I am a single mother and I have two boys, ages 4 and 5. I am currently getting a divorce from their father, but we do co-parent. We have had our ups and downs throughout the process, but we are definitely amicable (especially in front of the kids) because we know that’s what’s best for them.
My kids are with me the vast majority of the time, but I can’t pretend that I’m raising them without some additional help. My parents—whom my kids call Bubby and Best Friend—vacation with us, take the kids for sleepovers, and spend lots of time with me and my boys. My dad and eldest son even spent a week at golf camp together this summer. My little guy knows all the songs to Frozen thanks to his special time with his Bubby. Their hearts are filled with love and their tummies with the homemade cookies and banana bread that my mom always makes sure to have on hand when my kids bolt through their front door.
I am also lucky to have three wonderful siblings, all of whom are married, who help me with my boys. Lego would not get built without Aunty Shira and Uncle Jason. The kids would never play laser tag without their Uncle Jer. Family events wouldn’t be as fun without Aunty Ali and their dog Elmo, and thanks to Aunty Steph and Uncle Daniel, our family now includes a cousin, Ethan. My entire family has been there for me through every stage of my divorce. They are always willing to lend a hand or an ear. I am grateful to them every day. And, of course, there are my friends and my boyfriend. People whom I’ve grown so close to they are like extended family, too. Not a day goes by where we don’t talk. I started a support group called The Ex-Files with a friend, and there isn’t a single event my friends don’t attend. They support me in everything I do. My kids are growing up happy, healthy, loved, and the term “broken family” is not part of the family lexicon, despite my divorce. The photo above is of the three of us on a recent trip to Muskoka.—Erin Dym, Toronto