Hala Assaf is 48 years old and currently an English teacher who became a single mother at the age of 27. She has 3 children who are 29, 28, and 25 years old. The hardest part of going through a divorce for Hala was making a critical and life-changing decision. At the time when she decided to end her 10-year marriage, it was really rare that people in her community were getting divorced. People discouraged her from leaving, not because it was the right thing to do, but rather to avoid people talking negatively about her. The decision to leave would have been seen as being a “homewrecker.” Taking into consideration how her decision will inevitably impact her children’s lives, she had to weigh the pros and cons, which led her to believe her kids and she deserves to live a healthy and happy life. She felt that it was her responsibility as the mother to provide that for her children and herself. She then submitted her will to God and hoped for the best.
Her biggest worry for her children was that they would resent her for her decision. She worried about them not growing up with their father, especially her son. She worried how much damage that would create, mentally and emotionally. She also worried tremendously about their future and if she could handle it by herself like being a hormonal teenager, disciplining, and just being enough for them.
When we dream of having children, we dream of how they would turn out. We live vicariously through them; however, life teaches us there’s no such thing as “how they should or would turn out.” At this point in her life, she hopes for her kids to be happy, and healthy, emotionally, mentally and physically. She also wants them to find purpose in their lives, and to find someone to love them for who they are and to embark on this journey we call “life” together.
The advice Hala would give to new single moms is to have effective communication; it is vital and crucial for single parents if they want to foster the growth of their children. It will teach them a life skill that will help them build their confidence because they get to learn who they really are as a person. Moreover, nobody can do this alone and if you think you can, then you will drown. She recommends finding a loving support system. In addition, try to be present, mindful and aware of the children because this will also build a healthy relationship between you both. Lastly, don’t bash the children’s father because this builds resentment with your child and ultimately affects his/her mental health.
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