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.

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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.

Hard

I’m not enjoying being a mum at the moment. And that’s horrible, and hard to say. Don’t get me wrong, after all I’ve been through I love and cherish him, I still watch him sleep and marvel that he’s here that he’s perfect and that he’s mine, but the actual task of parenting? Well that’s hard.

I’m barely away from him so every grumble, annoyance and irritance is magnified, I get that, but I can’t do right by him at the moment and it’s getting me down.

He learnt the word ‘no’ recently, and great as it is that his vocabulary is growing, this word has caused a number of problems. He uses it whatever he means. Even if he wants something he will say ‘no’, so you offer him something, he says ‘no’ and then will grab it off you, but if you bare that in mind and offer it again after he’s said no the ‘no’ becomes a ‘NO’ and he will scream at you…

He doesn’t go in his carseat. At all. We have had hour long tantrums over this on the drive outside. Neighbours coming out to see where the toddler was being murdered. But I’m not talking one offs (obviously some times are worse than others) but he will run off screaming as soon as he realises I want him in his carseat. It becomes a physical fight to get him strapped in, and as soon as he is his arms are wriggled out, I’m fighting a losing battle. Once he realises I want him in the car he will head off as if to walk instead, so I take him out for a walk, he doesn’t want to walk, he wants to be carried the whole way and if I try to make him walk the screaming ensues again, running after me down the street, hollering.

I’m pretty sure half my day consists of screaming.

Yesterday I got home from work and he wanted boob, I’m trying to stop him having it during the day, especially then, less than an hour before the roast my mum was cooking, he screamed for the hour. Solid. I hid in another room and he stopped. I ate my tea in another room and he ate his good as gold with my mum and dad. He sees me as a giant milk bottle, nothing more.

This morning he woke up at 6am and I stopped him helping himself to milk. He screamed for 2 hours almost solid, climbing over me, ripping at my clothes.

This has to be a phase. This HAS to be a phase and it really needs to be over quickly because I thought I was a strong person but doing EVERYTHING wrong in his eyes is breaking me.

Better Off Single?

I’m a strong independent woman.

Atleast that’s what I told myself repeatedly whilst I was in labour to stop myself panicking at the unimaginable pain and the absolute terror that I was about to become a single mum.

And for the most part I am! I can fend for myself, I earn my money, I pay my bills, I look after my son, but there’s that niggle in the back of my mind that I’m not good enough, that I’m not truly independent.

I guess that comes to the fore when I’m in a relationship, I’m fiercely independent, I’ll offer to pay, I’ll not let you do things for me and I’ll complain when you buy me things, but deep down I need constant reassurance that I’m enough.

And that’s part of why I both love and hate relationships. The companionship is great, having someone to share things with, but relying on someone for my happiness? I’m happy when I’m single, but put me in a relationship and I cave into a self doubting monster, and I know why, it’s because I’ve never been enough before; no one has stayed so why should this one? I’m a single mother with a flabby belly who’s idea of fun is watching crap tv with a glass of wine. What a catch. I guess a part of me thinks if I was going to meet someone it would have been before I gained a whole extra list of flaws apart from the obvious personality and bad sense of humour!

Maybe the answer for me is to stay single, to know that I am missing out on a whole other half of life, a life shared, but atleast I won’t have to rely on someone else to constantly reassure me.

A Cowards Breakup

I hoped to be writing here in a few months about how happiness is possible, about how men who are willing to take on a single mum and all her baggage do exist, about blended families and trips to the park. But no, once again I’m here, broken and alone wondering which of my many flaws drove this guy away.

Was it my saggy belly, my wonky tits, my sleep-adverse toddler, my bad choice in tv, my questionable sense of humour or just me. Maybe I just drove him away by being me. Who knows. He certainly won’t tell me since he basically won’t reply to anything. I’m guessing it’s his terrible way of breaking up with me painlessly. For him. For me it just makes me question everything. Did he ever even like me in the first place?! It’s perhaps the most painful way to break up with someone, with no reason. It’s happened to me twice in quick succession now and I can tell you my confidence has never been knocked more. If he told me it was because of my wonky tits I could laugh it off, tell my friends and call him shallow. 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 if magnified, brought under scrutiny and my confidence lays on the floor in tatters. Again.

It took a lot for me to date after having kids. My body isn’t what it was and emotionally I’m drained most of the time, not to mention the fact that my last serious relationship with my babies dad stole all my confidence in men being able to stick around.

But I did, it ended suddenly 2 months later with ‘we aren’t compatible’ and I tore myself apart, broke myself down to the very components of me trying to work out what I had done, which parts weren’t compatible. Months later I plucked up the courage to try again, but after 6 weeks of what I thought was going well, I’m suddenly ignored, reassured, then ignored again. So here I am again, picking away at the very fibres that make me, me wondering what it was this time that drove him away?

Maybe I’m not strong enough to date. I know it’ll take a while for me to even get back to me again, so maybe I should leave men alone and focus on me again, get back to happy me so I can be there for my son as best I can on my own. Some people are better on their own, maybe that’s me.

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 celebrate 

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. 

  • 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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