My Entire World Changed Once I Realized I Didn’t Need A Man To Take Care Of Me

I dreamed of getting married throughout my entire childhood. I wanted a husband, kids, and a home. And I wanted to be able to stay home with my kids to care for them. That was just the way I pictured my life going. And so when I met my now-ex husband and he said his mom had stayed home with him and his siblings and he wanted the same for his family, I was delighted.

When we got married, I wanted to have kids right away. So did he. And to his credit, he worked very, very hard to make it possible for me to quit working outside the home once our first baby arrived, not long after we said our vows. I still remember leaving my job on my last day of work before I had my son thinking, okay, your husband needs to take care of you now.

I was really happy. It was what I always wanted and I felt complete.

But then, after 20 years together, we decided to get divorced. And while we were friendly and knew it really was for the best, I had a lot of anxiety about starting a new chapter as a single mom. Deep down, I thought I needed a man to take care of me, because that’s how my ex and I had done it. I didn’t think I could do life alone, and I certainly didn’t think I could parent alone. I depended on him financially for over 13 years. He was the one who took care of a lot of the outside chores. If something in our home broke, he usually knew how to fix it or who to call to fix it.

At first, navigating single parenthood was really scary. I didn’t have the confidence in my ability to handle the house on my own, or make enough money to make ends meet. I started to believe that I wasn’t capable of taking care of myself in a lot of ways. Sure, I knew how to do day-to-day stuff. I could pay bills and go to the grocery store and make sure the kids stayed on schedule. But I was so scared about facing it all alone.

Then I remembered how, before I got married, I’d always taken care of myself. After graduating college, I lived alone for five years. I made my own money. I managed my finances. I took care of my car and advanced in my career without any help. I did that all on my own, and back then, I never felt like I needed a man to help me do those things. I’d gotten accustomed to having my husband to rely on — but I had what it took to make it on my own.

And once you realize that you don’t need a man to take care of you, your entire life will change. There’s something incredibly empowering about realizing that even if I end up single for the rest of my life, it will be okay because I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself. If I do welcome someone into my life, it will only be because I want them. No settling for poor treatment from anyone; I’m perfectly happy alone. And that’s been incredibly empowering and freeing.

Don’t get me wrong: there have been times I was tired and frustrated and filled with self-doubt.

But no matter what came up, I worked hard and things fell into place. Slowly, my confidence came back and I realized not only could I do life without a man, I was happily doing it all on my own.

I started going out to eat or to a movie on my own if my friends were busy. I saw how much I was getting out of doing the things I wanted, when I wanted, and not needing someone to tag along with me. I was this version of myself once and just because my life didn’t go as I planned as a kid I came out on the other side more powerful than I ever imagined.

Diana Park is a writer who finds solitude in a good book, the ocean, and eating fast food with her kids.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top