Time to Say Goodbye

I always thought Toronto would be my forever home. 

It is such a beautiful city full of amazing people, amazing food, so much diversity, and always full of so much to see or do.

Unfortunately, Toronto will not be my forever home and I am feeling so many emotions because of it.

As a single mother by choice, I just can’t afford to live in the city that I love. The average cost of an apartment in Toronto is $2,260.00 (blogTO). I’ve looked into daycare for my little one in downtown Toronto and it ranges from about $2,100 – $2,300.  You can apply for a subsidy but it just doesn’t help me enough.

I’ve also had a look at what life looks like after my labour and have realized that I need a lot of help. My OB has mentioned “c-section” several times and I know that I won’t be able to stay in my apartment by myself after this procedure (or even after having a vaginal delivery). 

As some of you also know, my Mom was going to come to Toronto and help me out after the baby was born. A couple months ago, she was in the intensive care unit with some heart issues, and I started rethinking my plan.

Luckily my Mom is doing A LOT better. She still takes care of both of her parents in a nursing home and really needs to be in her own home with my Dad. I needed to find a solution where she was not as stressed out commuting from her home two hours away (especially when she is unable to drive right now because of issues with her heart).

For all of these reasons, I have decided to say goodbye to my beautiful apartment.

I love my apartment so much and moved here about seven years ago. Truthfully, I thought I’d be living in it for just a couple of years and then moving in with someone special. 

No matter what happened in my life over those seven years, my apartment was there for me. 

It felt like my safe space when so much was going on in my life. Friends and family that visited always commented on how the place felt so friendly and relaxing. It was a very girly place – full of chandeliers, cozy furniture, pictures of friends/family, lovely blankets/pillows, and even a pink bathroom.

After I give birth, I will not be returning here and instead, will be with my parents driving two hours to their home.

There are so many emotions that I feel moving back home. Is it a failure to move in with your parents at the age of 39? Am I a huge burden to my parents because I am asking so much of them? Will I lose all of my friends when I move away?

I’m also not sure how long I am staying with my parents – it could be a week, a month, or even a year. 

They have been the most supportive parents and have allowed me to stay in the basement making it my little home once the baby arrives.I’m going to try to do as much as possible as a new Mom and I really don’t want to burden them. 

The hardest thing in this entire process of being a single mother by choice is knowing that I need help and having to ask for help.

I love my independence and try my best to do everything on my own. I looked into hiring a doula for after the baby is born, and I just can’t afford to pay for a doula, rent, daycare, etc.

Luckily enough I have a lot of family and friends in Toronto so I’ll be visiting a lot (perhaps even coming back for a bit of time).

After that, I am not sure where I will land.

I’d say I am about 95% content with this plan but there is still part of me that is a little afraid of what is to come. I worry about where I will live especially since places outside of Toronto (in the GTA) are becoming so expensive.

The one thing I do have is time. Luckily in Canada, we get one year of maternity leave so I don’t have to worry about housing/my job until Feb. 2021.

My love affair with Toronto will always remain but I know it is time to move on. I want to provide the best life I can for my boy, and I just can’t afford the life I want on maternity leave/paying for daycare and living in Toronto.

The other day I was listening to Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast (Off the Vine) and Sarah Nicole Landry (thebirdspapaya on Instagram) was her guest. Kaitlyn asked Sarah “what is the one thing that you are most proud of yourself for?”

Sarah stated that she was most proud of her “willingness to move in with my parents and decimate my entire life in order to rebuild it.” 

I was shocked. WHAT???? She didn’t see moving in with her parents as a failure?

She went on to explain that she was in a toxic marriage and had three children and knew she had to get out. She said she “walked away from everything that was validating for her – a picture-perfect family, all of this stuff that looked good on social media that wasn’t making me happy. To lose all of that and to walk away from it all with no car, no job, no money, with zero dollars. Legit. Walked into my parents’ house and was the happiest I ever felt was the coolest moment of my life.”

Kaitlyn then went on to say that many of us feel lost at certain times in our lives and that she was proud of Sarah for knowing what she needed in order to be a good Mom.

Sarah then stated that “there is no failure. There is no going back.” She calls this a “rebuild.”

Now please know that I am not in Sarah’s situation and she had a lot going on. Like her, I chose to leave a toxic marriage but I did have my job and the safety of this apartment. But now I am ready for a change.

I know that this life I have right now in Toronto does not afford me with what I want in the future. 

My life has changed so much and I have a feeling that like Sarah, I will be so happy walking into the house with the support and love of Mom and Dad.

Without the support of my family, I don’t know how I would have been able to have a baby on my own. I’m sure I’d be able to physically do it but I can’t imagine the debt I would accumulate or how much my mental health would be affected. 

I constantly receive messages from women who want to be an SMBC but some state that they don’t have family support and it breaks my heart.

After listening to Sarah on the podcast, I have decided that this time in my life is going to be my time to rebuild. I’ve had a pretty damn amazing life so far but I feel as though there is a lot of change that is left to come.

The other day I was chatting to my sister on the phone about how everything around me is changing – my priorities, my body, my relationships, etc. She told me to look down at my tattoo with the word “change” on my wrist. Change is scary but change also means that something amazing is happening.

So Mom and Dad, not only do you get one roommate but you are getting two. Hope you can put up with us and hope everything goes okay. 

Thank you for your support and for being there when I need you the most. I love you.

And here’s to change.

10 thoughts on “Time to Say Goodbye

  1. What a big change! It sounds like the best decision. Do you rent or own?
    I worry constantly about whether I can afford a baby on my own.

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  2. All will be well Sarah. That’s a lot of transition for you to handle all at once, so remember to take care of yourself too. It sounds like the best thing for you. You have to think about long term and finances play a huge role. That’s called being an adult. No, you are not a failure, you are being a great Mother.

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  3. Sarah. It really sounds like the right thing to do for now. This is just one little change in a lifetime of change. Cheers to having you back here with a loving family to support you.( You’re Gram and Gramps are also gonna love seeing you and your little)
    Kim

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    1. Hey Kim,

      Hope you and your family are doing well! It is quite the change but I feel like it will be for the best. So thankful to have Mom and Dad and hope they enjoy having us around. What an exciting time!

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  4. Good morning amazing Sarah, You have made such wonderful choice. I know you love Toronto but the support of your family is so much more. I don’t know your Dad but I just remember that your Mom was so kind when I spoke in class about losing my brother 25 years ago. I may have written to you about that time but I think it bears repeating today. Your Mom wrote me a note about how brave I was to open up to my students about Lee and his journey through the world of HIV/AIDS. I still have her note and pull it out when I need a reminder of the compassion that wonderful people show when I am in need of a little dose of kindness. There is no doubt in my mind that you will be welcomed into your parents’ home with loving and open arms. The support you will get there will allow you to take the time you and your sweet baby son will need to get a clear picture of your life together going forward. You are making such a selfless choice – one you will not ever regret. I look forward to seeing you in Stratford and getting to hug you and get to meet your beautiful boy.. Hugs, Diane

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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    1. I showed this to my Mom and both of us couldn’t get through your lovely message without tears. You are honestly the kindest human on earth.

      Thank you for being so open and vulnerable and sharing your story. I will always remember it as our family was also going through a loss of a family member with HIV/AIDS. I hung onto every single world you said.

      Hope to run into you all over Stratford. Everyone just adores you and you are such a light in this world. Thank you for being you.

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