I’ve been writing about my life on the Internet for about six years now. To the uninitiated, I know, it still seems insane — why on earth would I want to put it all out there? Why would I want to expose my warts for people to poke at, what do the people in my life think about having their lives magnified under the looking glass of thousands of strangers over the years?
For me, it’s simple: writing is therapy. Writing it down helps me make sense of this tumultuous world, and the keen words of wisdom of commenters over the years has actually helped me make some very tough (and very smart) decisions. I am a better person when I write and think about my actions.
I started writing a personal blog in 2003, when I’d just started dating the handsome, charming, and frustratingly evasive man who would become my son’s father. Dating advice rolled in.
In 2004, I became unexpectedly pregnant, and my boyfriend and I stared at the wall and at each other and tried not to throw up and I wrote about it, in painstaking detail, on the Internet. Advice about babies and relationships and whether or not we should get married right away rolled in, providing a respite, sanity, diversity of opinion.
Right before I became a single Mother, I closed down the blog. There were lawyers and pain and very raw emotions all around and I felt that it wasn’t the time to write, and so I didn’t. I did it, instead, in my head, and yearned for a place to pour my thoughts.
When I started writing online again in 2007 after a year hiatus, I found that advice to Single Moms was a little less common. I get a lot of “Not sure how you do it!” and “You’re doing great!” but few are reluctant to say: “I’ve done it. This is what worked for me.”
However, I have had some incredible gems over the last year, and here are the ones I try to apply to my life every day.
1. Realize that I am just as powerful now as I was as part of a couple. More so.
2. Do not be afraid to lean on family and friends. Ask for help.
3. Get life insurance.
4. Realize that no partner you’ll ever meet will ever love your child like the father of your child. (this one is controversial but resonated strongly with me, and was given to me by a woman I respect immensely - would love to know what you think.
5. Have the equivalent of one year’s worth of living expenses. It’s not as tough as you think, write down where you’ll cut corners. (This one I’m in the process of beginning - it will be tough but I think it’s important, too.)
What is the best piece of single parenting advice you’ve ever received?