Alone but Strong

Single mother of two beautiful girls trying to rebuild my life. One day at a time.


What is it about parents and their ability to drive you crazy?! I’ve been home for 1.5 weeks now and my mom has made sure that we do everything together so far. And for the rest of the 1.5 weeks she’s nestled her way into most of it. An example, me and my daughters are invited to my friend’s 40th birthday party 1.5 hours away from my parents house our last weekend, my plan was to take the train there and back. Somehow that ended up being a family outing, my parents are coming (not to the actual party) but driving us, staying at the same hotel, going to a zoo the next day.

Luckily one of my best friends invited us to stay with her the last 3 nights and I jumped at the chance. My mom doesn’t sound very happy when I talk about that part of my trip, but what does she expect? To be with us for 3.5 weeks and me getting zero time with my friends? To be honest, this whole trip to the northern part of Sweden was her idea. She told me that she had told everyone that we were coming and we couldn’t back out. She said everyone wanted to meet us. Thankfully I was able to get her to call my favorite cousin and her brother to have them come over for an afternoon with their families, but other than that we’ve really done nothing for a week. Seen 4 relatives. With whom I’ve had zero contact for 20+ years and won’t have for another 20+ years.

I realize it’s good for my children to spend time with their grandparents so I’m putting up a happy face. It’s not really what I had planned when I started planning this trip months ago. The only time I have all to myself is late at night, which means that I stay up way to late just to get an hour of uninterrupted me time.

And the scariest part of all, my mom keeps hinting at now that they’ve sold their house they are going to come and spend a lot more time at my house in the US. I tried today, carefully hinting, that if I go back to work this Fall and the girls are in school full-time it won’t really be a lot of time to see us. And she, completely oblivious, goes on to say but you’ll come home from work and there’s always the weekends. So again, what about me and my life? What if things work out with S (my date two weekends ago)? I would want to spend my childless weekends with him. They haven’t even asked if I’ve started dating or thinking about dating. To be honest, not a single question about my life at all… I don’t know what to do. For now, I’ll make the best of this trip and stop worrying about the future.



  1. It is difficult juggling responsibilities to the various generations (children / parents) and still have enough time for yourself, even more so when time is limited visiting. i can remember feeling the same thing whenever I visited my mother. Now it is my daughter that returns for fleeting visits and I crave time with her as she flits off to spend time with her friends. I always take a deep breath now, accept the time with her is less than what I would like, then sit back and enjoy the time with her that I have.

    • I wish that my mom would be more like that. And I’ve made a promise to myself to be that way with my daughters when they grow up and come to visit me. That is why I’m so happy that I get to be home with them now, when they want to spend time with me.

  2. I think that Elizabeth has the wonderful perspective. I live in the same town as my children and grands, but remember my parents (2 1/2 hours away) complaining a bit. Then, I did this simple thing, ate one meal with just rapt attention on anything they said, listened like you have done for a long 3.5 weeks! You are due a “friend” visit and surely, upon reflection, they will drop the “guilt” feelings placed on you!

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