Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Single Moms Together Strong

"I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again." - Benjamin Button

I am a part of a single moms group through Facebook. I feel like I've met wonderful single moms throughout my entire experience in being divorced. I truly feel the Lord has placed people into my life when I needed them most! It's strange how things have fallen into place. It's been a completely AMAZING experience for me! Our single mom group leader has a blog for struggling single moms. It has helped me on many occasions when it's 2 am and I can't sleep and I'm alone with my thoughts and I just feel like I CAN NOT take one more thing. I read her words and I feel inspired and less alone in this journey. I have recommended it to many of my struggling friends going through divorce and it has helped them as well.

The other day I was looking back at some of the posts on her blog and found one of my comments. I remember feeling so passionate about what I was writing that I decided to transfer it over to my own blog post. Maybe some of you can have a glimpse into the lives and struggles of a single mom. Keep in mind that this response was a comment to a post about living a life you are proud of (even if it includes leaving an unhealthy marriage) and another woman had commented on the blog bashing the author by accusing her of blaming her ex for everything. Basically, she was tearing the woman down for being so open in her blog. So, in defense of both my friend (the author) and my own strong feelings about being a struggling single mom, I responded with this:

"I think more than striking a nerve, we just want everyone to understand how terribly painful this really is and that it takes everything we have to heal, get up, move on and try to create a new normal for ourselves and our children.

I haven't seen Benjamin Button yet, but I loved your post. I didn't find it bashing or negative for that matter. I'm pretty sure that most of us divorced women can see where we have gone wrong in our relationships and have worked hard not to repeat the past. Whether it's 50/50 or 7/93. The fact is that it takes TWO to make a marriage work, but it can only take ONE to make it fail. There are deal breakers in marriage and there are steps you go through to try and fix those deal breakers, but IF one party is not willing to do what needs to be done to make it work, it will not work. And oftentimes, it's not just one deal breaker. Sometimes you get to endure a few of them mixed together!!!

One thing I have learned so far about being a divorced single mom or single woman for that matter is this...people judge us and they judge us harshly. Not all, but some. I haven't figured out the "why" behind it, but they do. A lot of the time the judging is done by married women who seem to have a decent and fairly simple relationship. These women usually have no clue what a true toxic relationship is like. They don't see the excruciating pain that we go through in private or the flow of tears we constantly hold back while in public. We all should win academy awards because we hide it VERY well!

I loved the part in your comment where you state that "unless you were hiding under our bed the whole time you wouldn't have the first clue about the "truth" of what I really experienced". My dad always tells people when they ask about me that they would have to have lived it to truly understand. I wish more people could trust us and our decisions and realize that this is not a decision that most of us took lightly. Most of us endured much pain and agony to get to this point. Most of us hoped so much that it would work that we stayed too long. I think that many people assume we made this decision because we simply want out. We weren't in love anymore, we want another man or we are complaining about little annoying things like the toilet seat being left up. They have no clue what really happens behind closed doors and if they did I am almost certain that they would not judge!

A couple months ago, I went through something that was awful and terrible with regard to being judged by a woman who seems to have everything going well for her. (I realize that everyone has problems but, in this case, I would consider switching places with her. Basically, I would trade her for her problems, even her worst problems! I'm not kidding!) She was one of my good friends and I knew her better than most of her own family, but she turned on me. It's one thing when a stranger judges you or an annoying neighbor thinks she knows you better than you know yourself. You just expect that kinda thing. But, you don't expect it from a good friend. I think a lot of us women are victims of circumstance. Because we can be single, fit and pretty, we MUST have a motive. Women think we are after their husbands, they think we have no morals and they truly believe that because we are single, we don't respect marriage. What they don't realize is that we probably respect it more than they do. I have watched so many married women trash their husbands who are working hard, allowing them to stay home with the children, providing for them with a house and a running car and sometimes even spoiling them. They just go on and on about the little things. I sometimes wonder if they ever stopped to think what it would really be like if it all disappeared? What would it be like to live in a run down home with no AC, drive a car that oftentimes doesn't want to start, and sometimes struggle to provide food and clothing? What would it be like to do EVERYTHING yourself? But, you can never understand it until you are placed in that situation. You just can't!

I love having as much support as I can get during all of this. Women come to us because we have been through it. When I was first going through this, I had no one that had been there before. I longed for that and then my "angels" were put in my path when I needed them. There is a difference between bashing and relating our stories. Our stories are what makes us empathetic and we have to tell some of that story in order to help others. It's what helps us know we are not alone. There is nothing wrong with telling the truth. Most of the time we mask the ugliest parts anyway just to protect our children. Believe me, if I could, I would blog about all the crap we had to go through. But, I can't and because of that...people judge us.

I blogged about my experience with this and I posted a song that touched my heart. I dedicated it to my fellow friends who have had to endure any sort of painful situations. Here is my post:

You don't have to read the post, but if you like click on the song and read the words. It's appropriate for divorce, death, or any life hardship that you may be asked to endure.

Maybe none of you have experienced this, but this has been my experience so far. It's just my two cents! Well, it's a little more than two cents! Sorry for the long comment! Love you girl!"

Friday, June 4, 2010


So, the triathlon is less than two hours. I spent many hours training and worrying over this and it was over...just like that! I had hoped to come in under 2 hours and I made it in 1 hour and 38 minutes...1:38:46:4 to be exact!

The night before was SO stressful with the unpredictability of the weather and the fact that I was SO nervous, not to mention that I was having a hard time focusing because my love life was a mess! Hello...guys have the worst timing! The weather that night was terrible and the forecast for race day was also terrible. There was the remote chance that they could cancel the race altogether which both disappointed me and relieved me all at once!

Diane and I headed to the race that morning with our bikes in tow. It was cold and wet and yucky out and I feared freezing the entire race. I wore my flip flops to keep my running shoes from getting wet, but that was a huge mistake because my toes were frozen for half the race! When we got there and started setting up our station, they announced that they were canceling the swim and we would run a mile before the bike and then run again. I felt relief and a little let down, but realized that because of this new change, we ALL were starting the race at 8 am rather than taking turns with swimming. With the swim we had planned on starting around 9 am. So, I quickly sent a text to my sisters about the time change and got ready! During most of the race I felt pretty good. There are two hills that you have to bike twice and run once. The second time around on the bike, I was pretty beat and then when I had to get off the bike and start running, I thought I would die. I was not fully prepared for the wobbly legs that would follow. But, I realized that ALL the ladies with me at that time felt the same way. We had to walk so much of the two hills. And, when we would run, it felt like we weren't even we were turtles in slow motion. It was a strange and completely annoying feeling.

I like to brag that my biggest accomplishment was that I only spent 60 seconds on my second transition. Most people in my age bracket spent 2-3 minutes in transition. Only a handful of others were 60 seconds or less including the girls that placed 1st and 2nd! Ya...made me a little proud! Now, if only I could shave off about 10 minutes off my 5k and 15 minutes off my bike!

But...I finished and Diane finished and we both felt awesome for finishing as that had been our main goal! I think we both feel a little ripped off having only done a duathlon now, but we tried. And, now we just have to TRI again for next year's Women of Steel! So who's in?!?

I had a huge support system during the race and at the finish line! It was so exciting to see them cheering for me as I made my second bike loop and then again as I started my 5k. I really appreciated everyone for showing up and supporting me! I've never had anyone show up to a race of mine and I have to admit...I was feelin' the love! :)

Here are the pictures from the race. These are all on Facebook so if you're my friend, you've probably already seen them. But, if ya go!

My fellow Rec Center peeps! - These girls are the reason I attempted this Tri!

I bought this tri suit especially for this race. Everyone knows that they mark you up for a tri, but it was so cold you didn't see my suit nor my numbers! Bummer!

My lucky race number!

Me, Alicia and Diane

Me and Melanie

Heather and Jason


Almost finished!


Me and my kiddos!

My support


Posters made by my nieces!

I did it!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm up...

and I think I'm ready to take on blogging again...and life!

After the 5 months anticipation and release of all the physical and emotional exhaustion built up with the triathlon, my first post-divorce break up, a girls' trip to LA, a new calling, soccer team changes, end of school year stuff, room mom duties as well as the many other changes happening in our lives...I think I'm officially back! (It just hit all at once and those who know me, know I don't deal well with too many changes at one time. But I had an awesome therapy session yesterday and I am ready!)

I haven't felt like posting for a while now. And sometimes, I didn't even feel like getting out of bed. But I really want to...I promise...I do!

So watch for the pics to come soon from the girls' trip and triathlon...

cuz they're gonna knock your socks off!