When Thanksgiving is tough

by singlemomseeking on November 24, 2010

If you’ve read my book — or you’ve been reading my blog for a while — then you know that this Thanksgiving would have marked a decade since I became a single mom.

It was the day that he split town, and the next handful of Thanksgivings were really hard. For years during this time, I would replay him leaving, finding his key pushed back under the door, crying on the living room floor, telling my baby “It’s going to be okay,” although I wasn’t sure.

Looking back, I wish I’d opened up to my family about how sad I was, instead of trying to bottle it and put on a brave face. I wish I’d reached out to girlfriends more during this time, and planned something simple and fun over the weekend, like making popcorn and watching a comedy together.

If you’re in a challenging place now, please know that life will get easier. Cry if you need to. Feel that anger. Write things down. This will pass.

And if this weekend is tough for you, please leave a comment here and let me know what’s going on.

If you’re going solo this Thanksgiving — or you will be on your own with your kids — please check out these great Thanksgiving ideas from our single mom readers at Singlemommyhood.

And if you love to read, we are giving away FIVE books to one winner at Singlemommyhood. You can enter the contest here.


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November 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim November 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

I’ve definitely had my share of sad solo holidays. It takes some “practice” (and nearly a year in between holiday seasons) to get the hang of it. I’m extremely bad at reaching out for help. What worked for me was finally finding the strength to believe that it really was going to be okay. Until I believed it, I could say it to my daughter all day long but, she was not going to buy into it. The lesson I learned the hard way was not to always put a brave face on in front of my daughter. Obviously I only share what is age appropriate….she’s my daughter, not my friend or therapist. But I saw that she was beginning to hide her emotions. I’d inadvertently taught her to stifle her feelings. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
.-= Kim´s last blog ..My Body Clock =-.

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kriz bell November 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I watched Pixar’s response to the campaign against gay suicide, It Gets Better ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a4MR8oI_B8 )
It made me cry and made me happy to be not only alive but a member of the wonderful and rich community that makes up the Bay Area. It also made me think of how hard holidays and well, sometimes just a whole bunch of days in a row for no particular reason except I was alone and life can be tough. But the message is the same- IT GETS BETTER. All you can count is things changing- so go with the flow and you will eventually, hopefully sooner than later move right on through the tough times.

This is my first Thanksgiving with a wonderful man in my life that appeared out of no where days after I opened up about what I really wanted my life to be like. I don’t expect this is some secret recipe, and I don’t pretend to know what the future holds- I just know that finally my hope has turned into gratitude. I wish it to all of you – when in doubt make a list of what you are grateful for- pretty hard to feel funky or woeful in the face of acknowledging abundance!

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soontobesinglemom November 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

How ironic – I just blogged about this. I finally filed for divorce today (we’ve been separated for 6 months) and my one and only court date will be in a few weeks. This is also my first Thanksgiving without my little one. I knew it was going to be hard but coupled with that “I just filed for divorce” feeling – it’s really, really hard. I miss my Peanut so much already and he’s only been gone a few hours – and will only be gone until Friday night. I thought I was going to be okay but then Peanut hugged and kissed me goodbye tonight and said “Happy Thanksgiving, Mommy. I love you and have a good rest of the week.” I held the waterworks in until I was alone in my car so he wouldn’t see them.

I’m supposed to spend tomorrow with my mom, stepdad, and his family but I’m not even sure if I want to go. I’m not sure I want to deal with all of the “I’m so sorry, you’re getting divorced. How are you?” and “Where’s Peanut today?” conversations with relatives I only see a few times a year. I’ll see my parents again on Sunday so I won’t feel too bad if I don’t see them tomorrow (already had the conversation with my mom and she completely understands). We’ll see how I feel in the morning…please assure me that the first holiday is the hardest.
.-= soontobesinglemom´s last blog ..I Am Thankful =-.

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T November 24, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Happy Thanksgiving to your beautiful family. I love you. That is all.
.-= T´s last blog ..A Course in Miracles =-.

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Vanessa November 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. I just recently left my daughter’s father. It was an abusive relationship, so things have been rocky to say the least. I moved back home with my parents , only to have them announce that they are getting a divorce one week later. On top of that my best friend of 15 years recently stole money from me, she’s usually the only person I confide in. So Thanksgiving this year was uncomfortable and extemely lonely. I’m just thankful that someone else has been through this and has a success story that they are willing to share. Congrats on your new family, you truly give me hope.
Happy Holidays:)

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Shannon December 31, 2010 at 5:36 am

I have been a single parent for about a year now. It is still hard for me dealing with the fact that I feel alone. And it doesn’t help that my sons dad wants to get back together. But he is very immature and possibly has a child with someone else so needless to say I’m trying to push forward. The holidays get a little easier as time moves on..I think of it as “just another day.” They come and go just like any other day. Single parenting can be ruff..and I’m not really sure when you start to feel “ok” again and not have it hurt so much. But hoping soon!

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singlemomseeking December 31, 2010 at 11:26 am

@Shannon: Please stay in touch with me in the New Year and let us know how you’re doing….

korywar November 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm

This was the first thanksgiving I wasn’t allowed near my boyfriend of 9 year’s family. He made it clear I wasn’t invited. You see, he found out i cheated on him. I am very sorry. It has been two months since he found out and he is struggling with his love/hate emotions. He is planning on moving out of our apt soon. And i am struggling to convince him that i truly love him and i fucked up royally. During this stage of potential break-up we have been having a lot of passionate sex and i have been kicked out and living at friend’s places on and off. I lost track of my cycle. And well, i was too emotional and depressed to care about myself or my body or refilling the pill. Well, i just found out i am pregnant this week and i am not certain if i should have it. When i told him, the night before T-giving and then he pretty much threatened me towards abortion. Even tho last year, we got pregnant, and were excited about it, until I had a miscarriage. So it’s really hard to just terminate due to what happened last year, and the fact that i am on the verge of losing him and this might be all i have left of “us” very soon. He is still with his family for the weekend. He hasn’t called once. And i am alone googling ‘break ups during pregnancy.” I am miserable. I have no idea what tomorrow holds when he comes home. Will he hate me. or love me? and how the hell do i take care of myself thru this?

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Naked Girl in a Dress December 12, 2010 at 8:30 am

My ex moved out 2 weeks before Christmas so I completely understand this. I have to say that I am really looking forward to Christmas this year. It feels like the pain will never end, but there is a light at the end it is shines brighter than imaginable.

I am so happy for you. I am sure you had a wonderful holiday with your daughter and new husband.
.-= Naked Girl in a Dress´s last blog ..I Ask- Is a Llama a Better Pet than a Dog =-.

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Shan January 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

“Looking back, I wish I’d opened up to my family about how sad I was, instead of trying to bottle it and put on a brave face.”

Wow, exactly! I am currently struggling with maintaining my brave face and bottling it all up. My new blog has been giving me a small outlet but it is really scary to put it out there and admit how I am really feeling.
.-= Shan´s last blog ..Can I get a Facebook Part 2 =-.

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