From single mom Cara Grib, of Kalamazoo, Mich.
I’m on my first vacation with the kids post divorce sans their dad. We were married for 14 years and officially divorced in the past year. This trip to Anna Maria Island in Florida has been just my two kids, Jack (5) and Lily (3), along with my mom. It has been amazing. And eye opening. I’ve traveled the world and have weekly business trips so used to the travel thing. This has been the same — yet different:
- I found myself taking on the roles my ex used to play. I retrieve our bags from baggage claim. I pick up the car rental and haul our suitcases in the back. I kiss the wounds as my kids scrape their toes.
- I gave my children a vacation to remember. Me. Not their dad and me. Just me. My son hugged me tonight and told me I was the “bestest mom ever.”
- I found the lessons for them I want them to cherish. My work is exploding and have to do at least 1 conference call per day. I tell my children: Momma can’t play with you in the pool because she has to work. This is how she pays for your vacation. Without her work, you can’t do this… And they are learning.
- My mom is with me and gets to experience adventures I thought she would have had. I showed her how clams dig into the beach after a wave hits them. She had never seen it before and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that. I am amazed at both of us.
- I used to shy away from playing with my kids, especially in the pool, because their dad was so good at it and I was not. Guess what: I am a great pool playmate for my kids. Outside of them nearly drowning me today with my daughter on my back who can’t swim and my son unexpectedly launching at me, getting water in my eyes while I was over my head, scared shitless I was going to die, I did it. They had a blast and never knew how much I was outside of my comfort zone.
Tonight’s beautiful sunset reminded me how amazing life is without the heaviness of an unrewarding marriage or partnership.
My new mantra for my life: I am Cara and I will not be afraid.
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