If I thought parenting was difficult, being a single parent was even more complex. After my move back to Utah with my sons, I realized that it wasn’t going to be easy facing my responsibilities alone. Though my former husband paid some child support, the burden fell on me for the daily discipline and order in our home. Answering questions like “Why did you divorce dad?” was never easy. I probably gave out more information that I should have. But they were only trying to understand the situation, and even wondering if their misbehavior had been a factor in the breakup of our family. One of my sons, today a father himself, recalls feeling during those tumultuous times like “a broken egg.”
Trying to cope with all the changes in our family’s life style was challenging, but I soon met other women in my church who were in the same situation-divorced and raising their children alone. These new friendships were a great support to me. Just to have a listening ear meant a lot to me. I also had loving family members nearby.
Returning to Utah in October my sons were excited to participate in Halloween activities with their cousins. They soon adjusted to the move and all attended the same elementary school within walking distance of our rented apartment. I began the task of locating a fulltime job with my newly acquired elementary teaching certificate. Starting out as a substitute teacher, I made connections and recommendations so that soon I was hired as a fulltime 1st grade teacher at my son’s school. This new position enabled me to qualify for a HUD loan for first time homeowners. Soon we were building our own home with down payment help from my parents.
Going from teaching college dance to supervising 6-7 year old children was a real stretch, but I enjoyed having my own classroom and not starting the day off wondering what school would call me first to be a sub for them. My teaching job was the perfect situation for me to have time off when my children did. My summers were free. I became a cub scout den mother immediately for my church, with almost my own troop within the walls of my home. The scouting program provided wonderful training for my sons, and the opportunity for them to bond with strong male leaders while learning useful camping and other skills.