Why Being A Single Parent Sucks

Often when I say I’m a single parent I get met with ‘oh that must be really hard for you’ and ‘doing it all on your own’ well yes, it is hard being a parent on your own, but possibly not why you’d think.

I’d like to say I didn’t set out to be a single parent, I was engaged to who I thought was the man of my dreams and we were starting our family together, but things didn’t work out and here I am. 

Now people often think it’s hard because you have to do all the parenting tasks by yourself, cooking, cleaning, washing up, bedtimes, bath times, mealtimes, but honestly, most mums will say that they end up stuck doing those tasks whilst dad is at work so to be honest in that respect I see it as no different to a ‘normal’ family. Maybe they get an extra bit of help at bath/bedtime, and maybe dad gets up early one day of the weekend to give mum a lie in, I said maybe! But honestly all of those things have now become every day to me, it’s not there that I miss having someone to do this with.

When I have had a rubbish day and Jackson’s kicked off or not eaten the meal I’d slaved over, I sit on the sofa and I’d love to turn to someone else and have a rant, a grumble, have someone to reassure me that dinner was lovely, or that it sounds like Jackson was just in a mood today and you’re not a rubbish mum because he kicked off. 

When we go out somewhere to have someone to share those moments with, when Jackson squeals at a seagull or runs along a beach, kisses a goat or jumps into my arms, I see it all alone, I can’t look to someone else with that ‘oh wow did he just do that’ look because there’s no one there and out of all of this, the loneliness and the long days, that’s the bit that sucks the most, that I don’t have someone to marvel at (and grumble about) this little human with me. 

Missing Her

How can you miss someone who was never there? Well, I guess it’s hard to understand from the outside, but from the inside it’s simple. 

I miss the fact she’s not there all day, every day, stealing my food and snuggling up in my bed, I miss her first tooth, first word, first step, first day of school… I miss everything. 

So when I say I miss her, I don’t mean it how you mean it when you miss someone you’ve known a long time, that knowledge they won’t call again, make you smile again, but I do miss her, I miss, and will continue to miss everything about her for the rest of my life.

Life

My life isn’t what I was expecting.
It probably could have been, I mean, I didn’t want anything fancy. I never wanted to invent something amazing, own islands, learn to fly. I just wanted something normal, a family, a home, a place.

My life isn’t what my parents wanted for me.
It could have been if I’d made better choices earlier on, if I’d studied harder, gone to uni, got a decent career, met a man, fallen in love, got married then had lots of babies.

But it’s not. I tripped at the first hurdle and have been falling ever since. I find something, start something, get bored, get disheartened and stop. I meet someone, I like someone, I get bored, or disheartened and break up.

Maybe I expected too much from myself, other people, life.

Maybe though, it’s not too late to make something of this. I have a home and a family, ok so we are smaller family than the norm, but the love in it is the same. If I can raise my son to be the best boy that he can be, to make good choices and be happy then maybe my life can be almost what I was expecting, maybe just a slightly lonelier version.

To My Ex

We met, we fell in love. It should have been as simple as that. Happily ever after. We picked out a ring and I wore it with pride, happy to know I’d be spending the rest of my life with you sleeping next to you, carrying babies for you…

Then we lost our little girl and life changed, we changed. Something shifted irrevocably and here I am 3 years on laying in my bed on my own, waiting to be joined in the early hours by our toddler, the boy I did carry to term, the son I’ve dedicated the last 2 1/2 years of my life to. 

I love my life I have with our boy. It gives me purpose and grounding in a world that otherwise is terrifying and lonely, but some nights I can’t help but wonder what could have been if life had worked out how we had planned…  

So yes, some nights I cry about us, about how happy we should have been if loss hadn’t torn us and our plans to shreds. I cry for the daughter who should be in my arms and for the man who should be beside us. For the smiles and laughs and holidays that we should have had. 

I can’t look back too hard though, what good does that do? So come the morning I’ll be dry and steely eyed ready to face the day alone again.

But I do think of us sometimes, just sometimes I let my mind wander to us and the beautiful life we let go of.

Fantasy

I lay, scrunched up, in the toddler bed. My arms wrapped around my infant, eyes tight shut, feeling them breathe, listening to ‘Bing’ playing on my phone. Through my closed eyelids I can almost see the pink, floral bedsheets over us, the mousey blonde hair trailed over the pillow, the Disney princesses staring down at us from the walls and the vividly pink curtains lit by the headlights of the passing cars. Yesterday’s dress thrown carelessly on the floor and a doll propped up on the bookcase. 

I lay there totally absorbed in the fantasy that I am there with my three year old little girl, that she’s just had a busy day at nursery and we are relaxing together waiting for her eyes to grow heavy and for her to fall asleep.

I don’t want to open my eyes, to shatter the illusion I’ve created, but I must. ‘Bing’ is finished and my son shouts ‘Mummy!’ demanding that I put on another. 

So I open my eyes and it takes a second to adjust to what I’m seeing, my two year old son, short brown hair, laying in his rainbow duvet staring expectantly at me completely unaware of the war going on in my head fighting to adjust back to reality. I put on another episode and hug him close staring around his rainbow room. 

My rainbow baby.

An Open Letter

An open letter to the guy who just stopped seeing me by ignoring me, (infact to all of them who have)

This may seem the easiest way out to you, a simple fade away, which is fine when you’ve been talking off a dating site, maybe after one or two dates if things aren’t what you want, but once things get more than that it’s cowardly, and just plain rude.

To you, who knows what you’re thinking, it may seem easier than sending a message explaining how the way I chew my food is annoying, or my saggy belly puts you off me physically, but trust me, I’d rather hear either of those things than nothing. I could laugh and call you shallow and move on, but with no reason forthcoming I am forced to go over it in my own head, and we are our own harshest critics, this means every slight issue I can see with myself is magnified, brought under scrutiny and my confidence lays on the floor in tatters. Again.

Six weeks may not seem a long time to know someone, and it’s not, but to me it’s too long to just walk away from something with no explanation.

It took a lot for me to decide to date again after kids, after a failed engagement, after my confidence in myself was on the floor, but I did, I decided I deserved to find someone and be happy, and twice I’ve been rewarded with the same silent treatment after a couple of months. So it must be me. That’s what my heart says. My head tries to say no but I know which will win, my heart always does!

So I give up on dating and men and searching for someone to share my life with for now, maybe I’ll try again in a few years but for now I’m not emotionally strong enough to deal with this kind of rejection again and be able to put on a happy face for my toddler in the morning. I lay in bed at night ripping away at everything about myself, looking for reasons guys leave, and I know they’re not worth it but I’ll keep doing it because something in here drives them away and until I know what it is my heart feels like it won’t be happy. 

So give a girl a reason, please. Even if it’s stupid, even if you can’t stand the way she flicks her hair, that reason will stop her ripping herself apart, because trust me, girls can find flaws in themselves where no one else can and nothing shakes a girls confidence more than hating things about herself.

Why celebrateĀ 

Why celebrate your babies birthday when they are no longer with us?

I celebrate my babies birthday for the same reason you celebrate yours, because on this day 3 years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. Because maybe I don’t get to tie her hair in pig tails for her party, but she still made me a mum 3 years ago and I plan to honour her for that.

Maybe to you it seems odd eating cake for a child who is not here, but how else do you celebrate a birthday? Cake, presents and balloons. That’s what birthdays have meant to me all my life and it would seem wrong to me to do anything else. 


I couldn’t face her first birthday. I took her flowers and I cried. I cried that it had been a year since I held her, a year since I had to let her go. 

But last year I celebrated. I celebrated the 21 weeks I carried her, the joy she gave me when I saw her on her scans and the love she unlocked in me when I gave birth to her and became a mum, and this year I plan to do the same, because as time goes on it’s not so painful. I don’t concentrate on the bad parts, I celebrate the good and I keep her memory alive for myself, my son and those who loved her.

As the Years Go By

Today it’s been 3 years since I was told I’d lost my baby girl, and it’s been 2 years since I broke up with the man I planned to spend my future with. 

The two events forever merged together, their anniversaries on the same day. The heightened emotions of the first anniversary of losing Effy the catalyst for the breakup. 

So today I mourn two losses. Two futures I’d planned that will never be. 

On Thursday I’ll celebrate the 21 weeks I got to carry my daughter. 2nd June, the day I delivered her will be all about her, I’ll make a cake and take her presents.

But I’ll grit my teeth and get through today by remembering that however much shit life throws at me I will always come out even stronger, fighting, ready to take on the world another day. I may be hurt and broken but my god I am tough because I’ve survived the worst and I’m still here to tell the tale. 

Dating Me

I read an article earlier about dating a single mum and while most of it rang true, some parts weren’t quite right for me so I thought I’d write my own.

I’m independent. Don’t assume that because I’m a single mum I am needy and desperate and looking for a daddy to complete my family and settle down with. Infact completely the opposite. I’m independent, I own my own house I pay my own bills and I look after me and my son, I don’t NEED anybody. I’m looking for a man to be my partner, to maybe take me out of my house on dates, to show me what I’ve missed in the last couple of years of parenthood, of play dates and nappies, to get to know me and like me and then and only then can he meet and get to know my son. If my son doesn’t like him, it’s out the door I’m afraid. It’s been the two of us before and it can be again, don’t think for one second you will ever be more important to me than him! 

I want someone who wants me. I’ve had bad relationships, well, one in particular, so I know how they go. I don’t want another one. I want someone who wants to talk to me, who wakes up in the morning and wants to text me, even just to say hi. I’m needed 24/7 by my son, it’s the thing I’ve missed most, being able to rely on someone to be there when I need them

Be reliable. Again, I’ve had my fill of ‘I’ll be there at such and such’ to turn up 2 hours later with a feeble excuse. If I’ve managed to get someone (probably my parents) to babysit for me then time is precious. I’ve made a decision to spend that time with you, the least you can do is turn up and spend it with me! 

Accept that I won’t be able to see you much. Time will have to be grabbed when it can be, and planned in advance, you won’t be meeting my son for months so I’ll have to get someone to look after him to see you. That means putting other people out and missing time with my son, both of which I hate doing, so you’d better be worth my effort.

Don’t waste my time. Time is precious and I’m not up for pointless dating any more. I don’t want to go out a few times for you to decide you don’t have time for this or can’t see a child in your future. I am looking for something special so if that’s definitely not you then please step aside so I can find someone it is.

Be honest with me. I don’t ask much, just if things aren’t going how you want or you don’t think you can deal with my son, for example, that’s fine, just tell me. If we can work on it we can try if not then we part ways, but atleast we will both know we tried everything we could and part ways on friendly terms rather than you getting cold feet about something and instead of talking it out, either going off and finding someone else, or ignoring me for days followed by a vague text that shakes my confidence and tortures me for months into wondering what I did. I’m too old and too tired for teenage games, I just want honesty, and I’ll return the favour, possibly too much. 

Accept my sons dad. I may not sing his praises, but he will be around and about us for the next 16 years (atleast). We are coparenting so he gets a say in all decisions, you don’t. Obviously you can express your opinions to me, but ultimately it’s down to me and his dad. 

Enjoy Us. Being a family is great, and if you accept all the above, we fall in love, my son accepts you, then that’s what we will be, a funny shaped, slightly kooky family, perfect for days at the beach, movie nights, theme park rides and holidays. 

Dating

I wrote recently about the possibilities of me starting to think about considering finding a partner, but how do you date as a single parent?

I don’t have an answer, I have no idea how to do it, but I would love to find a solution.

I posted before an ‘agreement‘ that I came up with and Jacksons dad agreed to, and though he hasn’t kept to his half of it, I still stand by it being best for Jackson. My mention of not introducing Jackson to new partners for 6 months until we are fairly sure it will last to stop people just walking in and out of his life is, in theory, the best for everyone, however I have no idea how this will work in practice!

Single dates are fine, I can arrange with my parents to have Jackson for an evening or two, but what about when you find someone you want to spend a bit more time with? I can’t rely on them, even use them to that extent, they have their own lives too, but Jackson doesn’t sleep through the evening or night in his own bed, so I can’t have anyone back here whilst Jackson’s here because he will just wake up and suddenly he will be introduced earlier than planned!

Does this mean that I cannot date until he’s 18? That I can only see people once a week, because I don’t know if that’s enough to know if a relationships strong enough to introduce them to him, and how can I know if a relationship is going to last until they have met Jackson?! I genuinely don’t know what the answer is!

Obviously once they have been introduced to Jackson things become easier and they become more a part of our daily life, with occasional dates needing babysitters, so do I relax the 6 month rule? Obviously making sure it is serious, but 6 months is a lot of dates to use my parents as babysitters for…

For that matter, at what point do I tell his dad that I am dating again? I was going with when it affects Jackson, ie. them meeting. We have been broken up for 2 years, so it’s not really anything to do with him except through Jackson, but I think he is harbouring a hope that we might be able to patch things up, a hope that I have kept myself, but it has been fading quickly as he has shown no interest in getting help for his issues.

I’ve never really dated anyway, but Jackson adds a whole new dimension to it, and the whole thing is really scary, I don’t want to get it wrong and have it affect him badly in any way, but at the same time I don’t want to be alone forever, or settle for second best!

Any advice will be gratefully received if you’ve been in a similar situation!

 

  • If you are new to my blog then thank you for visiting, and welcome!
    Please take a look around, up the top I have divided it into posts about my Angel Baby, Effy-Mae, and my Rainbow Baby, Jackson, so feel free to just browse, or if you have a few hoursĀ to spare then please grab a cuppa and start from the beginning!

  • An 'Angel Baby' is a baby lost during pregnancy or early childhood, who sleeps in the clouds instead of our arms.

    A 'Rainbow Baby' is a baby born following the loss of an 'Angel Baby', a beacon of hope after a storm, while not denying the storm happened.

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