8 December 2017

Single Mama!

I became a single mother around two years ago when my husband decided he didn’t want to be with me anymore. It was a bit of a bolt from the blue. Certainly not how I ever saw my life panning out. I had dreams of our future – Christmas, holidays as a family, traditions – man I even got as far as picturing our daughter’s graduation and wedding. She was only 1… But still. I actually got to experience very little time as a family unit in the more traditional sense of the word - one family holiday, one birthday and two Christmases sums up my time. The loss of the future I had planned was probably one of the most difficult parts of my separation. Knowing that things will now always be split, that I won’t have all the memories with my daughter. That she’ll be making memories that I’ll never share or be a part of. That my little girl will have to make decisions as she gets older that will make her worry she’s upset her Mum or Dad like where she is for Christmas this year or who she tells things to first.

I'm not sure what I really thought about single mothers before I become one. I'm not sure I particularly thought that much about them if I'm brutally honest, although that makes me feel a bit of a dick now I write that. Feeling a bit of a dick is probably only because I relate now to the difficulties that they can face, the judgement that comes from others but all too often comes from inside. The juggling, the financial pressures, the emotions and the loneliness. And I wish I had reached out more to help those who didn’t have a partner around to pick up some of that slack.

There are difficulties in being a single mother, and that’s the truth. But there are actually a whole heap of positives and I actually am proud of my status as one now. I embrace it and I own it. I genuinely do rock being on my own with her and enjoy our time as a family of two.

So here starts my list of my top 5 things on being a single mother:

1.       The Bond.

Me and my daughter have always been close but my god nothing makes you closer than spending pretty much every day together just the two of you. We share the good, the bad and the ugly. There’s no other adult to tag team with, no one to pass her to when my body and spirit is screaming FOR THE LOVE OF GOOD GIVE ME A BREAK. There is only two days a month I don’t see or have any contact with her. And I absolutely love it.

2.       Decision Making.

If we want a duvet day? We do it. We want to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner? We do it. Friday night film night? Yes please. Literally every decision is mine to make. While this can be exhausting, it also is incredibly liberating.

3.       She’s awesome. And that’s down to me.

I take full responsibility for raising such a little diamond. Her quirks and her character? I feel is largely down to how I have brought her up. She does see her dad on a fairly regular basis but I know that it is my values and teachings which are shaping her. Sadly, this also means I have to take responsibility for her sass and occasional Beyoncé diva attitude but hey. I like a strong woman!

4.       I can teach her she can have it all.

I work full time and run our family home. I can have a career and raise my daughter alone. And I can do it well. That’s not to say it isn’t hard or tiring. But I know that my daughter will be able to see that any life choices she makes are not limited because she decides to have children – even if she ends up having them alone. Hell, I’m even considering doing a Masters next year.

5.       I know my limitations and who I can turn to.

I am a bit of a yes woman and a people pleaser. I cram my time full of so much trying to keep everyone happy and do my bit. I try and support people (some I have never even met) through the court system if they cannot afford a solicitor or legal advice. But I am so much better now as a single parent at being able to stop when I need to, to take time for me and my daughter and realise that I can’t pour from an empty cup. I’m not great at asking others for support or help, but I am more than ever now aware of who I can turn to when it’s hard and who has my back. It’s a short list – but it’s a damn good one!


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