Single on Thanksgiving?

by singlemomseeking on November 10, 2009

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I officially became a single mom on Thanksgiving. Looking back, I should have seen the signs.

He was drinking more – and we weren’t sleeping together. Just before Thanksgiving, he’d told me he wouldn’t be coming with us to my Aunt Marge‘s home, where we’d planned to spend the holiday. Instead, he wanted to stay in New York with his sisters for the holiday, something he hadn’t done for more than a decade.

He was probably planning his big exit. He was probably mapping out the details to catch a plane.

We’d been having a rough time together –I was your classic codependent — I’d thought that a couple of days apart would do us good.

He brought us — our baby and me — to the train, gave us each a quick peck on the cheek, and stepped away just as the doors were closing. That was the last time my daughter and I saw him.

Let’s just say that the next few Thanksgivings weren’t easy. I can feel the heaviness of November right now — although I remind myself that every year has gotten easier.

thanksgiving_table

I’d love to know: how are you celebrating Thanksgiving this month?

Will you have your kids this holiday? If not, what’s your solo plan?

I’m going to randomly pick two comments and give away two copies of my book, Single Mom Seeking.

~~~

P.S. Thanks SO much to Sondra at Happy Healthy Hip Parenting for the very sweet feature about my book on her blog this week!

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine SOLO dot MOM November 12, 2009 at 7:58 am

Plans aren’t definite yet. But most likely my kiddos will be with me for a quiet dinner at our house that day – and then they will leave around 2ish to be with their dad for the long weekend.

My plans following their departure is to possibly go spend the rest of the holiday with Mr. M’s family out of town. Possibly. We shall see.

Holidays can be especially difficult for single parents, I do relate to that… having been through this for several years now, I can say, however, it does get better each year (just as you indicated).

A word of encouragement for the new single parents going through the holidays alone for the first time – hang in there, create new traditions with the kids, remember your support system of friends and family, and take it one day at a time.

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Andrea November 12, 2009 at 8:06 am

I’m Canadian too, so I did thanksgiving last month, and this was the Ex’s year to have her so I was on my own.

I did what I did last time this happened: I left the country. :) It’s convenient to have another country so close by without this one holiday, so I visited a friend near Detroit, went shopping, watched a movie, and pretended it was just a regular long weekend without particular significance. And bought my daughter a ton of stuff while I was there. Funny how that works.

The plus of not having her for thanksgiving this year is having her for Christmas, which is a much bigger deal for me.

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Amy Anderson November 12, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Any holiday without your kiddo is a reminder of your situation and quite frankly it sucks…but it doesn’t have to. I personally don’t care for Thanksgiving; lots of food, lots of work, lots of calories and for what really? I enjoy the family time, but I could go without it too. When I don’t have my daughter I either plan a dinner with single friends who are away from family, volunteer at a soup kitchen, see a movie by myself (always odd, but kind of relaxing), clean out closets, take a long walk, go to the gym, etc etc. I keep myself busy and away from feeling sorry for myself. I also try to remember how he feels on off years. I don’t like him, but I do sympathize with how it feels to miss our little squirt at holidays.

The holidays I do have her are even more special and we always try to do a before or after celebration so it’s not totally missed by us.

She gets to experience two different crazy families, two different traditions…if she doesn’t like one then next year she won’t have to endure it.

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singlemomseeking November 12, 2009 at 5:52 pm

@Amy: I’m a big fan of going to movies by myself, too. Yes, it is odd… but I love having that popcorn all for me!

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Vanessa November 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm

This is my first Thanksgiving as a single mom. IT HURTS! But, I will go to my cousins house this year. She is also a single mom, but , her kids are grown and they are out of the house. They have kids, so, my son won’t be alone with all grown ups. Let’s see how it will be…
.-= Vanessa´s last blog ..Rainy Day =-.

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singlemomseeking November 12, 2009 at 5:51 pm

@Vanessa: It sounds like you have a great plan! Being with your cousins sounds loving — is there one thing you can do for yourself that day, just for YOU? You deserve to get some thanks…. big hug.

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Sarah November 12, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Why do men leave during the holidays? For me it was two days after Christmas. Guess he didn’t want to ruin it for the kids… For the first time in 5 years I will not only have my son for Thanksgiving, but also my ex-step son (If that really is a relationship status). I have always let my ex have our son for Thanksgiving so he could be with his brother, and this year they will both be with me. I am truely blessed and very excited!

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christine November 13, 2009 at 7:55 am

It’s been almost 2 yr’s going though my divorce..three kids later,still trying to make time for myself…The father makes no atempts to see or speek to his kids.They have grow used to this,and i play both roles,HARD to do..Out of money cant afford gifts,even b-day partys..On the other hand,happy and the kids,4,11,13,love me dearly!It can only get better, RIGHT?

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Sarah T November 13, 2009 at 9:45 am

Holiday’s are always difficult for me… I consider myself 3579 (3rd person,5th person or 9th person). Last year the table was tight and ended up at the kids table. Alot of my family may not know as I smile at the table what I am really thinking (why do I not have anyone next to me). This year I will have my boys as I do always on Thanksgiving. I will be Thankful that I get to wake them up every morning, kiss them good night, put band aids on when they get hurt. Thankful that we are healthy and that they love me.

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Meghan November 14, 2009 at 8:29 am

Last Saturday I moved out. He has been seeing a girl from work for the past three months and verbally and emotionally abusing me. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Now I am living with my parents and with the help of my attorney I have come up with a custody plan.

The only major issue is that since my son is 1 it is his father’s year for Thanksgiving. According to the agreement his father should have him from Wednesday afternoon until Friday night. I am a teacher and off school all three days. I am not sure how I am going to be able to handle this?? I have my parents to celebrate with but my little guy is my whole world.

HELP!!

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VJ November 15, 2009 at 3:17 am

Geez, all these somewhat sad & bittersweet tales for the hols. We’ll be doing our ‘new’ usual for Thanksgiving. Going nowhere but intown, to the 4 Seasons. Sitting down, enjoying ourselves & letting someone else’s excellently trained staff do the cooking and serving. Works fine every time. For those desperately needed & otherwise missed leftovers? We order a pre-cooked smoked turkey from our local fav BBQ place. Fills the fridge fine, and no muss & fuss either! Best Thanksgivings of our lives actually. Quiet, peaceful, no strain or arguments, and those that seek to reach out can find us. Later. Well fed & rested, at home. Cheers & Happy Hols! ‘VJ’

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Simone November 22, 2009 at 9:15 am

It’s been 5 years and Thanksgiving is still tough. No family close by, feel akward asking to be a part of someone else’s family but hate being alone… Only Thanksgiving tho, Christmas I travel… Maybe time to accept my situation and face it instead of ignoring it.

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Anne Devlin November 25, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Well.. I have a little boy with disabilities. And another son. They are with me for Thanksgiving, but for Christmas, no. But Thanksgiving seems to not be going so well.. it’s not looking up. And that sucks because this is the holiday I get. And I wanted it to be great. But my little boy, Liam… well he seems to be having seizures this week. And I am very worried about him and I need to take him to the hospital. I am supposed to go to my “aunt’s” house (she’s a chosen aunt- not really of any relation). Which will be super fun. But my son, Liam. He feels very sick and lethargic and I probably should just take him to the hospital instead of going to Thanksgiving. But I want to have a Thanksgiving for him, not in the hospital. He has spent too much time in the hopsital in his little life, more than I by far.y.. So I might wait until Friday. But either way.. Thanksgiving is really just plain going to suck.

Now this is the first time I have come across this blog.. and for me.. I actually don’t mind being a single parent so much. I left my ex. It’s easier being a parent without him than it ever was with him. I’d like to find a good husband though. I miss love. Having a good step dad for my kids would be nice as well.

Cheerio!
Annie D

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Cass December 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm

He landed on Thanksgiving morning from California. Before 3pm he had booked his flight back to look for apartments and our marriage went from “not good and on the rocks” to “over – terminal – DNR”. Thanksgiving is going to be tough next year…..but I have a lot to be thankful for….and I’ll have even more next year.

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Misty November 20, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Well, I left my husband, who I adored, in Sept last year due to adultry and drinking and abuse. It all happened so suddenly I had no reason to stay. Not to mention I was two months pregnant. Our divorce was final Oct 5, two weeks later he had his gf living in our home. He was easy with the divorce papers, whatever I wrote up he signed as well as custody. So, I have sole custody with no worries of being forced to share her with the homewrecker he is with currently. He has three children from a previous marriage and I loved them like they were my own. So Thanksgiving and Christmas was hard even Halloween, when those days were catered around his kids and making it special for them. I wasnt close in connection with my family as theres a huge age gap from me and my siblings, i was on my own at 18. My husband said that it was sad they treated me differently but he and his kids were my family. Well that was short lived in a nearly two year marriage that he constantly was telling me he wanted a divorce.

From that hard experience of not putting together a Thanksgiving meal for myself and too depressed and sick to want to eat at my cousins or grandmas, I still showed up for the games and snacks for Christmas and New Years. Without them close by I wouldnt have anyone as my parents spent it wiht my brother and sister and my ex spent it with his kids, his new gf and her two kids.

I sat there in the midst of a crazy holiday season with cousins and their spouses and kids and my grandma who is a widow now for five years, thinking, if she is making it through the holidays each year with out my grandpa of fifty something years, then I can be strong and do it as well.

I have since moved away out of state where I know only my ex inlaws, which I see few and far between, just because thats my choice, we werent ever close to start with. Ive become a member of this traditional Southern Church that I love! There are tons of families there with little babies now that mine is eight months and people of all ages.

Im not sure what this year will instill for the holidays as Halloween we were alone but went to a hayrack ride and bbq before hand. There is so many things to do here, train ride through the Ozarks, ton of bed and breakfasts and lots of caring friends from Church. I willmiss my mom not being here with us, as she sees it fit to still cook and cater to my ungrateful, adult siblings living with her.

Whatever we choose to do, my baby and I, Im sure it will be a new tradition for us to continue the two of us.

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singlemomseeking November 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Misty: Thank you so much for sharing your story. You can see that I get it. Good for you for joining a church and finding your community.

On my site, Singlemommyhood, single moms are chiming in with Thanksgiving ideas when you’re alone as a single mom – we’d love to hear your thoughts here.

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