I have now been a single mother for a year and I have only just started feeling very content with my life. The break up of my marriage was a very difficult time, especially knowing that my husband had moved on so quickly after telling me it was over. I had never felt pain like it and I had the added heart break of explaining to my two boys where their step dad had gone. They were devastated and constantly talked about him coming home. They finally stopped asking about him a few months later and I was able to start moving forward, clearing him from my mind. This past year I have learnt so much to help me become independent and cope with living alone. I wanted to share some of my newly learnt life skills which I hope will help other single mothers.
I have never been a confident person and was always known as the shy/quiet one in my group of friends. I would make my husband ring companies if a bill needed to be paid or if we fancied a takeaway that night. Also I wouldn't go to parent evenings on my own as I found the teachers very intimidating. Now I have no choice but to talk to people. I have no one to speak on the phone on my behalf and now I have to just suck it up and attend school matters on my own. The same with children's parties. I would have never attend these on my own as I would be scared to approach the other parents but I don't want my children to miss out so I have to go.
Again, as above, I had always been a shy/unconfident person so I wouldn't have been able to handle criticism and would let all negativity get to me. As a single parent I do hear quite a few comments being made but if I let them get to me, I wouldn't do anything! So I no longer listen to them. To quote Taylor Swift 'shake it off'. Also, I have come across many challenges in my first year alone including housing, money, working out childcare to work with my job, trying to have a social life and more importantly trying to insure the children get equal attention/love. I made it through and worked them out which has made me an extremely strong person.
I have learnt not to stereotype single parents since becoming one myself. Single parents are not 'chavs' or 'benefit scroungers' at all! We are people who had children with a man/woman they loved but unfortunately not all relationships can last forever. People change and separation can be the best solution for all parties involved if they were not happy, especially if they find life more bearable apart. I have accepted that now and looking back on the last few months of my marriage, we were miserable and so were my children. They deserve a happy environment which I hope I am more than providing for them now. I found strength and love from places I didn't know existed and I have easily slotted into the role of both parents.
I think it's very important not to live too much in the past but live in the now, going forward, learning from our mistakes and making the best of our future. I have learnt to deal with emotional upheaval so it doesn't affect my children, I turn the positive around so it overcomes the negative and I deal with loneliness or anger in a positive way.
At first it was a shock to the system and I quickly realised how much I had relied on my partner. I suddenly had to do everything by myself. Hold a job, keep a house, bills paid, entertain the children, keep everyone clean and well fed, the school runs and so on. I surprise myself at times how much I can do. Each day is exhausting but I am getting through each day with a little bit of free time for my favourite hobbies, exercise and blogging. I just have to keep going and deal with what life brings with an added smile on my face.
I now love being a single mum and I am definitely not interested in changing our lives right now. We are happy, settled and looking forward to the future. Three is not a crowd, it is the perfect number for us!