The day I became a single mother felt like a regular Tuesday.
Except, after I dropped my two young boys to school and preschool, I went back home and started a new life.
I had pledged to both of my sons at their births, six and four years earlier – a loving whisper in their tiny shell ears – to do the right thing by them, to always have their backs.
Staying the course, keeping our family together, was no longer fulfilling that promise. Implementing the change took months – years, really.
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There was no precise moment when the reordering began.
Those days when your life changes course are not always easy to track. They’re rarely definitive but rather are an incremental build-up of days, the correlation – the joining of the dots – only becoming apparent in retrospect.
It’s only when we find ourselves already well entrenched in the change that we are forced to stop and ask the hard question: How did I get here?
For the sake of an easy narrative, I can pinpoint becoming a single mother to the day that my sons and I left home. That was when ambiguity fell away.
We moved into our new home on a steamy summer Tuesday, ten days before Christmas.
It was a small rental apartment at the other end of the same suburb as the home we had shared as an ‘intact family’ (a term used to describe the inferred more-appealing antithesis of ‘single parent’, even though it might be intact by appearance only).
I deliberately booked the Airtasker removal van for a Tuesday because it was the one day of the week when my youngest, Otis, was at preschool and his brother, Jasper, was at school and I wasn’t working.