Going it Alone // Choosing to Be a Single Parent

Posted by Stacy Schwam on

Single mamahood…  Did I intentionally choose to become a single parent? No. My ex and I actively decided together and we were both excited to become parents before I got pregnant. Did events with my daughter’s father after her birth cause me to know that it was necessary to end things and become a single mom? Yes.
I grew up in a wonderful, stable and loving home with two of the sweetest, kindest, generous and most supportive parents who will be married for 50 years this summer. I knew very little of single parent homes and what that experience was like, even though most friends I’ve ever had were from divorced homes. The experience of growing up with a single parent and in a split home was just completely foreign to me.
You may have seen me write social media posts about it before, but I was in a very long relationship that had some major ups and downs. The ups culminated in the existence of a beautiful child who is the light of my life. The downs… well, they were DOWN. I won’t go too much into that here, but will one day. My ex has his own things he needs to work through that affected our family greatly. Three weeks after our daughter, Amber, was born he decided to start not being around much at all and it continued to be like that til I finally ended things when my daughter was five. So I guess you could say that I was a single mom the whole time. He was around sometimes...and sometimes it felt normal, I guess???

Being left alone with a newborn was terrifying at first. I was still trying to heal from giving birth, learning how to be a mom, getting no sleep and no rest, and working full time as a teacher (Read more about that here). I was too tired and my brain too foggy to even think about or to have the strength to end the relationship. I just kind of thought - well, I guess this is how it's going to be now.  
But I wondered constantly is a half-time life, a half-happy life even a life? I felt like how could I even have the audacity to choose for my daughter that her parents should split up? Didn’t she deserve to have a two parent home? We brought her into the world, after all. I grew up with a two parent home didn’t she deserve that? All these thoughts running through my head, coupled with the crippling and unbearable idea that I would ever have to share my daughter, my own baby, with another woman if I broke up with my ex and he got married or had a live in partner – kept me in the relationship way too long. I was not sharing my daughter with anyone.
Finally I had enough and I realized that my fears were completely unwarranted. She was my daughter and no one could ever take that away from me or replace me. And no, a life that was happy half of the time or some of the time was no life.
Breaking free seemed so hard. Actually it wasn’t hard at all, it was soooo easy and I was so ready. It felt so good to release a relationship that wasn’t serving me. And even though I was really already a single parent mothering all on my own, I had already been doing just fine at it for five years anyways, and it became so much more fun being just my daughter and I. We were a solid and stable team and it was just us in our girl palace with no worries.
What was hard at first was the unknown step of each thing I had to do: asking my ex to leave, having him move his stuff out, asking for his key back, contacting a lawyer, serving papers, meeting with the lawyers about custody. Each step was really scary. But I breathed through it with the support of family and friends and I did it, and I never looked back. 
I remembered my own worthiness, that Amber and I were worthy and deserving of so much more than the situation we were in. I also thought long and hard about what I wanted in life and what I wanted in a partner. All roads led me back to someone I still love deeply. I had let him go long ago before I was wise enough to realize he was everything I wanted. I learned there’s so much love for us out there - and Amber and I are respected and valued. 
I have literally never been happier in my life and instead of being scared to do it TO my daughter, I am so incredibly grateful that I did it FOR her. Amber is 7 now, and what a blessed girl she is to have a mama that is looking out for her, and creating a magical home where she can thrive and has a role model aligning herself daily to be her best so she can then be her best.
Was it sad for her to have her parents split up? Of course… Like any kid from a divorced family she wishes her parents were together, but she was so used to her dad not being in the home that much already, that him being “officially” gone didn’t feel that much different to her.
When I was going through all this, in addition to my amazing family, friends, and even Amber’s friends’ moms, who are a rad village unto themselves – the Instagram community of incredible women who had also been through this and were a little ahead of where I was in my journey helped me immensely! I love hearing women’s stories of what they’ve gone through, and how strong they came out of it to shine even more brightly.
I’m so grateful and blessed to have lived the contrast of this life which taught me to ask for more, to want for more for myself and my daughter. I can’t wait to see where the next stage of our journey together through this life takes us!
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If you are going through something like this – and need a little more insight or the private courage to move forward – please send me a message so we can chat. I’m here for you…You got this!
  - Love you xx 
💋 Stacy

5 comments


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  • This is a beautifully honest and inspiring post . Fear prevents so many of us ( including myself ) from taking risks and propelling necessary changes . I k ow that you have manifest an environment of love , health , and yes magic for you and Amber
    Continued love and light

    Valerie on

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