To be honest, becoming a single mother isn’t that much different to when I wasn’t. Looking after Bella alone is something I would generally do even before we separated.
I still go to work, come home, dinner, bath, bed. I still have my day off with her during the week and we run errands, tidy the house and play. The difference between then and now is that I don’t have someone to speak to at the end of a long day. I don’t have someone checking on me, calling just to see how I am. I don’t have someone to cuddle into at night, to protect me if I’m feeling scared when it’s dark.
They’re the main differences.
I am quite fortunate in that I work four days a week. Whilst I often curse the fact that I have an obligation to people that take me away from my daughter, I’m grateful as well. Work gives me four days to act like an adult, someone who functions in society without having to worry about nap times, about what meal is most nutritionally beneficial, about what the back up meal is for when she turns down this amazing cuisine I’ve prepared for her. It gives me a chance to have adult conversation, make adult jokes, to use my mind in a more satisfying way, to just be me. A person who has a personality outside of finger painting, tepees and nappy changing. A woman who has her owns wants and needs.
There are easy days when you’re a single mother. The days when you don’t mind the routine of looking after a child, the days when you’re excited to be free to date and flirt, the days when you wear that sexy lingerie under your work clothes regardless of the fact no one else will see because – why the f**k not?
But then there are the days where you wonder what the hell went wrong. Anything can set you off and bring you to tears. That was me tonight. Watching TV alone after a long weekend. Watching couples on TV who fight, curse and get angry at each other and you wonder whether through all this fog in your mind, you didn’t realise that maybe your relationship became like that. On those nights, you don’t remember the bad times so you can’t be sure – was it ever really that bad? You only remember the good times. You sit there and hate the situation you’re in. You hate that you don’t know your future – will you get back together? Do YOU want to get back together? Does he? Then you cry.
You think about everything you planned for as a couple, as a family. ‘What ifs’ start filling your mind – what if you hadn’t nagged him just that one time? What if you had left when you had that first rough patch? Where would you be if you took a chance all those years ago and left to be with another person? Would you be sitting there blissfully happy in a more functional and loving relationship?
Tonight, once the crying had stopped, I realised that if I had done anything to change my destiny, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Sure I’m a little battered and bruised from it all, I’ve got scars that won’t fade, but it’s what’s made me who I am. I realised that I wouldn’t change anything in my past because it would mean that I wouldn’t have Bella. And for this world not to have Bella, it would be, in my opinion, one of man’s greatest tragedies.
On nights like these it’s important to remember that yes, he might not love you, you might not even love you but one day, someone will love you. They will love you for all that you’ve been through, all the scars that you carry, all your eccentricities that make you you. Pain is temporary. It will pass. You have been given an amazing opportunity to mould and shape your future into whatever the hell you want it to be.
PS thank you to all my friends who I know will read this and who reached out to me when they realised that tonight was a struggle.