I fought it for years. I didn’t want to be a divorced mother with three kids. Life was hard with an alcoholic husband, but I knew, working full time and being a mom full-time mom was going to be even harder. And it is. My ex-husband completely bowed out of the picture after our divorce. No child support, no alimony, nothing. I didn’t work before the divorce – my husband didn’t want me to. He wanted me at home raising the kids. The first year on my own was tough. I didn’t know how to do anything. The only job I could get was at the local grocery store. The hours were long, and my schedule kept changing from week to week – I hated it. But it allowed me to put food on the table.
The kids and I moved in with my mom. We were all cramped in the small house. But my dad had recently died, so it was good for all of us. Mom took care of my boys while I worked, and they helped keep an eye on her too. I think I was the only miserable one. I often wondered if I should have stayed with my ex. He wasn’t abusive or anything. He was just always drunk. I didn’t think that was good for the boys to see night after night. I didn’t want them to grow up to be like him. When my youngest asked me why his father was always drunk, I knew it was time to leave.
I recently began dating, which was a surprise. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in dating me – at least not until I got back on my feet. But it’s going well. I like him a lot. I have no interest in marriage – not any time soon, anyway. But we have a nice relationship, and the boys like him too.
And I’ve begun going to college to earn a paralegal certificate. I still have a long way to go, but my grades are good and I’ve already met with several recruiters. Things are looking up.
I have a plan for myself now. A new direction. My boys are seeing a significant change in me, and it’s having a positive influence on them. The closer I get to my goal, the happier I become. I know now that staying with my ex would have been the worst thing I could have done. Change isn’t easy, but the growing pains are well worth it. I have a bright future ahead of me. Maybe one day I’ll even get married again. I don’t know. But even if I don’t, I know now I can be happy being single, and I’m quite capable of taking care of myself and my three sons.