A few months ago, I was thrown into the big wide scary world of single parenting. Sadly, my story isn’t uncommon. And while it hasn’t been long, I’ve quickly learned what it’s really like to be a single mum. On that note, I have a few secret confessions to make…
1. You will be petrified about the sudden realities of raising your child alone. Note – you are not alone. Accept help because you don’t get a medal for doing this alone. You will need all the support and help you can get so drop your pride, take the help and be damn thankful.
2. Checking on your kids multiple times a night becomes normal. In the evenings, I check on my sleeping daughter at least ten times before finally going to bed myself. Yes, I check if she is breathing much like I did when she was a newborn. She is almost five.
3. This also goes for locking up at night. Now that I am the only adult in the house to check the doors and windows. I am also the one who will have to kick some ass if we get broken into. I check the doors multiple times a night before going to bed. I was never good at karate kicks!
4. During the first few months, I have lived mostly on carbs. I will sacrifice eating nutritious meals so my daughter can. Plus cooking for one is a b*tch.
5. The worry about finances, bills, school fees etc can be consuming. Wine helps – you will also discover that $5 Moscato doesn’t taste that bad after all.
6. I have learned to appreciate the little things more. You need to because they can be taken away from you in a flash. Instead of getting my daughter home from school and rushing to do dinner/bath/bed, sometimes we will go for an afternoon swim and a gelato by the beach. I realise now just how precious these moments are.
7. Your child was, is, and always will be your entire world. When you become a single parent, although you never thought they could be more important to you, suddenly they just are. In every single way.
Watch some of the Mamamia staff reveal the moment they knew it was time for a divorce. Post continues after video…
8. Communication with my ex-husband is absolute torture. I hate speaking to him and seeing his face BUT each day he and my daughter FaceTime. We keep each other updated and I have to see him at least once a week when she stays with him. I’ve learned very quickly that it’s okay to loathe him, but in my daughter’s eyes, he is her wonderful daddy. So I die quietly inside and bear it through gritted teeth. Yet I will never let her know how I truly feel towards him. She deserve an untarnished view of her dad.
9. Housework tends to wait a little longer than before. Before my husband left, every night he would arrive home to an immaculate home, candles lit, floors vacuumed and dinner cooking. Now, I do housework but don’t feel the pressure to have everything done by 6pm. It’s one of the very few perks!
10. You don’t need to be ashamed of your new single parent status. There are so many of us out there, the more you talk the more you will find in the same boat.
11. Your girlfriends will be your saving grace through it all. Thank them, be there for them too. I hate to think of what I would do without my ladies!
12. It will take you a little while to realise that you have an entire bed to yourself. It took me two months to realise that I no longer had a ‘side’ of the bed anymore but in fact, I could lay in the middle! This is also a little perk.
13. Be kind to yourself. I am still learning the art of this. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can your new chapter in life. Baby steps.
14. Be smart. Document everything. Conversations with your ex, agreements and split payments. Every. Single. Thing. Now is not the time to be complacent.
15. And finally. Do not- I repeat- DO NOT watch romantic comedies. Do not come under the false illusion that you are okay to watch movies such as P.S I love you, The Notebook and Love Actually. You will become a crying blubbering mess, sobbing into your wine surrounded by a million snotty tissues. Take my word for it. It ain’t worth it, sister.
The Newbie Single Mama