When the Bubble Burst: My Life as a New Single Mom

Bubbles are fascinating. They are iridescent, different sizes and display multiple rainbow colors with the lights’ reflection. Kids love them, how could they not? My name is Rachel, and I am a single mother of two girls living in St. Augustine.

Did you catch the “single” mentioned above? That’s right. I am a single parent. I want to talk about the hard stuff.

I was the full-time successful working professor, business owner, PTO Board Member, classroom helper, chef, housekeeper, mom of two little girls and wife, supporting my family while my husband was building his dream job. I was living in a bubble until 2012, the kind of bubble that doesn’t pop when you poke it right away. It was pretty resilient, my bubble. When my bubble burst, all of my greatest fears became my new reality.

What happened and why didn’t anyone tell me how hard marriage was? It was supposed to be this amazing fairytale full of adventures, laughter, romance, family and forever…right. My life is far from any “happily ever after.” Marriage is work. It’s a full-time job. Why would my husband walk out on homemade carrot, zucchini chocolate chip muffins and freshly washed clothes with chemical free laundry soap?

Last summer, he walked out of our house claiming he needed space and the room to make decisions. It wasn’t the first time he left, but it felt more permanent, somehow. We had been trying to make it work for a couple of years (or maybe only I was trying to make it work?) Looking back, his words still invaded our house, we were living in a silent turmoil, trying to smile politely and make nice in front of our girls.

In my mind, I was ‘all in,’ approaching the repairing of our marriage much like my dissertation, put my head down and get it done, commitment and focus. I think his approach was a bit more random. I thought I knew how to maintain a healthy family life and marriage, but I realize now, I had no idea.

What have I done to deserve this? How can I fix it? I gave it my all for me, for my marriage and for my precious little girls. As I transition from the protective bubble to facing this world as a single mother, the lessons I am learning are priceless

I know that life goes on and as hard as it is, those around me continue to tell me that time heals the heart. How much time will it take? Will things ever get better?

As I clean up the soapy mess, I find my eyes wide open to the world around me and I look forward to my journey. I want to share my path to recovery, hold your hand and honestly talk about the hardships that marriage may bring. Even divorce.

Rachel is a Florida native who grew up in the St. Petersburg/Tampa Area before settling in St. Augustine. She began working in the business industry and decided to change careers and teach elementary education. This was an “ah ha” moment and she found her true passion, helping others. As her family grew she decided she wanted to stay at home and begin her career as a college professor. When she is not helping others, she is creating healthy food and a natural environment for her little girls as a single mommy.


  1. Rachel – we share a very similar story/journey. I love your description of the bursting bubble. So accurate.

  2. My story is slightly similar, slightly different journey but the result, being a full time working my of 2 boys is the same. I too like the bubble reference.

    It’d be nice to meet Rachel, and you too Beth. Support is important and I’m new to FL.

  3. Unfortunately I have a similar story. It’s hard when you so desperately try to cling to your marriage and to keep your family intact when it seems as tho you are the only one who cares. I have two small boys who don’t understand, and I don’t know what to tell them because I don’t understand either. But I’m trusting that the journey we’re now facing is going to be amazing, even if it’s not the journey we expected.

  4. I’m married to a man I no longer love, because he constantly yells at me and our four children. He’s called me horrible names, and has erroded my self-esteem. I haven’t left him because I don’t want to be the “bad guy.” And I am afraid to burst the bubble…even if the bubble is a sham.

    I hope you find peace and comfort as you navigate single motherhood ?


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