When Husband #2 closed out his business and left, my household income… how shall I say it… dropped drastically. For 6 months after he left I was unemployed and living on a wing and a prayer. I sold gold jewelry, worked odd jobs here and there, and scrimped in every way I could think of in order to make ends meet.
Lying awake in my insomniatic state, I’d churn through the numbers in my head. This much for the mortgage. That much for the utilities. A little left over for groceries.
Through it all, I was lonely. I didn’t have anyone I could share my financial woes with and I certainly wasn’t going to worry the kids about how poor we had suddenly become in what seemed like a wink of an eye. Sure, they knew we had to cut back but words like “delinquent”, “foreclosure”, and “overdrawn” would never be a part of our dinner conversation, if I could help it.
The internet has become a huge source of support for me. Sure, it’s faceless, impersonal, and filled with Nigerian princes looking for a little financial help, but it also has pointers for saving money, getting the most out of life’s scraps, and really simple dinner recipes (give this one a try. It’s yummy and so easy to make that my youngest throws it together when he volunteers to make dinner).
One of my favorite sites for research is Pinterest. I like that it is all encompassing. I find great recipes, pick-me-up quotes, and the ability to start a new hobby without dipping into the bank account. I can collect without adding to my home’s clutter. I can dream about travel without having to book a flight. I can figure out how to make my office more livable without having to spend the day (and a week’s pay) at The Container Store. I can connect with another single mom’s blog at my loneliest moments when it’s 2am, the house is silent, and no one else is up.
I have over 800 pins on my various boards. Compared to others I follow, that 800 figure hasn’t even scraped the surface of serious pinning. Even if I stopped “collecting” right now and started experimenting with all of my various pins, I think it would take me a year, maybe two, before I could attempt the tips and hacks and recipes I’ve collected. But I’ll keep pinning because it gives me a break from life, at least for a little 15 minute time frame here and there.
Pinterest is much different from Facebook. No one is trying to tag me with their status updates bragging about their perfect life, amazing kids, and never ending photos of the morning donut. Don’t believe me? Just do a search on “Pinterest Fails”. You’ll get to see how human and un-Martha-like most of us really are. Kudos to the brave souls who upload their failures for all to see (and laugh about).
So here’s my tip for all of you Divorced Moms struggling with uncertainty and trying to just make it through tonight’s dinner planning: scale way back on spending too much for takeout and try one of the 80,000 chicken recipes you can find on Pinterest. Taking just one small risk (and somewhat succeeding) will build that confidence and bolster you up for the next challenge. Eventually all that trying and doing will get you to the level of believing you will survive (and eventually thrive) after this divorce is over.