Have you heard the saying "The struggle is real?" I finally know what that means. And let me tell you, it's true. I didn't plan to be a single mom. I married my high school sweetheart. We spent 20 years together, but ultimately his addiction to alcohol led to him cheating multiple times. I was raised to believe you get married once. If it's broken, you fix it. The problem was I let him walk all over me. I think it was out of the comfort of just having him there. He was familiar and my best friend. But people change. Sadly he changed for the worst. When he ultimately left us (I say us, because he left the kids too.) for another woman and her kids, it hurt, it hurt bad. I'm not gonna lie and say it's been easy. I do my best. But some days I don't have money to pay the bills or buy food. We struggle. I spend a lot of nights crying myself to sleep. I think the tears are more out of being scared instead of sadness. Scared that I'm not enough of a parent that my children ultimately need. I do my best and I try to remain strong for them. But somewhere along the way, I not only lost a husband but all of our couple friends are now friends with him and his new girl and I feel alone. More alone than I'd like to admit. But the truth is, I am alone. I have my kids, but that's not the same as a friendship or relationship. I can't vent to my kids when I've had a bad day. I don't want them to think momma is sad, worried, or even stressed. I like them to see me as strong and doing what needs to be done. I've gone plenty of nights where food was scarce, so "Mom was feeling sick" or "I had already eaten." My kids come first. They are my priority in life. It's my job as their mom to make sure they are safe, happy, and good people and I think I'm doing a pretty damn good job at that. Somewhere though, I lost me. My kids are my life, and that's not a bad thing. But I miss going out, even if it's to a movie. I miss companionship. I miss living that life that doesn't involve homework or video games. And feeling like that makes me feel so guilty in a way, so I push those feelings away and put on a smile. Don't get me wrong it's not all bad and tough, every day they amaze me in some way. I am so lucky to get to wake up to their beautiful smiles and hugs. Recently my oldest (19) moved out and that's been tough. We all miss her so much. But when I start crying missing her and I realize that I've done my job as a good mom because she is out living her life and pursuing her dreams. And she is a good person. That's all I want for all of my kids. So this is for any of you single moms who may feel like this or any women trapped in a bad marriage and are scared to leave. Let me tell you, it can be done! You are capable of doing this. Our kids are reminders every day of why we can do this. So I say to you, the struggle is real, but I got this, you got this...we got this!