Sunday, August 22, 2010

Article #114 Single Parenting

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.

9 comments:

SandyCarlson said...

You are an inspiration. We all find our level. It's the getting there....

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I so wish our kids could walk to their elementary school...like we did growing up!

Jean said...

Really interesting, Lin. You faced challenges and rose to meet them. It must have been an extremely difficult time, but you've got three fine adult sons as a reward.

Kay said...

I am totally in awe of you, Lin. I know what I went through raising ony 2 kids (only one being a boy) and that's with a committed husband-father.

Rambling Woods said...

I can't imagine being on my own with three children..You are amazing Lin!

kavita said...

You never cease to amaze and inspire me.Hats off to you !

Cheryl said...

Lin, you are indeed an inspiration! I too had the full-time care of my two youngest children after divorce, and it was hard! Never knowing if I was doing "the right job" with them but I too had wonderful family support. The two are now 24 and 18and have told me many times "that I was the best mom ever"!! Whether that is true or not...but we made it as a "team". Thanks for sharing with us Lin.

Millie said...

Oh my, you sure hit a great subject. I raised my 2 boys all by myself also. My husband was never home. It was very hard, and lots of tears, but with all the struggles they both ended up being Priesthood holders and my oldest one is in the Stake High Council. The boys were great and if we look at it years back when our kids were small life was a lot better then today and a lot safer. Now I could not see myself raising children. I admire people like Jocelyn that can juggle 3 at one time. Though her husband is a gem and one of a kind...she is blessed. Love reading all your posts. keep them coming Lin.

Linda Reeder said...

You were very fortunate to be able to return to your home town, where you had family and church support. And you were very wise to use the help that was available!You knew how to make the best of a bad situation.