I thought I could manifest that goal without ending my marriage. I clearly didn’t want to be in it but I couldn’t bring myself to put it in the universe that “I want a divorce.”
I negotiated with myself and thought I could trade some time being truly happy to raise my kids in a singular home. The major load of child-rearing was my responsibility and I thought as long as I loved my kids hard enough I could shield them from the void that was their parents’ relationship.
There was doubt about whether I deserved a happy marriage. Maybe the mistakes I’d made in my past were coming back to me in my marriage and this was the burden I had to bear for them. It was a punishment and once I fulfilled my sentence, get my kids to 18, then I could be happy.
I started to actively try and push my husband away in hopes that he would cheat and give me a reason to get out. I was never outwardly combative but I was bland, monotonous, boring. It’s like I turned down the dial on my personality. I went through the motions.
One day, it struck me. Tuning down who I was not only muted me as a wife but it shrunk my capacity to be a mother, a friend, a daughter, a sister, myself. I had lost my ‘much.’ When I laughed with my kids it didn’t come from my belly. When I smiled it didn’t reach my eyes. When people spoke to me I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t in pictures or looking in the mirror.
But I had this little girl watching me, who had the biggest personality. If you asked me as a parent what my greatest fear is my answer comes quickly; ‘that someone would do something to dim the light inside my daughter.’
That January I changed my mindset. I realized that I had to model the type of woman I wanted my daughter to be and my coming son to seek. I had to turn my volume back up.
I left my marriage.
I moved my daughter and I into my parents house; and healed my relationship with them.
I filed for bankruptcy, and I became debt-free and built up my savings.
I didn’t have a home for my kids, so I decided to build one.
I quit my job, and I started my own business.
I wanted to be a full time parent, and now I work from home.
I went dark on social media, and had several friends reach out in real life to reconnect.
There were a lot of moments post-divorce that could have been scary.
But I chose to change my mindset. I chose better for myself. I chose better for my family.
Most importantly, I chose to take ownership of my life and my happiness.