As I sit at home watching my little boy chasing the dog around the living room, I find myself reminiscing on all we have been through together. A traumatic pregnancy, a difficult labour and now I embark on the latest journey…becoming a single mum. Of course Oliver still sees his dad regularly and his Nonna and Grandad (his dad’s parents), however I wish I could be on better terms with them…for Oliver’s sake.
Some days I wake up feeling super empowered almost like a ‘super mum’ but then other days, I find myself clutching onto a can of red bull on my way to work with 2 hours sleep under my belt and realising it’s me, myself and I from now on. Of course, I know I’ll cope but I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m terrified. Though Oliver has coped incredibly well with this, and despite what some people say about it being easier for them to cope with when the child is younger, I still believe it has affected Oliver…after all his world has completely shifted so understandably he is a lot clingier and throwing some major tantrums.
In all of this, the biggest advice I could ever give anyone becoming a single mum is keep your friends close, I have been so fortunate to have an incredible support network through this whole thing. My work friends, the mummykind team and my best friends have been amazing at helping pick me up and getting me back on my feet and of course have a good listen to a break up anthem… Mine is “Already Gone” by Kelly Clarkson or “You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore” by Demi Lovato.
Though there are two rules we have laid out in all of this, the first is what I call “the new person” rule, the one thing that I am adamant about in me and my ex moving on is that neither of us will introduce Oliver to our new partner until it is serious and that the other parent consents to it. I don’t want Oliver to have people dragged in and out of his life, it isn’t fair on him. The second is the “no shouting rule” which I guess is one that means the most. I grew up with a very dysfunctional family, I witnessed lots of shouting and abuse, so I will move hell and earth to prevent my boy from going through the same. I never want him to witness what I did so for that reason, I refuse to even discuss anything that could result in an argument in front of him.
So to all you mums out there wondering when/if it will get better…it will. Of course I would be lying if I said it’s an easy process, despite falling out of love with my little boy’s dad it still pained me to see him move on so quickly, showing no remorse for the situation, but ultimately those actions made me stronger and for that I thank him, for giving me a reason to love myself more and appreciate my true worth.…so in a weird kind of way becoming a single mum has given me the best opportunities I’ve had and the future couldn’t look brighter.
Things to remember when you fall out of love with someone you thought you’d love forever.
- Your worth hasn’t decreased due to their inability to see how valuable you are. Whether they’ve dropped a diamond whilst flicking through pebbles or they’ve neglected the best thing that’s ever happened to them- it is their problem and not yours!
- Your ability to love so relentlessly, passionately and fearlessly is a strength. Not a weakness. You have SO MUCH to give. Never let anybody tell you any different.
- Try to let go of the hurt. Holding onto it is only hurting you. Easier said than done, but whilst you’re replaying scenarios- they probably can’t even remember the half of the struggles they’ve caused you!
- You will love again. It seems impossible, but you will. You have no idea of who or what could be around the corner for you. You have no idea of the love and adoration you might find it you just let yourself try.
- Celebrate all of the good things you’ve done together. They’re still achievements. At one time, you made the best team- if you’re coparenting the chances are that you’re still a sturdy unit. You’re allowed to be proud of all the wonderful things you’ve done together.
- Even if you’re angry, even if you’re hurting. Don’t throw away a chance of friendship with the one who once meant the world to you. Try not to regret anything, even a bad ending doesn’t have to spoil great times, triumphs and memories.
- Give yourself all the time you think you need to heal. Let yourself hurt, let yourself cry. You are more entitled to everything you are feeling. Don’t give yourself the “so and so had it worse” treatment- stop belittling your pain, it’s not a healthy way of dealing with things!
- If there are children involved, never let either party or their families speak badly of the other. This breeds distrust between both parties, a quick nasty comment can drop out of an angry mouth in a heart beat- but the chances of it being forgotten by an impressionable child? Not likely! I’m not saying to necessarily hide the hurt you’re feeling from your children or the heart break your feeling, as these are great lessons of resilience and overcoming emotional turmoil- just keep hurtful truths and hyperbolic stories away from minds that can buy too much into them.
- Remember that everything you’ve felt with with person, everything you’ve been through- is an example of better things to come. Keep reminding yourself that better things are just around the corner. that relationship and the subsequent breakup could be exactly what you needed to go out and find the better things.
- Let the pain remind you that your heart can heal. The likelihood is you’ve hurt like this before and maybe you will again. You’re alive to feel so many different emotions, to experience so many different experiences- life is like a cardiograph, the ups and downs are just a good sign that we’re still alive- kicking and fighting.
- I’ll reiterate- PLEASE never, ever forget your worth. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. You are so worthy. Scream it from the rooftops until you believe it!