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Happy Mother’s Day — Take a Single Mom to Lunch

momThis column ran previously on Huffington Post a couple years ago. I’m rerunning for Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day everyone! I’m taking tomorrow off. 

I was a single mom for most of my son’s childhood, and I have to confess to you as hokey and shameful as this is — every Mother’s Day I coveted one of those orchid wrist corsages like you get at prom. I wanted to be Matriarch for a day, surrounded by my well-dressed family at an ostentatious, over-priced Sunday brunch. But what I really wanted most of all was what most mothers want on Mother’s Day: recognition for a job well done.

Single mothers don’t get much of that. Putting aside how vilified single mothers can be in the culture, when your kids are young, they tend to be short on perspective. You’re only as good as your last mac n’ cheese dinner. If it weren’t for the prompting of teachers crafting Mother’s Day cards, the day would go by unnoticed for many of us.

My son would make me a card at school each year and I treasured and kept every single one. Every gift — the button and pipecleaner bracelet, the photograph of a horse (I like horses, he always remembers), the mosaic trivet he made in art class. He’s a super kid. But for most of his life there was no man around honoring his mom on Mother’s Day. I divorced his dad when he was four (and we never celebrated the holiday much when we were together; my ex neither honored his mother or myself).

But kind of like Valentine’s Day can remind single people how single they are, Mother’s Day has a way of making single moms feel quite alone. It’s often seen as a celebration of the traditional nuclear family. Of the legacy that comes from being partnered, of having a spouse say, “Wow, I’m so happy we made these kids together.”

When I was a child, Mother’s Day was always spent with four generations of women — my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and aunt, at an after-church luncheon at the Village Women’s Club outside Detroit. The men would be in suits, my grandfather would hold court (he loved nothing more than to be surrounded by his family suffering the discomforts of formal dress attire). From my child’s perspective it was interminable. Adults having cocktails. Children staving off their hunger with dry breadsticks. Fidgeting. Reprimands. At last dining. And then, if you were lucky, breaking free to run across the daffodil gardens outside, where it was still early spring.

It was conveyed to me was that this was a day of importance. It was an occasion to honor your mother, that had the gravitas of formality, of obligation and ritual.

Fast forward 25 years to being a single mother in my mid-30s. I would’ve settled for a flipped pancake and a hug.

Single mothers work so damn hard, they deserve all the honor we can give them. I know single dads work hard too — but today I’m talking to the single moms out there — you rock. I admire you immensely.

I blog about infidelity, and every day, women write to me who were cheated on while pregnant, whose husbands walked out on them with infants, small children, walked out on their teenage kids and never called again, stay-at-home moms who find themselves trying to find work again with less than baseline child support and big gap in their resumes — heart breaking stories. And yet, they get up every day and do the hard work of raising kids on their own. Either entirely by themselves, or carrying the majority of the parenting weight. (And before the father’s rights people comment — they don’t do this by choice — but because men still exist who abandon their families.)

Single moms are mighty — and they deserve more than a bouquet of flowers and a nice breakfast — they deserve our respect. If you know a single mom, take a moment to tell her how much you admire the hard work she’s doing. Babysit her kids for an hour or two. Cook a dinner. Fete her with brunch. Sit with her children help them make her card. Do not let this day go unnoticed. This is a day of importance. It is an occasion.

It’s over a decade since I was that single mom with a preschooler. I’ve been remarried for going on three years. I don’t have children with my husband — we have a blended family of three young men. The first Mother’s Day we were together, my husband got me flowers. He wrapped lovely, thoughtful presents. He brought me coffee in bed.

Later that day, he put on a pressed shirt (he hates all things dry-clean), he made my son put on a pressed shirt, and my step-son put on a pressed shirt — and then three handsome men took me out to brunch.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • It’s my first year as a single moment on Mother’s Day. Last year after the cheater took us all to lunch which I could barely eat (dday 2 was a few days before), we told the kids daddy was moving out.

    The year will be much better;)

    • My first single Mother’s Day, too, Briana. And brunch will taste that much better because I don’t have to share it with a cheating liar.

      Happy’s Mother’s Day to all Chumps!!

      • Last year on Mother’s Day, we had just split up and I was a complete wreck. It was torture trying to plan the day with stbx. He kept flipping narc channels. Trying to seem generous for letting me see my son, then got mad because I didn’t have plans nailed down quickly enough. He had to see HIS mother too! Then gave this pathetic little speech about this “difficult time” and how grateful he was that I’m a good mother. Ug! Go away asshole.

        Looking forward to a peaceful time with people who truly care about me today: my mother, dear sisters and my son. Love and healing to Chump Nation.

    • What a selfish prick, Briana!
      And I bet he left it all up to you to tell them that ‘we had issues’, too.
      You’re far better off without that loser.

  • A shared parenting arrangement with a cheating ex and his ow “girlfriend” is particularly hard when Mother’s Day falls on his parenting day. He goes out of his way to make it difficult for me to see the kids that day. I deserve a freaking medal for not losing my shit. Being a single mom has been the most awesome experience. I am ten times happier not married to a cheater. I celebrate single motherhood for all of us that became single moms by being strong and not allowing our spouses to continue to harm our emotional wellbeing!

    • Mim–My custody arrangement specified that Mother’s Day would always be with the mother (even if it fell on a Dad’s weekend). Any way to get that switched?

      • Mine is the same, maybe a Texas thing. I think it is terrible that you don’t have your kiddos on Mother’s day!! Big hugs to you!!!!

      • I did the same thing in my divorce agreement. I get *every* Mothers Day and he gets every Father’s Day, if he chooses. I’m lucky Voldemort lives 2000 miles away, but when he called about a month ago that he wanted the kids the weekend of May 8th, I told him, “if you show up, I get to call the cops on you for trespassing and when the cops say, ‘show me the orders’, it’ll be there in black and white and they’ll haul you off to jail”. He meekly responded, “I’ll pick another weekend.”

        Today my boys & I went to a fabulous Italian restaurant for brunch. I’d been there on Mothers Day before, with Voldemort, and all he did was complain how crowded it was (duh, it’s Mothers day, you idiot), and how pricey, etc, while his eyes were glued to the cell phone growing out of his palm. It was so nice today to enjoy my kids having fun, enjoying all the smiling, laughing people in the restaurant without Voldemort’s complaining and grumpiness. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!!

    • It might be worth asking your X to amend the agreement so that both of you get to see the kids on “your” day. That would seem equitable. But Cheaters often cut off their own nose to spite their face.

  • My first x sometimes gets super confusing and buys me flowers on Mother’s Day. I still don’t get his pathology. Sometimes you just have to accept that you both got screwed up by your family and let it go.

    This year he forced my son to spend $20 on a plant when son wanted to spend $5 on 7-11roses. Son is autistic, the drama never ends. I appreciate x insistence that he put more effort into it, but now son is causing drama. I actually don’t believe that was x’s intention. X is pretty deeply flawed but not 100% bad. Choosing to be a mother (unplanned) can be a difficult road, and there are very few plants or 7-11 roses along the way.

    • Jen I understand where you’re coming from. My ex is deeply flawed but at times he does nice things for me. I am dubious of his intentions. For example, He bought my mother and I both flowers for Mother’s Day for my ten year old daughter to give us. They were nothing fancy. Probably $5 bouquets from walmart but the thought was nice. I live in a small Midwestern town of 10,000. Here’s the catch (there’s ALWAYS a catch). He took my daughter to the local beauty shop where my mother was getting her hair cut to give ger the flowers in front of everyone. He wants public recognition for every little thing he does. The flowers and the thought were nice but he demands recognition for his small act of kindness. He cares deeply about his public image.

  • We’ve been in and out of court for four years. In mediation it was agreed to in our minutes of settlement but he doesn’t honor the agreements most of the time. I’m dealing with a narcissistic jackass. Absolutely everything has to be difficult. My last text in response to this bs said “your life must be really miserable for you to behave this way all the time. Sucks to be you”.

  • Last year was my first Mother’s Day as a single mom with a five week old. In the end it’s a blessing I found out about cheating narc exhole while pregnant because it gave me more options. But damn it if it isn’t still the hardest thing realizing I never even got to celebrate Mother’s Day the normal way with my child once. I’ll never get to do any of the holidays with the father of my child. Alright. Self pity moment over. I’ve read it before but the article today made me feel better. So thanks Tracy and Chump Nation. Happy Mother’s day all :).

    • Wishing you a wonderful Mother’s Day Kat and many more to come. You are a very brave young woman. xo

    • Kat–You are kickass for tossing the cheater out with a 5-week old infant. I’m sorry you never had a Mother’s day with the father (but holidays with a jerk are nothing to write home about). May you and baby have a wonderful Sunday!

    • Thanks you two. I actually discovered the cheating the same week I found out I was pregnant. So I’d left him and been gone for 9 months by the time last Mother’s day rolled around. My kid is now a little over thirteen months. I don’t know why but the whole Mother’s day thing bothers me worse this year. Maybe because last year I was still in a baby stupor with new mommy brain and no sleep. My D day was two years ago this July. So I’m so ready to be done with mourning. Even random bits. I’d rather be sharpening my battle axe. But yeah, the minute I found out I left his dumb ass.

      • Our stories are eerily similar. Found out the about the cheating at the beginning of July 2013 three weeks after getting a positive pregnancy test. Left him and spent my pregnancy alone. My child is now 14 months. Are we life dopplegangers?

  • I’ve had more single mum Mother’s Days than partnered ones so it’s nothing new for me. My little girl is overseas with her father for the weekend (apparently he forgot it was Mother’s Day and my little girl was so excited by the trip I couldn’t say no) and my teen girl is wrapped up in misery having broken up with her boyfriend. So no breakfasts or flowers for me but I’ll go and see my own elderly mum later on and take her some treats. It pays to be a bit prosaic and down to earth on days like this! But happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome women out there who are doing it on their own – you rock!

  • Happy Mother’s Day! Two years ago, my ex took our kids out to buy Mother’s Day gifts… for the Owife. I didn’t get so much as a card. Fortunately, I have a terrific GF (who is also a single mom) who got little presents for me and had the kids hide them and sign a card from them. She certainly helped me get through a very painful experience. It wasn’t my kids’ fault; they are still little. But, my ex certainly likes to show me that he doesn’t value my role as their mom (and that I don’t exist as their mother, really), and that day was one of the really low blows that he used to make that point.

    That’s something else we could do for each other– if you know of a single mom who could use some Mother’s Day attention (or her kids could use the help of a trusted adult to buy gifts and a card), then help her out. I will be forever grateful to my GF for taking what could have been a shitty day and showing me that some people are kind, decent, and thoughtful.

    Two years later, though, I don’t care. My kids make me things, I buy myself something nice, I go out and buy myself a good cup of coffee, and the day is lovely again. I don’t care if my ex buys the Owife the Hope diamond and takes her to the Plaza Hotel for the swankiest brunch ever. I get the best part about him on Mother’s Day (my children), and she gets all the crappy stuff that’s leftover! 🙂

  • I was a single mother to my 35 year old daughter and my 32 year old son but I didn’t know it because I was married to their father. Upon reflection I raised them on my own. My life went to mud 5 years ago on mother’s day and I no longer care about the day. Happy Mother’s Day to all good mums. I hope the day is a lovely and happy one for all of you.

    • Oh gosh, your words ring so true. 18 months since I found out he’s a cheating b@*%@#d and I now realise I’ve brought both my boys up alone, despite his patchy presence. Boys now 21 and almost 18. XH is in army reserve (where he met his affair partner) and was away most weekends and the boys stopped even noticing he wasn’t there! When he was at home he was so awful to the boys, I would wish he was gone again. So life is so much easier without him. Happy Mother’s day to you. We’re in UK and Mother’s day was in March and my youngest took me out for a meal – and eldest did the same when I collected him for the Easter break. So much nicer without ex’s miserable face!!

      • nosilac, sadly my kids prefer their father and have cut me from their lives so no more mother’s days for me. Ex now lives in Phnom Pehn with some cheap little tart and he is 63. He has started a blog and I can tell you now, I nearly vomited when I read the rubbish he is writing about. He is like a kid in a candy store, absolutely beside himself. At times it still cuts me to the core but I am really glad he had now gone. I start my volunteer role tomorrow in one of Melbourne largest public hospitals and I impressed them so much the volunteer manager has commented that it may lead to paid employment. Things are starting to go my way finally.

        • Maree, know that he will most likely pick up some incurable STD from those cheap whores and die a painful death. I give it 5 years, tops?
          Your kids don’t deserve you as a mother – selfish brats, the both of them.
          Hugs to you on this day, even though its awful as buggery given what happened.

          • Lania, thank you for your kinds towards me. I appreciate your support very much. You are a kind young lady.

            • You’re welcome. And good luck with the new job! I used to work in a public hospital too – and a fellow Aussie at that! Unfortunately for me – the hospital I worked at was a toxic environment full of personality disorder – it kinda taught me the same sort of lessons I learned here at CL!
              It shows that the disordered show no discernment towards any particular aspect of life – which is why the lessons here are so very valuable even when not directly related to infidelity – to cheating of other forms.
              I’m sincerely hoping that your new job isn’t anything like that – but given your mental cajones – you’d put down the hopium pipe at the first sight of fuckwittery.

        • Oh Maree I’m so sorry to hear that.Good that you’re getting out and volunteering that will open up a whole new set of people to socialise with, and give you such purpose, and hopefully as you say, may lead to paid employment. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had my job to go to (at the time only 3 days a week, but it saved my sanity) as I work with an amazing team – a youth theatre – so they’re all a bit mad, but so supportive. I now work 4 days a week, but money is a worry.

          Given time, your kids may come round again – they may start to view their father differently as time passes. I hope so.

          My ex is refusing to support eldest at uni – giving him minimal payment each month, which I happen to know his parents are giving him to pass on – but my son thinks the measly sum is coming from his dad! Goodness knows what will happen next year when our two boys are both at uni at the same time! I guess I’m fortunate in a way, as in Scotland any property you inherit is not marital property and we’ve been living mortgage free in my parents house which I inherited for the last 10 years, so he has no claim on the house. This was a godsend especially for my youngest who has Asperger’s and severe dyslexia, so at least he knew from the start that he wouldn’t have to change where he was living.

          Ex now living in a house his parents have virtually funded, and ow has moved in with her 5 year old! My ex hates kids, so will be acting just now, but he’ll soon turn on that poor child… Her husband and her were friends of the family too, boys all know each other and we’ve stayed at their house several times, so it’s all a huge mess. Her eldest is at the same uni as my eldest (large age-gap between her boys) so my son has had to spend the last 18 months avoiding her son and in a small uni, that’s not been easy. My youngest has agreed to go to France on a camping trip with them and the 5 year old in the summer – watch this space – but I’ve got to let him go and try it.

          I’m feel so aggrieved that they just seem to be carrying on and living the good life while I’m left to pick up the pieces. His parents have been awful – not keeping in touch with my boys who are their only grandchildren and now transferring their affections to the 5 year old. They phoned me the other week when I had to have my beloved dog put to sleep, but didn’t ask to speak to my son, and haven’t phoned, texted, or emailed him in the 18 months since I threw my ex out. Who phones because they’re upset about a dog, and ignores their own grandchildren?!!

          Her husband seems to be taking it lying down so far, so I’m getting it in the neck for being unreasonable and not wanting to stay friends!!!!

          • Very sorry about your dog–I know what that loss is like on top of a betrayal. Also very sorry that your X and in-laws are so clueless and selfish. Just remember that you are not expected to be friends with someone who abuses you, lies to you, cheats on you.

      • Nosalic,

        My H withdrew so dramatically that when son #2 was 15, he called for a ride and I said “one of us will come get you” and he responded “this other person you are referring to, who do you mean?”…”your father” “ohhhhhhh”. Their dad is dead now and they virtually never mention him

  • So I just got back from sitting in mall traffic to get his mother a gift. He moves out in 18 days. I asked him what he was planning to do for her and of course he hadn’t even thought of it. His mother is a saint. She’s like a mother to me and is mortified by what he did. But she’s still lending him money (I hope with interest) so he can move. And he hadn’t even planned on getting her a gift. I guess that’s still my job? I’m not signing his name on the card. I guess you can tell a lot about a guy by the way he treats his mom.
    Does anyone else get their ex MILs gifts?

    • No. This is your ex’s job. Not your job to do HIS job. Let his shittiness show. Let his mother draw those conclusions. It’s not fair that she got an asswipe for a son, but she did. Don’t enable him. Sounds like he’s been enabled enough.

    • I call my former in-laws my bonus parents. I got the best deal – rid of their cheater son who disgusts them – and get to keep them – still 13 years later. They are awesome and always there for the kids and I. They are awesome!

      • Yeah my MIL is amazing. Watches my kids, does my laundry, cleans my house, runs errands for me, makes me dinner, (after repeatedly telling her not to). She’s a widow and is amazing to my kids. Maybe I’ll just start getting her gifts from me. She already knows how shitty her son is and told me that no OW will ever replace me 🙂

        • “She already knows how shitty her son is and told me that no OW will ever replace me.”

          NMD, my late MIL liked me more than she liked my x (she said I was like the daughter she never had but wished she did…she had 3 sons and none of the other DIL’s treated her with the respect that I did.) She passed away before we divorced and before I found out that he’d been living a double life of cheating with a desperate housewife for years after our child was born. My friends tell me that I was the best that he will ever have, and I now believe them (they are smart). 🙂 I hear late MIL saying the same from the other side.

          Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, chumped or otherwise, especially the ones going at it without a partner. Now, off I go to celebrate with the Grande Dame of mothers…mine.

    • I think if your ex’s family loves you and treats you well, if you love them, there is no reason not to have a relationship with them. When my first LTR ended his Mom was like my own and she told him I was always welcome, if he didn’t like it Soverylost it. I miss her, she passed away some time ago.

    • My MIL is also like a second mom to me. I sent her a Mothers Day gift and card from my children and me. She is absolutely furious with her son (my STBX) for his affairs and him leaving the kids and me. He told her we were divorcing via text message, would not answer her when she asked if he was screwing around(she knew about a previous affair) and he has made no effort to make up with her. He dumped me, his kids and his parents for the OW.

  • Major props and well-wishes to all of the well-deserving single formerly-chumped moms out there! My mom herself fell into that category, and in her way she was MIGHTY after kicking my dad out (raising three kids, and getting two of them to undergrad and graduate school, primarily on her own).

    CL – Don’t forget us chumped, newly-minted single-dads on Fathers Day, ok? 😉

  • Happy Mother’s Day to CL and everyone in CN 😀 so happy we all share our shit here… we laugh, rage & cry together!! This applies to the single Dad’s out there doing the Mom’s job too…. I know you’re out there!!

    As for me…. I am just happy to be celebrating Mother’s Day tomorrow at MEH!!! Yes… MEH!! Still wallowing in it.

    Surprisingly my Xhole called our son last night and asked if he “made Mommy” anything at school…. son said “yes” and Xhole said he would pick son up before church anyway and take him shopping to pick out something for Mommy for Mother’s Day. Wtf? I didn’t get shit for Christmas and he didn’t care?? Whatever…. not going to ruin it for my son…. he still makes me scratch my head though lol.

  • It’s 6pm. I just got home from a soccer game. I went to work at 8:30 a.m. (I work 2 jobs – 1 6 days a week), and got off at 1 to take my teenage son to play his game and watch. Watching his games make me nervous because he’s a goalie. Walking in the door, I’m looking at a kitchen counter 3 days full of used cookware and utensils, along with a sink full of dirty dishes. Mountains, not piles, mountains of laundry to do. Our house is picked up, but not clean.

    My friend who helps me with my lawn, dropped off her tractor with a bucket loader and York rake – along with a small dump truck load of dirt to even out my pitiful lawn. She said go ahead and do it. I’m so fucking tired I can’t even imagine getting out on that tractor right now.

    My son is a good boy. He doesn’t get himself into trouble (so far anyway). He will do whatever I ask him without protest; but, sometimes I wish he would just DO SHIT without me HAVING to ask.

    Yesterday, my Narc mother tells me that her Mother’s Day gift to me, was that she cleaned *her* toilet. I didn’t even respond.

    I don’t want to cook tonight – but I’m tired of spending money on take-out. But I’m *tired*, damn it. Last night I went to bed at 7:30 and slept until 6:30.

    Tomorrow, I get NO time to myself. I must go to work (sometimes I have to work on Sundays too) for a couple of hours, go to church, help my mother with a bath, cook, and sit with her during dinner (which I’m not really looking forward to).

    The bright spots? Yeah there ARE some! My son said we can have a second Mother’s Day on Father’s Day! And on Friday, the 43 elementary school kids I drive home every day all, in unison, yelled “Happy Mother’s Day Mrs. C.!!!!” before I pulled away from school.

    I’m an exhausted, but happy Mighty Mom!

      • PS, give your mother a toilet brush for the holiday. Seriously, she said that. Really? Maybe you shouldn’t spend the whole day over there, and do something nice for yourself instead. Just saying.

        • Yeah. She seriously said that. And unfortunately CL, my son and I live with her.

          I realized, at 55, that I probably got attracted to my X because I grew up in a Narc household.

          I am DETERMINED to beat this. I at least finally woke up and broke the cycle.

    • Onthehill. Sometimes I really wish I was Oprah. Then I could give all the exhausted single moms a new car or a spa day. Or a helper monkey. Or a napping room that exists in another dimension outside of time so that you could rest up as long as you needed inbetween work and dinner and sick kids etc.

      • Thanks Kat!!! So far it’s been a really good day!

        A friend of mine (who lives with her husband but is estranged) unexpectedly asked me out for an afternoon cocktail at a local place that has an outdoor bar. What a GREAT treat that was!!!! It was almost as if she had read this post!

  • Mother’s Day is a toughie….

    My Mom passed away from cancer early one Mother’s Day 12 years ago.

    My second child and my Sister’s first child were born just after she passed.

    I always think back to this as the beginning of when my x started to go a little “off”. I believe it was the first time for him to experience a death of some one close.

    This year my kids and I are planning a day trip and just some time together in a non traditional way. It involves some hiking, possibly a cook out and a little retail therapy 🙂

    The holidays are always a little hard. I miss the big family events too.

    I am wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day !!!!

  • I try to make his Father’s Day equally as special as my Mother’s Day. I’m glad Mother’s Day comes first, because it really takes the pressure off of Father’s Day.

  • You have inspired me.. I am going to take my single mother friend a bunch of flowers tomorrow, she’s helped me so much during this ordeal, it’s the least I can do.

    Happy Mother’s Day all you mighty Moms!!!

  • my mothers day here in NZ is a trigger as exactly a year ago husband walked out of the family home (i still didn’t know about the affair then just had suspicions). he was ‘having space’ to work out what he wanted- i know now as he walked up the drive to his sisters house, leaving me bewildered and miserable and alonehe was sexting his OW so excited to be away from ‘the dragon’s den’ and ready to start a life with her in what ever shape or form the ‘ride’ too them-once she decided what to tell her spouse. Any way i am working all day now and off to see my own mum shortly. Aroha chumps 🙂

    • Good to know the comfort of Chumplady is there for a fellow Kiwi. Late yesterday afternoon I returned home from work blissfully looking forward to my first evening and then weekend day off work in over three weeks. I sat beside my 11 year old son looking out at the South China Sea in this beautiful part of the Asia Pacific in which I now live. I had one of those moments of real happiness that emerge notwithstanding the carnage of life post-being-left … by the midlife crisis man who, like a rat in our native forests, causes so much destruction. I was counting my blessings for strong friends and family, meaningful work and two wonderful kids one of whom I ache for but am so proud of while she lives thousands of miles from me now back in Aotearoa near the friends she loves and the school she wanted to return to. I had that moment of calm last night … and then he rang. Another round of such carefully constructed and deceptively ‘caring’ manipulation asking yet again for me to send my son back home to live with him … having urged us to leave 2 years ago now when our absence overseas was convenient to his new love. All couched as always in the language of what is best for our son overlooking that top of the list is for our child to be near the Mother he loves. I made the mistake again of breaching ‘no contact’, slipped back into the land of hopium and so have woken up for the third Mothers’ Day in a row feeling that the relentless seemingly never ending slog towards financial independence and a new life and maybe one day ‘meh’ goes on and on and on … But I’ll cherish that moment last night and I know in my heart there are more of them now then there were one year in …. Kia kaha Kiwigirl … stay strong …

    • My ex moved all his shit and himself (a shit) out of the family home the day before Mother’s Day 4 years ago, and that was also 2 days before our son’s birthday.

      My son was shattered. Really, all 3 of them were. But the youngest–it’s been hardest for him. He hides it, but it hurts. Or it’s numb. He doesn’t like to dwell.

      The day after he left, on Mother’s Day, was the first time he told me that I was a good mother and he hoped I’d have a good day because I deserved it. You see, he finally threw me a bone, so magnanimously. He did it to relieve himself of fear–fear that he might otherwise look like the coward that he is.

      Next day–two days after he left–he dropped off a “birthday” card for our youngest son. It was one he’d had laying around, which was terribly convenient for him. The print on the front said, “Not all who wander are lost…” I wanted to kill the mother fucker for rubbing my son’s nose in it, on his birthday.

      I DID have a good Mother’s Day that year. xH never spent Mother’s Day with us–he always had to work. I just enjoyed my kids; that’s the perfect day for me, no matter what.

      I love your idea, Tracy, of celebrating a single Mom (or Dad who IS the Mom in some cases) on her day, and especially of helping her or his kids to honor the parent who loves them.

      Way to go, mama.

      Happy Mother’s Day to all of you with kids, pets, and mothers. Happy Mother’s Day to all the dads who did their best to honor the women who walked out anyway, and the dads who filled in for walk-away so-called mothers. You did your best.

  • All you single moms deserve a standing ovation! You are mighty in your efforts to raise strong, moral, stable children and I applaud each and everyone of you! You are outstanding hardworking women! Don’t let a label on one day make you feel down. You have the best thing you could have ever received from your less than stellar mates, your wonderful children! Clapping for you! Enjoy your day!

  • Thank you Tracy for acknowledging us, the single mothers! Thank you for everything that you do and continue to be our voice, for all of us! You rock!!! <3

    Happy Mother's Day to you and Happy Mother’s Day to every one of us, to our mighty family! I love all of you!! 🙂

    Nicolette

  • Wishing every mother a wonderful Mother’s Day! My 11 year old daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We are going to church tomorrow and then out to buy season tickets to the local water park for us and one of her friends. I can’t think of anything I would rather do than spend time with my girl.

  • My first Mother’s Day was spent w the STBX’s family as he was on a “business trip” to Las Vegas. Come to find out, that was my first DDay. I forgave him as he “couldn’t go though with it”. Fast forward 11 years, and last year around Valentine’s Day he decided to fuck another woman he met on Match. I filed last April, he entered rehab this January, I’m hoping to the dear sweet baby Jesus that I will be divorced by the end of the year!

  • Happy Mother’s Day to all at CN. My baby girl folded all the laundry, cleaned the bathrooms , did dog poop duty and swept the whole house and garage. She figured it all out hy herself and didnt need Idiot to spot her some cash to ‘ get’ me something. When he asked her she told him’ I got it covered’
    Thats my girl!!! Thats the best gift incould ever receive.
    A very blessed day to all persons wearing the mom pants for their family.

  • I’m here because he was always taking single mothers to lunch. 🙂 since I didn’t trust that, he decided to fuck some.

  • I am in awe when I read our stories. So much tragedy. So much betrayal. So much pain and grief. But also new lives being formed. I see women in searing pain finding the strength to stand up and live, to show the world that you are in a far better place even though it may not appear that way. I salute each one of you! You’re going to continue to rise above the stench! Some of us experience abandonment of our beloved children and this day hurts. But we press on. It’s what we must do! Thankfully, we have a place where others understand. Thank you, CL and community. Happy Mother’s Day. You deserve it!

  • Happy Mothers Day to everyone! I will be spending the day with my awesome kiddos and extended family. I want to say I am in awe of the combined amount of strength in CN. We are, in fact, mighty. Enjoy your day and don’t worry dads…your day is coming! 🙂

  • Last year my beautiful loving ma passed away after suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease for 14 years. In the early stages I took her by train to visit my brother in Florida. It was a wild trip interrupted by a hurricane and delays. I took her to Disney for the first time and pushed her around in a wheel chair. I took her off her medication and we shared a bottle of wine. We played pool and went out to eat ordering things she never tried. We broke some rules and went swimming int the hotel pool at midnight. She was still able to communicate however was confused a great deal. This was the best vacation of my life as I fondly look back at the pictures. I am proud of my three children and granddaughter and spent yesterday shopping with my granddaughter. It was the first time in a year I felt joy throughout the entire day.
    We spent hours in the dressing room trying on dresses for her middle school graduation. I realized yesterday that I spend my time doing the same things I enjoyed with my family minus the weight of the complaining cheater. my son insisted we spend the day together. Today I focus on what I have in my life that brings me joy, my future. There are finally possibilities. Happy Mothers Day.

    • Happy Mother’s Day to all the families who are doing the hard work. I too feel as if I raised my kids single handedly but it took my getting away to realize that. Looking back on our twenty year marriage my ex sadly was always doing his own thing, and never happy with what he had, while my kids and I were his greatest fans; clueless me I just chalked it up to everything but disengaged. IMHO, It’s really hard to have a good marriage with someone who would rather choose cheating on their spouse than having a relationship with them. Donna, this “Today I focus on what I have in my life that brings me joy, my future.There are finally possibilities.” This is so true because with the disordered you never have a shot at the fairy tale. I had everything but an honest, authentic, intimate spouse and there are no possibilities for happiness with that. I laugh now at how relentless I was in trying to make it work. I was blinded by all his good qualities but as someone here stated the other day, “He was great… Except for the cheating.” So to all here at Chump Nation, be really honest with how empty your spouses made you feel…even in those moments where looking back you should have felt “together”. My wedding day comes to mind. 🙂 Lol. I did not feel treasured or cared for for years leading up to my Dday but ex was always great at telling me how that was my thing. Problem was it wasn’t the truth. CN, To our better futures, and Happy Mother’s Day.

  • Single moms out there: happy Mother’s Day and a huge amount of respect to you. I’m a single Dad, but my cheating spouse pulled her nonsense when my kids were almost out of the house. It is hard to plumb what it would feel like to be pregnant or mothering tiny kids and be abandoned, and it is especially enraging to ponder what kind of man does that.

    To you single dads who are shouldering the whole job, happy early Father’s Day. You’re in your own tough place where people don’t give you a fraction of the credit you deserve.

    Chump parents, you all are awesome.

  • Happy Mother’s Day to all us Chumpy Mothers (and Dad’s having to take on the mom role as well)!

    Isn’t it nice when for all the years you were taking care of the kids, working, doing all the household stuff, paying all the bills, etc. etc. and he was doing whatever and whomever he wanted, he never acknowledged you on Mother’s Day as “You’re not my mom”, but now the OWhore gets gifts and cards because she is just a “shining” example of a mother. (Homewrecker, parasite, predator who knew he had a family and just wanted him).

    Another in a long line of FU’s from the X.

  • Here’s to all those mothers who birthed babies, adopted babies, nurtured other people’s babies, made a child smile, took care of pets (that’s a mother feature), honored a mother or father by caring for them in old age (also a mother feature).

    Here’s to the MANY mothers in my life who taught me how to put on make-up, be gracious, consider others, be truthful, encourage my imagination, learn music, cook, sew, dress, balance a checkbook, lend a hand, be a friend, care for a pet, clean, change a diaper, be patient, be loving, leave a cheater, etc., etc.

    And, here’s to my own mom, what a gal.

  • Im still married to my cheater h. He brought me flowers today and a card. He is planning on taking me and the kids to lunch and a movie. Only, once he gave me the flowers, he had to go through and delete any messages in front of me from his new affair partner.( while I watched him) He thinks I don’t know what he is doing? So that kind of ruined it for me. Its like taking candy from the devil. You want it but not really. The funny part is my oldest daughter who got her dad nothing last fathers day. Not even a happy fathers day, gave me 2 dozen beautiful roses, a card and a gift card. Lucky me. I showed him the card from her it must have irked him. I am thankful to have my children, health and a day with the family. Tuesday..i have an appointment with a lawyer.

        • Get on with your mighty self, mama!

          Your daughter clearly gets it.

          Your stbx deleting messages right in front of you was very disrespectful and self-centered.

          What a jerk. Let him have the life he wants so that you can have the life you deserve.

          • Yeah–they give with one hand and take away with another. At the same time, which demonstrates both their duplicity and their arrogance.

          • mightygirl, living with someone like that is like getting your heart ripped out every day. I wish you the best on your journey to your better life. Life is better with only those who live authentically, who truly love you, and who truly love themselves.

  • Happy mothers day to all you wonderful chumps! I have not yet heard from my kids and hope their loser jackass father hasn’t snowed them like he snowed me for 20 years. And for all you chumps on mother’s day – I pray that your cheaters all get hit by a bus. A very large bus.

    • “And for all you chumps on mother’s day – I pray that your cheaters all get hit by a bus. A very large bus.”

      LadyStrange, that is SO SWEET of you! I’ve been waiting for that bus for a very long time (I am patient!). It was a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend of celebrating with my own mother along with 4 of her 7 grandchildren. And, to top that off, my son (love of my life) and I just had a wonderful dinner, just the two of us. I paid, of course, but that shall change one day. 😉

      Another chump commented that they were so grateful to leave their cheater and be able to keep the best part—the children. I could not agree more. Chump dads, I’ll be here in June to pat you all on the back. In the meantime, to all moms out there, you are all mighty heroes.

    • LadyStrange, My kids were initially not really bothered by “my” marriage blowing up (or even by the circumstances surrounding it) but as the years have passed they seem to be more affected by their father’s choices, past and present. It is hard not to take his actions personally, like promising to support them in college and then just walking away, but I let them know it was not something any one of us can control. The serenity prayer is one I have up on my wall. It was important for me to communicate too that nothing they did influenced his decisions. That our struggles made us stronger and that some people couldn’t do what we did. I also let my kids know that it was all right to feel…and that their first priority was to take care of themselves and to know that however hurt I was I would be okay. That it was okay to grieve for the family, father, and community they knew and the life they had. To acknowledge now how they wanted their lives and relationships to be. And to set healthy boundaries. It just takes time. I love my kids, challenges and all–theirs and mine. :). . I am at times saddened and angry by their father’s betrayal but am moving forward and expect my kids to do the same. We have learned there are simple ways of showing our love to each other, that time together is precious, and perhaps that is the lesson. The one good thing I have from that marriage are my beautiful children. They are easily my life’s greatest blessings.

      • “The one good thing I have from that marriage are my beautiful children. They are easily my life’s greatest blessings.”

        Drew, we seem to be on the same page here. I encourage my son to honor his father, no matter how I feel about him (and his years of deep betrayals). A sage that spoke to me once said something like, “you don’t have to like or love your parents, but you must/should honor them.” I consult the Serenity Prayer often, especially during the first year of finding out. When that wasn’t enough at times, I consult the Buddhist Forgiveness Prayer:

        If I have harmed any one in any way,
        either knowingly or unknowingly
        through my own confusions,
        I ask their forgiveness.
        If any one has harmed me in any way,
        either knowingly or unknowingly
        through their own confusions,
        I forgive them.
        And if there is a situation
        I am not yet ready to forgive,
        I forgive myself for that.
        For all the ways that I harm myself,
        negate, doubt, belittle myself,
        judge or be unkind to myself,
        through my own confusions,
        I forgive myself.

        “And if there is a situation
        I am not yet ready to forgive,
        I forgive myself for that.”

        This is the part that really helps me.

  • Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums at CN!
    My day has been one of the best ever– my daughter is out of the hospital after her second bout of depression related actions (thanks to her father’s abandonment), so I have both my kiddos at home. We went for a hike this afternoon, and will go out for dinner later.

    • zyx321,
      Hugs and Love for your daughter! Triumph & victory wishes for the children involved in these messes.

  • This was the best weekend I’ve had since DDay. I still work hard to build my life and fill it with authentic memories. Little by little the pain lessens as I get stronger. Today I was proud of my son for making my day so special.

  • For this last Mother’s Day, I got nothing- he took 200 over-drafted our joint account, blew it on himself, and I got nothing for Mother’s Day from his sorry ass. FUCK. HIM.

    His parents know what a piece of shit he is, but they are just like him, and haven’t contacted me since March- my birthday, and they forgot the actual day and called the day after. FUCK. THEM.

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