To the newly single mum,
I know it hurts, the odd comments, the throwaway slip of the tongue. the mention of is there a daddy at home. It’s like the knife is being twisted that little bit more. A little extra weight thrown behind what it means to you. Another statistic, a failure, another woman who couldn’t keep her partner/husband/significant other.
It may not mean much to the person who said it (or maybe it did but those people need to be ignored IMO) but to you, I know it did. It stung, it brought up the still too fresh memories and feelings and made you feel like a failure all over again.
But that’s not true really, is it?
Deep down I hope you know that because really it isn’t. I have been where you are. I have felt those feelings too that comments like that have invoked in me. Honestly, let me tell you, those feelings it stirred up in you are wrong. You’re not wrong to feel them but the way the comments make you feel is so totally and desperately wrong.
You see, being a single parent is one of the toughest things you can do. Trust me, I am 9 years in. Being a single parent can be hard and lonely and at times, relentless and unrewarding. But one thing is really isn’t is a failure. Because you are not a failure and that is something you really need to know.
The hurt and the pain, the confusion and tears they fade.
With each day you get up and go through the same mundane tasks and the pain gets a little less. The questions become fewer and the answers slip off your tongue easier. Why? Because whilst it may feel like you are plodding along and doing this parenting malarky because quite simply there is no one else to do it, you keep on going because you are stronger than that. Even if you don’t feel like, you are.
You are stronger than the situation you were in. You were and still are strong enough to have and live a new life not only for yourself but for your family too. We all have different reasons and explanations as to why we are single parents. Some more difficult and upsetting than others but one thing we all have is strength and love for our children.
We are all in this together, this single parent life.
We live each day knowing that at the end of the night it will all inevitably do this all over again tomorrow. Just us.
But time goes on and soon enough you find yourself getting that little bit more confident, that little bit stronger until one day when someone asks is there a daddy at home? You won’t be feeling sad as you mutter those 2 little letters. That ‘no’ will be a strong confident NO because, no there isn’t a daddy at home. But there is a YES I am doing this all by myself, I am raising my children to be strong like me, to be confident like me and I am proud of everything I have created.
We are teaching them not to settle for anything less than they deserve because we didn’t. We didn’t stay in situations that were bad for us, harmful or toxic. We chose to show them that anything is possible no matter what we go through.
So the next time someone asks if daddy is at home I want you to close your eyes and take a breath. Remember all the amazing things you do at home all by yourself, hold your head high and be damn proud because yes, you are a single parent but you are absolutely smashing it!
Love Tracey (single mum for over 9 years and most days still smashing it, kind of)
This post came about after reading a blog post written by a single mum blogger on how peoples words affect how she feels. I send her all my love and I hope one day she doesn’t have to feel like this ever again.