Pregnant and Abandoned – Welcome to Single Mom Smiling

pregnant and abandoned but still smiling!

Me, the woman smiling.

Being pregnant and abandoned opened my eyes to a world had not known before, and I am beginning Single Mom Smiling with an understanding of the world I could not have had before becoming a single parent.

I was five months pregnant with our fifth little boy when my husband suddenly announced he was leaving and moved out only a week later. Being suddenly abandoned while pregnant and becoming a single parent is a painful, shocking experience I would not wish on anyone. It opened my eyes to things I had not experienced on such a level before:   fear, injustice, humiliation, insecurity, exhaustion, overwhelm, confusion, and unspeakable pain.

Becoming a single parent also opened my eyes to things I needed to be responsible for: poor choices I had made, how I had accepted mistreatment, and how deeply my decisions affect my children’s lives and the lives of those around me. These choices were by no means limited to the relationship I had with my husband.

More than anything though, this experience opened my eyes to my own value and to the incredible capacity of those around me to love me when I needed them most whether I deserved it or not. There are no words to express the gratitude I carry in my heart every day for so many who have touched our lives. I will keep my promise to pay it forward.

Abuse & Destructive Patterns Lead to Revictimization

As a survivor of child abuse and possibly stemming from the insecurities, worthlessness, confusion, doubt about my value and where value comes from, I had engaged in a series of destructive relationships. I hadn’t realized that, through the choices I was making, I was asking the wrong people to come into my life.

I had thought my husband was the one right choice I had made in life. When he left so suddenly, my world crashed down around me. I had happily given up a career to put my husband and children first. When he left, I knew I had lost the job that meant the most to me – I had been fired as a wife while also losing the person I had thought of as my best friend and protector.

I cannot count the number of times I asked myself, “What is wrong with me?” “Why am I unlovable?” and “Who in this Hell am I now?”

I was coming up with no good answers, and I am sure that, through that experience, God offered me a glimpse of the utter aloneness souls suffer in Hell. It is not a place I ever want to be again.

Who Was I Now That I Was an Abandoned Pregnant, Single Mom of Five Boys?

Then it hit me. This agony was no longer about who I had been, but about becoming who God (and I) want me to be. That is a whole different question.

But I had no answers there either.

Mom? Single Mom? Friend? Daughter? Teacher? Citizen? Child of God?

I struggled with the question of who I was, who I was going to be, and how to become that person. There are some days that I still wonder what my Father can possibly see in me.

Two and a half years later, I have discovered I am many things, but I still don’t know all that I am or all that I want to be. I am a puzzle with many missing pieces.

I am a work in progress, but I do now know a piece of the puzzle that is me and who I want to be.

I Want to be the Woman Smiling.

Even on my toughest days, I am now more than that  hurt child or that woman who was pregnant and abandoned. I am now the woman smiling to outshine the tears, giving strength to others and loving the strength they give me too. I am the woman smiling to cover the nervousness I still feel sometimes. I am the woman smiling to bring comfort to my children, to my friends, and to myself when I need it. I am the woman smiling just to hide the fact that I want to reach out and slap some idiot (God forgive me, but YES I still have moments like that and need reminding that we are ALL children of God).

And someday, I want my smile to be the greatest smile of all: the peace-filled smile. I want to smile in Peace with my surroundings, in Peace with those around me, in Peace with my children, in Peace with God, in Peace with myself.

That is what I want. That is the only thing I am sure of most days. Although I am not sure how to become that smiling woman or to get that Peace, I know with God’s Grace I’ll be her.

I know I want the peaceful, serene smile that comes with knowing who you are. I want to be the Single Mom at Peace, the Single Mom Smiling. I want that for myself and for others hurt by abandonment, abuse, neglect, and the breakdown of the family too. I want that for God and His Glory too.

Thank you for joining me on my first post as Single Mom Smiling (SMS). With five boys and an amazing group of people around me, my life is rarely dull. I hope you will share our laughter and our tears, our triumphs and our setbacks and that together we can make this a positive experience, helping others know they are never alone, that life can again be funny and challenging, thrilling and momentous, that they can laugh out loud and later reflect with a peace-filled smile.

That we can all be peace-filled Single Moms Smiling.

My Boys and Me Fall 2013

I couldn’t ask for more! Thank you, Lord.

God Bless…

For I well know the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope.

Jeremiah 29: 11

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17 Comments

  1. Controlando a Calvície on April 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks For Sharing.



    • Strahlen on April 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Thank you, Controlando! I hope our story helps you. Trust in God! He Loves You! 🙂



  2. Ann on April 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Hi, I am a 29, almost-30, and almost-divorced Catholic. Most of my friends are getting married or “looking for Mr. Right” and I am approaching divorce with a two-year-old and a five-year-old. Thank you for your blog and for sharing your story because loneliness has been an overwhelming feeling I’ve been trying to escape. It is so inspiring to read your blog and comforting to know I am not alone (loneliness is truly the devil’s greatest trick ; ). I hope in a couple of years I, too, can be a stronger, more confident version of myself after having gone through this terrible time in my life. Your great faith is what is most inspiring. I am daily trying to reconcile with God and reconcile with myself, and there is still much work to do in my mind and amidst my conflicting emotions. I can’t thank you enough though for being a beautiful example of faith and strength for me!



    • Strahlen on April 15, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      Oh My gosh! Ann, please forgive me for not getting back to you! The Holy Week came and I totally lost track of time as I got caught up in launching my Embracing Joy, my life coaching community and other things. My response to you was so long I decided to make it an actual blog post! (I tend to be wordy sometimes! 😉 ) I’ll dig it out and send you a copy of what I intend to publish. I’ll get back to you asap! In the meantime, I’ll pray for you and your two and five year olds tonight at Easter Vigil.

      God Bless You, Ann…



  3. Tiffany on February 20, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I am 28 years old. Recently abandoned by my SO when I had just turned 6 months pregnant.I had no clue I was abandoned until I realized my calls, texts, and social media was not responded to. And that my SO blocked me on all social media. I reached out to his family and friends trying to seek answers but no one had provided me with anything. Some ignored me. I guess seeing me as a desperate woman which I admit that I am. However, I do not see anything wrong with looking for my child’s father and quite frankly for the man I still care for. Although I recently received a pic of my SO with another woman. It crushes me to not only know he left me for another woman but also ran from his responsibilities to our unborn daughter. I am now looking to different avenues to cope with this “grief” that my SO has put me through..



    • Strahlen on February 21, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Tiffany, Thanks for writing. I am so sorry for what happened to you and to your child. Isn’t it amazing when someone just walks away from a relationship? Isn’t it more amazing when they walk away from a child??? What has happened to our society?

      You’ve mentioned that you reached out to friends and family. How have you reached out to God? What have you heard in return?

      God’s laws tell us to wait for Marriage before giving ourselves away. Obviously, there is no guarantee that Marriage will prevent a selfish person from acting selfishly, but it does offer you the virtue you deserve. The one thing I can promise you is that God LOVES YOU and your Baby! He knows every instance you’re going through and every second of your day, and He is walking with you or carrying you when you stumble and want to give up. Time and time again, I’ve heard from women in desperate situations, where their self-esteem and Joy have been beaten and lost. They gave themselves away to someone unworthy and then question their own worth. I know. I was one of those women! Another thing I can promise you is that if you reach out to God over and over and over and over (I could write that all day and not say it enough!) He will provide you with a Peace and understanding no man can offer.

      Tiffany, reaching out to God and moving on after being abandoned, especially when it’s a sudden or particularly cruel abandonment, isn’t easy. I offer life coaching specifically to women in these situations. I will also be offering a women’s life coaching community through my new program Embracing Joy which will be released around Mother’s Day. This program will include frameworks, video, and more covering everything from finances to parenting and growing self-esteem, direction, and faith and twice monthly live coaching sessions with me to discuss where members are stuck and needing help. I hope to make it a one stop place for women to get support, make new friends, and move on Joyfully. I hope you choose to join one of my programs, but whether you meet with me or someone else, please get support beyond family and friends who may not be able to offer an objective view. You are worth it!

      I hope to hear from you again. You can always reach me at SingleMomSmiling@hotmail.com. In the meantime, please know you are in my prayers. You are Loved. You are Worthy!

      God Bless…



  4. T A on October 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Hi. I’ve been abandoned by my SO too. Currently 32 weeks pregnant. I’ve been crying a lot on some days then feel OK on other days.im currently jobless. I don’t know how you coped. God blessm



    • Strahlen on October 18, 2016 at 7:10 am

      I am so sorry you are going through this! I was a SAHM so also jobless and faced huge obstacles. I do know how you feel. Every situation is different, but I know better than most how you feel anyway.

      “Pray without ceasing.” That phrase sticks out in my mind. As soon as I begin to focus on what a jerk my ex was or how desperate our situation was, I lost focus on what was most important and doubted myself, my ability to move on, and my worth as a human being. Those ups and downs you’re experiencing are normal.

      If I can help in any way, please let me know. Either way, please keep in touch – SingleMomSmiling@hotmail.com (I sometimes take a bit to get back to emails. Sorry if that happens. Please write again if I don’t respond. 🙂 ). You and your child are in my prayers.

      God Bless…



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  7. Melissa Sturgis on April 23, 2016 at 5:43 am

    I would like ask for your help at this time for me and my family, including my two year old grandson with food. We live in Miami, Florida, struggling to get back on my feet and am disabled. If you aren’t able to help, please find some help for us at food banks in Miami, Florida.



    • Strahlen on April 25, 2016 at 5:31 am

      I don’t know what I can do, but I sent you a private email message. You are in my prayers.

      God Bless…



  8. saritta on March 30, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    woow, your story is sad, but it gave me little hope, God blessed you by being a mom !
    this is the light i ned in the darkness i live in, am 26, from tunisia ,not married am pregnant ,my americain partner left me today he came back to USA and told me that he cat be a dad after 3 months of pregnancy, i need some support , advices, and inspiration,



    • Strahlen on April 4, 2016 at 6:31 am

      I am so sorry to hear this. I sent you a private email. Please keep in touch.

      I am praying for you all…
      God Bless…



  9. Lora on June 15, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    You have been blessed abundantly with the gift of fortitude.



    • Strahlen on June 18, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Thank you Lora. I would agree…that and faith! 🙂



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