“I had always wanted to be a mom since I was 2 years old. Right after my divorce, it was really difficult. I felt the stigma of being a single parent in our society. But once I joined an SPP group, I realized I was proud to be a single mom! The group really helped me to embrace that title.”
Mandra is a proud mom of two amazing boys. After she went through a divorce six years ago, she found it difficult to restart her life, build a home, and get into a routine. “That first year was a learning time for me. I have a greater confidence now, but I used to be nervous to do things and make decisions. I was on decision overload!” Mandra is now in a place where managing all of life’s decisions is like second nature. “Working as a team has improved a lot with my boys. It’s a lot of work but we get it done and move on without second guessing ourselves. We are really rocking it now and have a great life together!”
As is often the case with divorce, Mandra experiences the adjustment periods her boys go through when they go back and forth between their parents’ homes. “Even though my boys' dad and I have a good co-parenting relationship now, my boys have two households that are very different. They have two parents who love them and want the best for them, but even so, they can feel out of whack every time they come back, and we have to readjust.” Mandra and her family enjoy being outside and taking walks together. “Both of my boys are the sweetest. My youngest is an extrovert and wants to help everyone. My oldest is shy and so sweet. We are learning how to balance work and play with their two different personalities.”
Along with the support of family and friends, Mandra credits her faith in God, her church, and her time in an SPP Group as her sources of strength and growth as a single parent. She encountered Single Parent Provision several times before deciding to join a group during the pandemic. “I thought it would be just one more thing we had to do, but now I realize I should have joined sooner! There can be a stigma in our society regarding single parents and we can often feel looked down upon. But joining this group helped me be more confident and own the single parent title. People can tend to treat us differently, but I can let go of that extra layer of judgement and be free to just love my kids. I am not sure what I’d do without SPP!”
Through the lessons Mandra has learned over the past years, she has come to find a new perspective. “Divorce is really hard. It can be painful and lonely.” But by letting go of the stigma she felt and embracing the truth that although single, she is not alone, Mandra is raising her boys with confidence and intention.
Mandra encourages other single parents to “Be proud of yourself. We do so much that is not often acknowledged. Learn to ask for help when it gets hard but then also accept the help when it is offered. Realize that you don’t have to do everything. The dishes can stay in the sink for a few days and that’s okay!”
Mandra, your story is an encouragement to many so thank you for sharing your journey with us!
Published July 2022