10 Mantras on Gratitude for the Single Mom
In my daily meditation I like to say what I’m grateful for. Below are my staples at this current juncture in my life, which is to find a job. A career job. One with benefits and a 401k plan so I can retire. At a company with people that inspire and encourage and motivate. Where I have to look and be professional. Essentially where I left off before getting knee deep in raising children. It’s time! I really am thankful for everything in my life but there’s a backstory to it as well. It’s all in the spin!
I’m grateful my coparent isn’t an addict, doesn’t abuse the children, and pays his child support on time. What I’m not saying is I wish he had stuck to the terms of the divorce agreement and continued to pay his share of the mortgage so that we wouldn’t have to risk going into foreclosure. Or at the very least followed through with his part of the agreement which includes taking care of the quitclaim and 401k distribution so that I didn’t get stuck with the legal fees to get it done.
I’m grateful to have a roof over my head. Actually, my house really may go into foreclosure. I’m hoping for a short sale. What I’m grateful for is that the banks aren’t calling several times a day at all hours like they did when my parents went bankrupt. I remember my mom being totally stressed every time the phone rang. And then she’d yell a little bit (gasp!) and hang up crying. It was awful to live through that, for all of us. My parents never explained to me what was going on and I lived in fear we would be homeless.
I’m grateful for heat and hot water. The bad news is my furnace is broken and I’ve had a friend working on it for the past month but it still isn’t fixed. Fortunately I have a back up system in place but it’s not going to cut it when the outside temperature drops below 30 degrees. The good news is my back up system isn’t using as much fuel as the furnace so I don’t have to worry as much when I go outside to check the gauge on the tanks, which I do everyday. I’ll be receiving fuel assistance starting this month but I don’t know when or how much and I’m on auto payment for a refill. Not sure how much longer I can hold off.
I’m grateful I can feed my children. I had to apply for food stamps and got $70. I have friends with way more money than me getting several hundred dollars in assistance. Where did I go wrong on my application? There is nothing more humiliating than applying for food stamps. It’s time consuming, detailed, drawn out, degrading, just awful. It took me over eight hours from start to finish to get $70 a month. The thing is, when my bank balance is at $5 I really appreciate it. Let me find a job if for no other reason so I don’t have to reapply in six months.
I’m grateful my car works. Now that I’ve stopped paying my mortgage I was able to get my car fixed and have it pass inspection. I still have one more maintenance issue coming up which I have to put some money aside for. I’m just so glad I don’t hear that loud grinding noise anymore.
I’m grateful for my last boyfriend for teaching me everything I need to know about relationships in just one year. It wasn’t a great year, but the education was invaluable. Who knew I was so flawed and that people can be so self centered!?! After all, I was with a guy for 12 years who didn't make conversation, hid from an argument, was unable to state his needs and withheld affection. While I’m long over my ex-husband, I’m still healing the wounds from my ex-boyfriend but what a lesson.
I’m grateful for my family for their support during this transition. “Hi it’s me. Can I borrow some money?” Who else would put up with that? Sure, I’ve taken some hits from my siblings for being in this position: “You’ve made some bad decisions in your life. You should be ashamed for staying with him for so long.” And this one, from my father, “Doesn’t she have a job?” They mean well. I don’t blame them. I’m glad they’re there.
I’m grateful for my friends for sharing stories, laughter, and hugs. I’d be lost without them. This is true. Good heavens, the tales of woe they’ve had to endure. Without passing judgement. And their generosity. I’ve got some good friends!
I’m grateful for my children for being so awesome. They are. Never mind that at least once a day I hear, “Mom, can I have…, Mom, I need…” Little do they know how it pains me to be reminded that we just don’t have the money. But a few years back I read a piece of advice about the answer to that question which is, no matter what your financial status: “It’s not in the budget.” (Positive Parenting Solutions) It works! They stop asking. I don’t get defensive or start explaining something they don’t need to know. And if I’m really stressed and feel the tears coming, I just run to the bathroom to cry.
I’m grateful that one day this will all be in the past and a new life awaits me. What I really mean is how the heck did I get myself in this situation? I’m educated, resourceful, responsible (or so I thought), in great health, my kids are doing well, and I couldn’t be more positive about my outlook. So let’s hurry this thing up and get on with it already!