‘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,