From the heart · parenting

Sharing my children

 

‘Family – where life begins and love never ends.’

I still remember clear as day, my Nan looking over to the wall sticker quote I put up in my dining area, shaking her head and saying  “Oh Rox. Ironic hey..” She had popped in to see me shortly after my partner walked out and I think I laughed. Well… what else can you do?!

When I brought my children into this world I never for one minute imagined I would become a single mother. My parents were together growing up, it was the norm to me and I believed my little family was for life. But as we learn, life doesn’t always go the way you would like and you never know what’s round the corner.

Dealing with a break up is difficult at the best of times, but even harder when you have a hyper, sensitive 3 year old, a 7 week old baby AND it’s a couple of weeks before Christmas. It was a devastating time but I got through it as I had no other choice, we are mums.. that’s what we do! Two little humans were relying on ME to be their mummy. To carry on with the night feeds, cook their meals, do the preschool runs, play with them and shower them with the love and reassurance that children need. I could have completely fallen apart, and of course I had my moments (endless unanswered questions, a few angry Facebook posts… Whoops! And tearful outbursts to my nearest and dearest) but I decided to try and make the very best out of the situation I was put in. My children were NOT going to suffer and I WAS going to be happy.

So fast forward a little while… It’s not been easy peasy and far from plain sailing as any of you in a similar situation will appreciate, but we are all getting there. My ex and myself are much happier than when we were together (I never truly realised that at the time we weren’t..) the kids are coming on brilliantly and we have both moved on with other people. I have NEVER stopped him seeing the little ones (I may have been a bit of an awkward cow a few times.. hey – what he put me through was BAD! Can’t be a complete mug now can we ladies?!) but I would never use the kids as a weapon. You hear of many parents that do (especially seen on the occasional morning episode of Jezza..) and it’s not right for any party involved.

It helped my life tremendously when I decided to ‘forgive’. It was unbelievably hard but the best and pretty much only option for keeping me sane and helping me to move on. I don’t want to go through life feeling sorry for myself (I hope this post doesn’t come across as if I do, I know there are people a LOT worse off..) When you hold on to pain and bitterness, it drags you down every single day and ultimately the only person you are hurting is YOU. Being angry and believing that the world owes you something is not healthy. I did it for me and for Lucas and Ava, not my ex (I don’t think he cares anyway!!!) and my soul is more peaceful because I learnt to forgive and let go. The hardest part of my life now, is ‘sharing’ my children.

Anyone who has young kids knows it sure is HARD. It’s true when parents say it’s absolutely the best job in the world but also the most difficult. Sleepless nights, tantrums, playschool/school runs, whinging, constant cleaning up and never having a minutes fricken’ peace (you get it!) so it’s rather nice to get a well deserved ‘break’. But… when Lucas and Ava started going to their Dads one day a week, I found it pretty heartbreaking. What also made it a hell of a lot worse is that they would be spending time with another woman who WASN’T me – it’s every mum’s worst nightmare. I felt pretty lost and anxious without them at the beginning, but i tried to think positively and enjoy the time to just be ‘me’.

I always miss my monkeys when they are away from me. I am more used to it now and if not at work, I spend quality time with my partner or friends. I can go through periods when I get so frustrated as I think ‘I didn’t sign up for this, having to hand over MY flesh and blood every week!’ I have felt embarrassed around other friends who are married/live with their children’s fathers and have felt less of a parent because if it. I torture myself with thoughts such as – ‘What if they prefer it there?‘Ava is so little what if she forgets who her Mum is?’ It may sound silly and dramatic and I don’t think these insecurities will ever completely disappear, but I am learning to keep it under control and I’m hoping it will all just get ‘easier’.  I have to think positive and remind myself that my children love me and I am a good mother. They need that time with their Dad, he loves and cares for them too.They are lucky to have another woman in their life who accepts and cares for them also, just as my partner has. I also shouldn’t feel guilty when I DO enjoy time without them. This is our LIFE now so why the heck make it more difficult than it already is?!

With divorce figures absolutely rocketing and a great deal of co-parenting or single mamas and dadas out there, I am obviously just one of many in the same boat. I also think about the people who’s previous spouses have nothing to do with their children. I absolutely applaud anyone being both the ‘mum’ and ‘dad’. I wanted to write this blog post as a way of airing some of my feelings and getting thoughts off my chest. It may even help or inspire others going through something similar. I would be so interested to hear anybody else’s stories or thoughts on ‘split families’, ‘blended families’, co-parenting or becoming a single parent, I always appreciate different opinions or advice and I believe you can learn so much from the experience of other people.

There is SO much more on this subject I could talk about buuut I think I shall leave it there. It’s time for me to stop wittering on and log off for now. Maybe I will put some washing away and iron my uniform for work tomorrow.. (Or probably watch last nights ex on the beach!!)

Til next time,

Roxanne x

 

 

29 thoughts on “Sharing my children

  1. can completely to relate to the difficulty of ‘sharing’ your children. My ex and I split when Rosie was 6 months old bit mine was slightly different to yours – It was my decision …. Things hadn’t been right for a while and I’d realised that a year before Rosie came along but we agreed to work at things and then of course i fell pregnant! Obviously now I would not change anything for the world as that brought me my Rosie. It was a hugely difficult time and just because it was my decision, it didn’t make it easier that I chose to walk away from my best friend and also have to take from him what he’s wanted for years (a baby) we had a mortgage together, our families had grown up together, my dad always said he was the son he’d never had and we had a group of friends that we were so close with we’d always have breakfast together on Christmas Day. But I chose to give that up because I KNEW it was the right decision for me and that it was better to do it while Rosie was young enough not to remember the heartache and would hopefully grow up knowing us both as happy parents. It was a very difficult time and I lost several of my bestest friends, I, like you struggled in every way emotionally, physically and definatley financially! But luckily I had a brilliant support system that got me through. When the day came that my ex had a new girlfriend, she was a nursery nurse, a really lovely girl and 7 years younger than me! When I first had to hand my little girl over to her and hear her talk about “how fun Jemma is” I used to cry…A LOT! It’s tough and even now I still struggle but I always think to myself ‘how lucky am I that my daughter gets to grow up with a great step-mummy who is kind and fun and she loves’ rather than someone who I couldn’t stand and STILL have to hand her over! Fast forward nearly 5 years and we are all now happier than ever! I am back with the love of my life (my first love 😊) and we have a new baby which has brought us so much happiness. Strangely my ex and his girlfriend had a baby 1 day before us so Rosie is now a big sister to 2 babies! We were even all on the labour wars together ha! I did enjoy telling the midwives that! Point is …. We all struggle, life sometime sucks but us mummies find an inner strength that gets us through and all have the same goal – our children’s happiness! Well done on another brilliant post Rox, sorry my reply is soooo long – I could talk about this forever! Xx

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    1. Thanks for commenting here hun, ha I know so could I!!! It’s so good to hear what it’s like for you now nearly 5 years on. And I think you are extremely brave for leaving as that must have been the hardest thing in the world! But you can’t stay together for the sake of kids, Iv definitely realised that! I love your and Stephens story 😍 so cute how you ended up back together. Hope you guys are all good, Daisy is gorgeous xxxx

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  2. Oh this was so hard to read as you’re so right it is not something you signed up for when you had children and I can not imagine the pain of handing over the children weekly – I’d be angry too – and that is completely natural so you mustn’t give yourself a hard time about that. It’s amazing that you say you’ve forgiven and that you’ve found peace – so many women don’t but this makes you an amazing mummy! #postsfromtheheart

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  3. you are amazingly strong and to forgive is such a gift to yourself, like you said you forgave for the kids and your own sake and that is the best way to do it. hen we hang onto bitterness it is us that hurts the most. It must be so hard handing them over, you sound like an amazing mummy xx #PostsFromTheHeart.

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  4. I can relate to this post in its entirety, having spent the first five years of Number One’s live as a single mum. We have both moved on and have other children now, she has always had a relationship with us both and that’s just the way I like it. But you’re right, we didn’t sign up to share. I will never get used to that part. I want her to see him. I just find it hard that that’s means she misses out on things with us, sending love and understanding from a mummy who gets it. Thank you so much for joining us at #PostsfromtheHeart

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  5. I so get this. I really do. Sharing my son is so hard, I still struggle more a year on. Totally agree with you that once you forgive your life does get better, but it’s so tough to get to that point xx #postsfromtheheart

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  6. Hugs! You have your positivity to make things better for you and your 2 lovelies! Glad to hear that you have already processed it and have forgiven. I’m sure that lifted too much baggage from you. #postsfromtheheart

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  7. That was really hard to read as you write with such passion I wanted to scream out load for you.Life sometimes deals us very bad blows and it’s a credit to you that you have bounced back from this and can forgive your Ex. I’m not sure I could do that but totally agree that holding a grudge only harms yourself. As far as sharing my children, even the thought of this makes me feel sick.
    Beautifully written #postsfromtheheart

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  8. I completely relate to this, myself and my daughters dad weren’t together when she was born and for the first four months after …. it was so hard to let her go with him, she was mine not his in my head but I knew that it was the right thing for her and it was wrong to keep them apart no matter how i was feeling x #postsfromtheheart

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  9. Beautifully written, thank you for sharing. I try not to take my family for granted and like you did I only imagine us together.. I hope that will always be so, but sometimes things happen that are out of our control. Reading how you are making it work and how you found peace is really inspiring. Stay strong and positive. #postsfromtheheart

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  10. I split from my eldest’s father when he was 2 years old. We had been childhood sweethearts but getting married was the wrong move and by the time we had a child we were struggling to be honest. We have co-parented for years and have always been amicable for the sake of our son. It is tough but you know when things are not right and sometimes it is the best thing for the child/children not to be together. #postsfromtheheart

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  11. Forgiveness is such an amazing quality and I’m sure it has helped you through, and is continuing to help you. Handing my children over to their Dad when we split was one thing I never had to do, he moved far away to another country. They have been to stay with him since they were grown up but that was so different. I can only imagine how hard it is but it is the right thing to. Keep on being strong, I’m sure it will get easier xx
    #PostsFromTheHeart.

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